War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0030 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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Richmond, June 19, 1863.

M. J. SAFFOLK, Esq., Commissioner, &c., Montgomery, Ala.:

SIR: Your letter of the 12th instant* covering reports of examination of prisoners at Pollard, Greenville, and Montgomery, Ala., up to the 1st instant, has been received. Your action in the premises meets the full approval of the Department. With regard to the two cases respectful approval of the Department. With regard to the two cases respecting which you ask instructions you can discharge Apple yard upon his parole not to be guilty of future violations of military and civil law, and an admonition that a breach of it may be attended with serious consequences. the disposition of Welch must be referred to your discretion. The Department does not desire to initiate prosecutions for political offenses sand is satisfied, as a general rule, to restrain the capacity for mischief of disloyal citizens. If nothing better can be done, they must be confined, but a far preferable disposition, when it can be done, they must be confined, but a far preferable disposition, when it can be made, is to place them in a situation to render service to the country by useful labor, under the eye of some officer of the Government who can guard against communication with the enemy. Admiral buchanan, at Mobile, might perhaps give employment to such persons. Disloyalty is doubtless often feigned by persons of conscript age to avoid military duty. I is not desirable to encumber the army with such men, as they may perhaps abuse their opportunities to acquire information to the injury of the Government. The concession of privilege to volunteer in commands for service in specified districts, such as General Cobb's or General Clanton's, may in some instances reconcile the parties to the service and may at your discretion be granted. These general views are thrown out merely as suggestions, the value of which you can weigh in connection with the circumstances of each individual case. When you desire to consult the Department before disposing of any case, it is requested that you submit some recommendation.



Assistant Secretary of War.


Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

SIR: In a letter under date of the 13th instant, addressed by Lieutenant Colonel William H. Ludlow, commissioner for exchange of prisoners, to Colonel William Hoffman, and which has been referred to this office, I find the following passage in reference to the precedents of a court-martial held in the Department of the Cumberland, and which terminated in the conviction of David Banner and Jacob Fitzpatrick, citizens of Kentucky:

I return to you for the examination of the Judge-Advocate-General the papers in the cases of Banner and Fitzpatrick. The proceedings seem to me to be null and void and had better not be submitted to the inspection of the Confederate authorities.

From the language it is fairly if not necessarily inferable that Lieutenant-Colonel Ludlow has felt himself authorized in his official intercourse with the rebels to submit to them for examination and review the records of our military courts in cases in which such inspection has been claimed. My view of what should be the action of the Government of the United States under such circumstances has been just the opposite of that apparently entertained by Lieutenant-Colonel