War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0176 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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Richmond, August 4, 1863.

W. D. HENNEN, Esq.:

SIR: You have been selected by this Department, and are hereby commissioned, to make a full examination into the cases of all the prisoners not connected with the Confederate Army held in confinement by the military authorities of the Confederate States of America at any military post or prison in the Department of East Tennessee.

You will communicate this appointment to the military commander in the said department and inquire where such prisoners are confined, and with as little delay as practicable will repair to the respective posts or prisoners and enter upon the discharge of the duties assigned.

You are authorized to require the production of all documentary testimony and military orders respecting such prisoners, may examine and witness who can be produced for or against them, and may hear any statements which the prisoners desire or are willing to make. You are authorized to discharge, either absolutely or upon such oath or parole as you may think proper, all prisoners against whom no well founded suspicion of having violated any law of the Confederate States may exist, or where longer detention you may think not demanded by the public interest, and to transfer to the civil authorities of the State or Confederacy such prisoners as you may think answerable to their jurisdiction. Orders will be issued to the commanding officer of the Department of East Tennessee to render you every facility in the discharge of your duties and to obey your instructions in regard to the prisoners you may examine. A full report of your proceedings under this commission and your opinion in regard to each prisoners examined will be made by you as promptly as practicable.

The commanding officer of the Department of East Tennessee will be instructed to advise with you upon any question arising in his jurisdiction which may require the aid and to retain you to appear in behalf of the Government in any judicial investigation in which he may judge it necessary for the interests of the Government to be protected by counsel.

You will notify the Department on receipt of this communication whether you will accept the position assigned you, and when it will comport with your convenience to enter upon the discharge of the duties.

By way of compensation for your services you will be allowed the sum of $150 per month, to be paid on the order of the commanding officer of the Department of East Tennessee by any quartermaster of the Confederate States, and transportation will be furnished you for all necessary travel by the commandants of the several posts. The rate of compensation above named is not designed to preclude your right to demand and receive additional compensation for services in court.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Assistant Secretary of War.


AUGUST 7, 1863.


Send this copy of letter to W. D. Hennen, esq., to Major-General Buckner, commanding Department of East Tennessee, and instruct him to issue all orders necessary to enable Mr. Hennen to discharge the duties and exercise the powers herein prescribed and delegated.

By order Secretary of War:


Assistant Secretary of War.