War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0021 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

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OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,

Washington, D. C., June 16, 1863.

Major General DAVID HUNTER,

Commanding Department of the South, Hilton Head, S. C.:

GENERAL: The following are extracts from a letter some days since addressed to Lieutenant-Colonel Ludlow, agent for exchange of prisoners, in relation to patrolling of prisoners of war, to be laid before the Confederate commissioner as the rule which will govern the U. S. armies in the field:

I inclose herewith General Orders, Nos. 49 and 100, current series, announcing regulations and instructions for the government of the U. S. forces in the field in the matter of paroles. These, together with the stipulations of the cartel, will govern our army. By the cartel all prisoners of war are to be delivered at certain named places, there to be exchanged or paroled, and all paroles exacted or accepted by the enemy from our troops in violation of its stipulations, except in the case provided for by the cartel, are null and void, and troops so paroled will be ordered to duty as if no parole had been given. Officers or soldiers who give paroles in violation of General Orders, Numbers 49, commit an offense for which they are liable to trial by a court-martial; but the enemy have, nevertheless, no right to claim that the parole is binding. * * * Orders will be immediately issued from commanders to permit no paroles to be taken from the enemy except as provided for by the cartel, and all paroles now in force not so taken will be declared of no effect. Paroles given before the publication to the army of General Orders, Numbers 49, though deliveries were not made as required by the cartel, will, under the usage prevailing at the time, be considered as valid.

There may be cases of a subsequent date where, from peculiar circumstances, it would be advisable to recognize irregular paroles, but in all such cases a special report, with full rolls of the parties, should to forwarded to this office as early as practicable.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN,

Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary-General of Prisoners.

(Same to Major General J. G. Foster, commanding Department of North Carolina, New Berne, N. C., and Major General John E. Wool, commanding Department of the East, New York City, N. Y.)

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT TRANS-MISSISSIPPI,

Shreveport, La., June 16, 1863.

General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose you two letters, addressed to Major-General Taylor, in regard to the disposition to be made of negroes and their officers captured in arms. Unfortunately such captures were made by some of Major-General Taylor's subordinates

I have heard unofficially that the last Congress did not adopt any retaliatory legislation of the subject of armed negroes and their officers, but left the President to dispose of this delicate and important question. In the absence of any legislation and of any orders except those referred to in the inclosed letters, I saw no other proper and legal course for me to pursue except the one which I adopted.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,

E. KIRBY SMITH.

[Inclosure No. 1.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT TRANS-MISSISSIPPI,

Shreveport, La., June 13, 1863.

Major General R. TAYLOR, Commanding District of Louisiana:

GENERAL: I have been unofficially informed that some of your troops have captured negroes in arms. I hope this may not be so, and that