War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0154 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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[JULY 27, 1863. -For Cuyler to Hammond, in relation to condition of Confederate prisoners (wounded) after battle of Gettysburg and their transportation to other points, &c., see Series I, Vol. XXVII, Part I, p. 24.]

HDQRS. DISTRICT OF SOUTHWESTERN MISSOURI,

Springfield, July 27, 1863.

Colonel J. M. JOHNSON, Commanding at Cassville:

COLONEL: I send by your messenger answer to General Cabell to be sent to him by flag of truce.

The flag of truce will be dismissed on delivery of the inclosure for General Cabell expecting the party or parties detected in attempting to pass letters into our lines. He or they will be sent under guard to this post with the witnesses in the case.

You will provide for the wants of Captain Palmer and party on their return, and admonish the captain that the next flag-of-truce party similarly implicated will be held as spies, one and all.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

J. McNEIL,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

[Inclosure.]

HDQRS. DISTRICT OF SOUTHWESTERN MISSOURI,

Springfield, Mo., July 27, 1863.

Brigadier General W. L. Cabel,

Commanding Northwestern Arkansas, in the Field:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge your communication of June 30* demanding the release of two prisoners named Dotson and Spencer; also copy of an exchange noticed published at Richmond, Va., under date of May 11, 1863.

Not having any orders that agreed with the above-named notice, I referred the whole matter to the commanding general of this military department, who in reply says:

The exchange notice published in Richmond is decided by our authorities too general in its terms, and is now under revision by the commissioners for exchange. The prisoners will be disposed of according to the final agreement of the commissioners if it is found to apply to their cases.

I am also directed to report the cases in question that the may determine whether they come under existing rules.

You will thus see that there is every disposition to give the parties in whose behalf you have interested yourself the full benefit of any agreement there now exists or may exist between the Government of the United States and the military authorities of the revolting States.

I would respectfully state to you in this connection that your threat of unjustifiable retaliation can have no effect on the determination of this case. Justice will be done and duty performed without regard to consequence.

You need not be reminded, general, that retaliation is a game that two can play at, and I sincerely hope you may not set me any lessons that will compel me to better the instructions.

I regret to have to state that I have notice (by telegraph) from the commandant at Cassville that some person or persons connected with your flag of truce have been guilty of an attempt to convey written

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* Not found.

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