100, War Department, Adjutant-General's Office, April 24, 1863. Paragraph 49, section 3, said orders, defines a prisoner of war to be a public enemy armed or attached to the hostile army for active aid who has fallen into the hands of the captor, either fighting or wounded on the filed, or in the hospital, by individual surrender, or by capitulation, &c. See also on the same point paragraphs 50 and 51, same section. By paragraph 56, same section, "A prisoner of war is subject to no punishment for being a public enemy; " and see also paragraph 75, same section. By paragraph 82, section 5 of said orders, "Men who commit hostilities without being part and portion of the organized hostile army, &c., if captured are not entitled to the privileges of prisoners of war, but shall be treated summarily as robbers and pirates. " See also paragraphs 83, 84, and 85 of the same section, and paragraphs 88, 90, 91, 92, and 100 of section 5, said orders, in which several other classes of enemies not belonging to the hostile army are named, who, when captured, are not to be held as prisoners of war, and are made liable to punishments to which prisoners of war are not subject.
A large portion of the prisoners held at this post and classified as political belong to these classes or some of them, and belong also to the rebel States. For example: Walter Lennox, ex-mayor of Washington, D. C., now belonging to Richmond, Va., is a prisoner at this post, and held in close confinement by order of the Secretary of War. If all prisoners belonging to the rebel States "are to be held as prisoners of war, and to be released from close confinement," then this prisoner, now held a political, must be included, and if so included, must be regarded as entitled to all the privileges of a prisoner of war, including that of exchange.
If such be a correct interpretation of your letter, your directions will work an entire revolution in the system established at this post from the commencement of the war, both for the classification of prisoners and further treatment and government. Permit me, respectfully, to ask for further instructions.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. W. MORRIS,
Brevet Brigadier-General, Commanding.
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
Port Hudson, La., September 14, 1863.
Major G. N. LIEBER, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General:
SIR: In reply to the communication of September 9, department headquarters, just received, respecting a newspaper extract, I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy of the correspondence between myself and Colonel Logan, consisting of one communication to him and one reply, both per flag of truce. * I would further state that I have since the date of these communications been endeavoring to obtain satisfactory testimony to sustain the charge that two colored soldiers were hung as stated; but the only evidence so far is that of two colored soldiers who state they saw two colored men in uniform of U. S. soldiers hanging from a tree near Jackson, La., after the fight. They do not claim that they saw the act of hanging these men committed. Whether some of the colored soldiers taken prisoners were hung or whether the spectacle witnessed by the two soldiers mentioned
*See Andrews to Logan, August 5, p. 177, and Logan to Andrews, August 8, p. 189.