War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0258 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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if any, this order requires to make it conform to instructions or orders from office of the Commissary-General of Prisoners.


Major-General, Commanding.


Assistant Adjutant-General.


Near Crystal Springs, September 3, 1863.

Colonel B. S. EWELL, Assistant Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: In obedience to instructions I submit the following report in reference to the hanging and shooting of Federal prisoners and negroes in arms captured at Jackson, La., on the 3rd ultimo:

Several negroes were captured at that place and turned over to a guard from Colonel Griffith's Arkansas regiment mounted infantry. I was in front of the command when a report came to me that Colonels Griffith and Powers had marched the negroes forward before the command left camp at Centerville. After some time these officers came up and brought no negroes. I immediately demanded "what disposition had been made of them," when they reported in substance what is stated in their inclosed reports. Other reports came saying they had been sent to Mobile, &c. I rebuked Colonels Powers and Griffith severely for making any disposition of them without my orders.

My own opinion is that the negroes were summarily disposed of, by whom I cannot say, as all deny any other statements, except the inclosed letters of Colonels Powers and Griffith. I do not know that any Federal officers or soldiers were missing.

The whole transaction was contrary to my wishes and against my own consent. In regard to the hanging of negroes captured after the fight, I can only submit the inclosed communication* from Brigadier-General Andrews, U. S. Army, and my reply,* which fully explains my position, and which I presume is a final terminus to the affair.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Commanding Brigade.



Canton, September 17, 1863.

Respectfully forwarded.

Do not consider it to the interest of the service that this matter be further investigated at present, as a court of inquiry or court-martial will afford the only means of gaining correct information.

S. D. LEE,

Major-General, Commanding.

[Inclosure Numbers 1.]


Near Crystal Springs, Miss., September 2, 1863.


Commanding Regiment Arkansas Infantry:

COLONEL: Inclosed find an order from General Johnston, which I am directed by Colonel Logan to forward to you, it having been rumored


*See Andrews to Logan, August 5, p. 177, and Logan to Andrew, August 8, p. 189.