War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0126 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

BALTIMORE, July 18, 1863.

Colonel WILLIAM HOFFMAN, Commissary-General of Prisoners:

COLONEL: Will you please ascertain the decision of the Secretary of War about the delivery of Confederate prisoners of war at City Point? I have no reason to believe that any such prisoners are put in the field without having been properly exchanged, and I fear that unless deliveries continue no more of our men will be delivered. If it is intended to go on with deliveries please direct Lieutenant-Colonel Pelouze, assistant adjutant-general, Seventh Army Corps, at Fort Monroe, to send Major Mulford with the flag-of-truce boat New York to Fort Delaware for the prisoners. Please notify me by telegram directed to me at 20 Amity place, New York, what the decision of the Secretary of War is. All communications so directed will reach me at the above-named address until the 25th instant. After that date I shall be at West Point. Please keep me informed of matters relating to prisoners by telegraph or letter. If I am needed at Fort Monroe I will at any time immediately proceed there to attend to the business requiring my attention, without any reference to my leave of absence. Please answer the receipt of this. I go to New York to-day.

I am, very respectfully,


Lieutenant-Colonel and Agent for Exchange of Prisoners.

P. S. -If objections be made to sending the fresh captures the old ones already enrolled and waiting transportation might be sent. There are about 1,800 of them.

W. H. L.

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, July 18, 1863.

Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

SIR: In obedience to your order of this date I proceeded to the prison ship off Alexandria and examined the prisoners therein as directed, and have the honor to report as follows: I examined fully seven of the prisoners, who were the petitioners or leaders, separate and apart, and twenty-seven others en masse. The seven leaders swore that they were from Loudoun County, Va., taken about the 21st of June, ultimo, and carried to Generals Meade's and Pleasonton's headquarters; thence to the prison ship, as they supposed, by order of General Patrick. They severally swore that they had never given any aid or information to the rebels, b ut had fed them just as they had fed the Union soldiers. They also swore emphatically that they would not take the oath of allegiance to the United States because they were citizens of Virginia and owed their allegiance to that State, and that they sympathized with the South, but if Virginia went back into the Union then they would willingly take the oath of allegiance to the United States. They all swore that they would willingly give their parole under oath not to aid, comfort, or give information to the rebels. These seven leading men swore substantially the same, evidently by consent, and they said the other twenty-seven men, all from Loudoun County, Va., and vicinity, and taken at the same time, would swear the same. I then examined the twenty-seven other men en masse, but interrogated each separately, each saying he had never given aid to the rebels, each positively refusing to take the oath of allegiance, and each willing to give his sworn parole not to aid, comfort, or give information to the rebels unless conscripted into the