Ripley, and then halted. Whilst there Alex. Robinson came up and said he had two Federal prisoners, Twelfth Michigan Regiment, and wanted me to take charge of and turn them over to the proper authorities. I detailed Private John Kesterson to accompany Robinson with the prisoners and ordered them to be taken and delivered to Colonel Smith, commanding First [Second] Mississippi State Cavalry. They started to the point of destination about 10 o'clock in the morning (about 15th May) with the prisoners and returned to my camp about 4 o'clock in the evening, stating that the prisoners had attempted to escape and that they had shot them.
I received a communication from General Smith, commanding First Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, La Grange, Tenn., May 27, 1863, which was referred to Colonel Smith, commanding First [Second] Mississippi State Cavalry, and by him referred to you. I ask you earliest attention in the premises. *
I am, general, yours, very respectfully,
SOL. G. STREET,
Captain, Commanding Co. A, First [Second] Mississippi State Cavalry.
WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, Va., June 5, 1863.
ROBERT OULD, Esq., Commissioner, &c.
SIR: C. L. Vallandigham, a citizen of the United States and late a Representative in the Federal Congress, having been thrust by the violence and oppression of his Government within our Confederate lines has been held as an alien enemy, avowing himself to be still a loyal citizen of the United States, under arrest or on parole by General Braxton Bragg, commanding the Army of Middle Tennessee, and has been permitted while so under arrest or on parole to proceed to Lynchburg, Va. It is not the desire of purpose of this Government to treat this victim of unjust and arbitrary power with other than lenity and consideration, but as an alien enemy he cannot be received to friendly hospitality or allowed a continued refuge in freedom in our midst. This is due alike to our safety and to him in his acknowledged position as an enemy. You have therefore been charged with the duty, not inappropriate to the commission you hold in relation to prisoners, &c., of meeting him in Lynchburg and there assuming direction and control of his future movements. He must be regarded by you as under arrest, permitted unless in your discretion you deem it necessary to revoke the privilege to be at large on his parole not to attempt to escape nor hereafter to reveal to the prejudice of the Confederate States anything he may see or learn while therein. You will see that he is not molested or assailed or unduly intruded upon, and extend to him the attentions and kind treatment consistent with his relations as an alien enemy. After a reasonable delay with him at Lynchburg to allow rest and recreation form the fatigues of his recent exposure and travel you will proceed with him to Wilmington, N. C., and there deliver him to the charge of Major-General Whiting, commanding in that district, by whom he will be allowed at an early convenient opportunity to take shipping for any neutral port he may prefer, whether in Europe, the Islands, or on this Continent. More full instruction on this point will be given to General Whiting, and your duty will be discharged when you shall have conducted Mr. Vallandigham to Wilmigton and placed him at the disposition of that commander.
JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
* See Smith to Street, May 27, 1863, p. 714.