War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0830 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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would respectfully inquire whether naval officers not being referred to in it can under the strict construction to which all such documents are subject be fairly held to come within its scope, and whether in view of this alone the officers (myself and fellow prisoners) might not non obstante the proclamation be granted a release on parole?

But without presuming to decide a question in regard to which my information is limited permit me to urge as a far stronger argument in favor of our being paroled the peculiar nature of the circumstances which led to our becoming prisoners-defenseless, shipwrecked mariners barely escaping with life to the shore which for eighteen hours it was doubtful whether we should survive to reach. Our situation is one which has ever been recognized by civilized nations as establishing a claim upon the hospitality of even their enemies which I shall not readily believe the Confederate Government will be the first the deny, and I cannot suffer myself to doubt that on the facts of our case being fairly in its possession it will have no hesitation in according to us the parole we request.

I subjoin the names* and rank of the officers who are my companions in captivity, and have the honor, sir, to remain,

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAS. P. COUTHOUY,

Lieutenant, U. S. Navy, late Commanding U. S. Steamer Columbia.

[First indorsement.]

FEBRUARY 26, 1863.

Respectfully referred to the President.

The fact that this party came into our possession by shipwreck and that he asserts ignorance of the President's proclamation commends his case to favorable consideration.

J. A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War.

[Second indorsement.]

SECRETARY OF WAR:

For the reasons set forth let the exception be made.

JEFF'N DAVIS.

[Third indorsement.]

Referred to Brigadier-General Winder to carry into effect the order of the President hereon.

By order of Secretary of War:

J. A. CAMPBELL,

Assistant Secretary of War.

[Fourth indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF HENRICO,

March 23, 1863.

Respectfully returned to the Secretary of War with the remarks that these men have been ordered to Richmond and the President's order will be carried into effect upon their arrival in the city.

JNO H. WINDER,

Brigadier-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF HENRICO,

Richmond, February 10, 1863.

Captain T. P. TURNER, Commanding C. S. Prison.

SIR: Some boxes of clothing will be sent to you to-day for the prisoners of war now in your custody. You will please send to these head-

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*Omitted.

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