parole and exchange will be directed by the orders of Brigadier-General Winder, commanding the Department of Henrico.
* * * * * * *
By command of the Secretary of War:
WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, May 29, 1863.
General B. BRAGG:
It was clearly an abuse of the flag of truce to employ it to cover a guard over expelled citizens, non-combatants, found at their homes by an invading army. Your right to hold soldiers so employed as prisoners of war or even to deal with them as spies is not questioned, but lest the men implicated may have ignorantly offended let them have the benefit of the flag so far as to be sent back with a warning to their commanding general against the repetition of such an outrage on the usages of war to aid him in his greater outrage against humanity and the usages of civilized nations.
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
MOUNT STERLING, KY., May 30, 1863.
The AUTHORITIES AT RICHMOND, VA.
GENTLEMEN: Having learned through the newspapers and other sources that Captain Samuel McKee, of the Fourteenth Regiment of Kentucky Cavalry, now in Richmond, Va., a prisoner, has been condemned to be executed as a retaliatory measure for Captain Corbin, recently executed at Cincinnati, I desire in behalf of Captain McKee to offer the following suggestions and most respectfully and earnestly to ask that the sentence may be reversed. I have resided in the same county with Captain McKee and have known him somewhat intimately for quite a number of years. He was born and raised in the county of Montgomery, Ky., where he still resides and where he has always maintained an irreproachable moral character. For several years past he has been a member of the church, since such time he has been regarded in this community as an exemplary Christian. At the time of his capture Captain McKee was stationed at this place and for some time previous thereto had been acting as provost-marshal here, during which period and up to his capture I never heard a charge of complaint against him save in the case of Captain F. Ferguson, of the Confederate service, captured in November last, and for that I do not think Captain McKee should be blamed. He was not at the time the commander of this post but was under a superior officer. While Captain McKee had the custody of Captain Ferguson his treatment was not only humane but kind, permitting him to visit and remain with his family all night; nor is there any reason to believe that this course toward Captain Ferguson would have been changed if Captain McKee had been left to pursue his own course, and the change was no doubt made in obedience to the positive order of his superior officer superinduced by some imprudence doubtless upon the part of Captain Ferguson himself. This in relation
61 R R-SERIES, II, VOL V