[AUGUST 4, 1863. - For Special Orders, Numbers 184, Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, Richmond, providing for a military court* to inquire into the surrender of Vicksburg and Provost Port Hudson, see Series I, Vol. XXIV, Part III, p. 104, and for correspondence on same subject see pp. 1034, 1057, and 1058, ibid.]
CINCINNATI, August 5, 1863.
Honorable E. M. STANTON:
I deem if the greatest importance that some discretion be allowed me in releasing prisoners of war from Kentucky upon their taking the oath of allegiance and giving heavy bonds for future good behavior and loyalty. Much good can be accomplished by the proper use of this discretion, and harm, I think, is resulting from the present stringent orders.
A. E. BURNSIDE,
WASHINGTON, August 5, 1863.
You are authorized to release on parole and bounds such prisoners of war as do not wish to be exchanged and who on full examination are deemed to be sincere in their intention in taking oath of allegiance to the United States.
H. W. HALLECK,
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
Port Hudson, La., August 5, 1863.
Brigadier General J. L. LOGAN, or
Commanding OFFICER CONFEDERATE FORCES AT OR NEAR JACKSON, LA.:
SIR: I have been informed by several eye-witness that two of the colored soldiers of this command have been recently hanged at or near Jackson, La., by the men of your command. I am also further informed that some of the colored soldiers of this command were, while prisoners of war, badly beaten and otherwise ill-treated. I cannot doubt that these outrages were committed without your authority, but it is my duty to call upon you to disavow these acts and to punish the perpetrators thereof. I would also suggest the expediency of reminding the men of your command, that while it may be difficult to discover and bring to justice those concerned in such crimes, particularly when, as it is certainly probable, they are at least not repressed by some of your junior officers as they might be, it is not all difficult to retaliate severely upon the prisoners in our hands and upon those that may be taken hereafter. The severest measures of retaliation will
* There is no record of any proceedings of this court. September 8, 1863, by direction of the Secretary of War, the following order was issued from the office of the Adjutant and Inspector-General:
" The court of inquiry appointed in Special Orders, Numbers 184, Paragraph XX, current series, will suspend its sessions until further orders from this office. The officers will return to their proper stations".
12 R R-SERIES II, VOL VI