War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0031 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

Search Civil War Official Records

Ludlow. On the 16th of May, in commenting on a letter from this officer which had been referred to me for a compliance with its request, I addressed to the Secretary of War the following language:

The demand made by the rebel authorities for information in reference to the proceedings of our courts-martial which resulted in the conviction of certain spies and traitors, emissaries in Kentucky, is deemed impertinent, and the information sought will not be communicated unless specially directed by the Secretary. This Government is in no degree responsible to rebels in arms for the action of its own military courts, and it seems to me that it would utterly degrade itself by recognizing any such responsibility. Any such recognition would involve an ignoring of the great truth that this is a war on crime and criminals, which cannot be lost sight of without incurring the risk of becoming, in the judgment of the world, criminals ourselves.

I am without advice as to whether the views thus expressed have been acted on by the Secretary of War. Feeling, therefore, some embarrassment as to the proper reply to be made to the communication now under consideration, the whole subject is respectfully referred to the Secretary for his instructions.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. HOLT,

Judge-Advocate-General.

OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,

Washington, D. C., June 20, 1863.

Major General A. E. BURNSIDE,

Commanding Department of the Ohio, Cincinnati, Ohio:

GENERAL: The propriety of releasing enlisted prisoners of war and permitting them to enter our service has been laid before the Secretary of War, who directs that, when it can be reliably shown that the applicant was impressed into the rebel service and that he now wishes in good faith to join our army, he may be permitted to do so on his taking the oath of allegiance.

It is left for the examining officer to satisfy himself of the reliability of prisoners' statements by such inquiries as he may be able to make.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN,

Colonel third Infantry and Commissary-General of Prisoners.

CINCINNATI, June 20, 1863.

General CARTER, Somerset, Ky.:

Dispatch received from Commissary-General of Prisoners at Washington that East Tennesseeans will not be compelled to be exchanged if they wish to remain with us.

A. E. BURNSIDE,

Major-General, Commanding.

OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,

Washington, D. C., June 21, 1863.

Major General J. M. SCHOFIELD,

Commanding Department of the Missouri, Saint Louis, Mo.:

Section 8 of the within declaration* is much too comprehensive; it should be confined to civilians who have been delivered though our

---------------

*See Exchange Notice Numbers 5, Vol. V, this series, p. 949.

---------------