SPECIAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT Numbers 2, Numbers 66.
Murfreesborough, Tenn., December 18, 1862.
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II. All paroled prisoners who have been or may hereafter be delivered at Vicksburg are declared by the agent at that place as exchanged. They will therefore promptly report for duty with their respective regiments.
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By command of General Bragg:
[GEO. WM. BRENT,]
WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, December 19, 1862.
THOMAS W. WHITE, Esq., White's Battalion.
SIR: You are respectfully informed in reply to your letter of the 24th ultimo that this Government does not recognize the paroles that were extorted from prisoners who were not engaged in hostilities between the Confederate States and the United States.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
RICHMOND, VA., December 20, 1862.
Honorable JOHN LETCHER, Governor of Virginia.
SIR: I have the honor to report the results of my mission to Fincastle at your instance for the trial of Dr. William P. Rucker on various charges. The first indictment found against him was for the murder of one Michael Joyce in July, 1861. Before the death of the party he was examined by a justice for feloniously stabbing with intent to kill and was committed to answer to that charge before an examining court. At the regular term next thereafter he appeared and was examined after the death of Joyce for the charge of feloniously stabbing, &c., and was discharged.
The grand jury indicted him after an examination for the murder for that crime at the special term of the circuit court of Alleghany held in November. To that charge the prisoner pleaded autrefois acquit and relied upon his discharge by the examining court upon the charge of feloniously stabbing, &c. To the filing of that plea the Commonwealth objected and moved its rejection for insufficiency. Upon full argument the court overruled the Commonwealth's motion, and adjudging the discharge to be a bar to the prosecution for murder allowed the plea to be filed. The Commonwealth then tendered a replication to the plea averring the examination and judgment to have been procured by the prisoner's fraud in the absence of the attorney for the Commonwealth. To this replication the prisoner's counsel objected for insufficiency and the court adjourned it for argument at the next term.
The prisoner was then arraigned upon any of a horse of Joseph H. Persinger in January, 1862. To this he pleaded not guilty, and the Commonwealth not being ready to try it owing to the absence of a material witness it was continued to the next term.
Then came on the case of treason with those of arson of the Cow-Pasture bridge on the Central Railroad and a number of other cases therewith connected, all of which were committed in the month of May,