not liable to conscription; but if he was not in the Confederate service but a citizen peaceably employed the Department does not acknowledge the authority of the United States to take him a prisoner or to exact from him an oath and will defend him against the consequences of re-entry into service.
La Vergne, Tenn., December 13, 1862.
Colonel GEORGE WILLIAM BRENT,
Assistant Adjutant-General and Chief of Staff.
COLONEL: I have the honor to forward you per courier three letters addressed to General Braxton Bragg which have this day been brought in with flag of truce. I inclose note* of Major Prentice which explains circumstances of the capture of three men from the Fifth Kentucky Cavalry. They were vedettes on the enemy's outpost and were captured by Criswell and a party of six others-a party of six scouts authorized to act by Colonel [General] Wheeler. At the time of the capture a Federal flag of truce under command of Captain Buford was in front at our picket-lines covering the dispatches herewith sent. The Federal flag officer entered his protest against the capture under the circumstances. I have the honor to inquire what disposition shall be made of the prisoners, their arms and equipments.
Respectfully, colonel, your obedient servant,
JNO T. MORGAN,
Colonel, Commanding Outpost.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF MISSISSIPPI,
Grenada, December 14, 1862.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector-General, Richmond, Va.
GENERAL: I have the honor to forward to the War Department sometime since a letter from Major-General Butler, commanding U. S. forces, New Orleans, in which he said he would hold Brigadier-General Clark and fourteen other prisoners subject to retaliation for the pretended murder of certain parties in Louisiana, also my reply stating that I would consequently retain all U. S. prisoners until I received instructions from my Government.
I would respectfully ask directions from the honorable Secretary of War for action in the premises.
Very respectfully, &c., your obedient servant,
J. C. PEMBERTON,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE,
Murfreesborough, December 14, 1862.
Brigadier General JOSEPH WHEELER,
Chief of Cavalry, La Vergne.
GENERAL: The general commanding directs me to inclose you the accompanying communications* from Colonel Allen and Major Prentice
50 R R-SERIES II, VOL V