HEADQUARTERS FIFTH MILITARY DISTRICT, July 6, 1863.
Major General S. A. HURLBUT,
Commanding Sixteenth Army Corps, Memphis, Tenn.:
GENERAL: Your communication of 3rd instant has just been received. I forward to you the best evidence now in my possession that Captain Cushman is a Confederate officer, and will endeavor to obtain a copy of the authority granted to him by General Beauregard as soon as practicable.
If my Government chooses to look to the muster-rolls and not to commissions for the rank of its officers, and they in default of better clothing choose to fight in coarse jackets, I cannot see what right your Government has to complain, provided we are ready to exchange for them at their proper rank when captured.
While it is true that 'scattering men of all armies commit depredations," I have satisfactory evidence that the depredations committed by the troops under Colonel Hatch were by his orders, and that greater outrages would have been committed by him in Hernando but for the intervention of the officer in command of a flag of truce there at the time, and further that he has threatened our people to treat them worse in every succeeding raid.
The uniform courtesy of your notes gives evidence that these acts do not meet your approbation, and I shall expect to hear that Colonel Hatch has been held to a proper accountability; if not, he has been warned what to expect when he comes again. Your invitation to me to leave the country is very polite, but cannot be complied with at present.
I must say, however, that it is an extraordinary confession on your part that you feel compelled to make war on non-combatants and destroy the subsistence of the country as a means of military defense. You will find, sir, that this mode of warfare will not succeed in anything but the bringing your Government into contempt with the civilized world. Southern men will subsist on acorns in defense of liberty, and every man that you burn out adds another soldier to my command.
I am, general, your obedient servant,
JAS. R. CHALMERS,
HEADQUARTERS PAROLED PRISONERS,
Near Annapolis, Md., July 6, 1863.
Colonel WILLIAM HOFFMAN,
Commissary-General of Prisoners, Washington, D. C.:
COLONEL: I have the honor to inclose you a list of three paroled officers which arrived here from Richmond, Va., July 3, 1863. Captain William Gramn and Lieutenant Isaac A. Wade, of the Eighth Virginia Infantry Volunteers, were taken prisoners near Guyandotte River, W. Va., by General Floyd November 25, 1862, sent to Richmond and confined as hostages in the State penitentiary from the 30th of December until 1st July, 1863; were hostages for Captain Dusky and Lieutenant Barnes [Varner], bushwhackers or mail robbers in the Confederate service. They signed a parole July 1 and arrived at Annapolis July 3, 1863. The health of these officers is much impaired by long and close confinement. Applications for leaves of absence will be forwarded to-day. I would respectfully recommend that they be granted.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Paroled Prisoners.