was merely a "chivalrous" exhibition of the feelings of some of the rebels toward some of the colored soldiers slain in the conflict remains undetermined.
It will be seen that Colonel Logan denies that any such thing was done with his knowledge or authority. The testimony of the assistant surgeon who was released by the rebels, he having been taken prisoner during the action, shows that while great contempt was manifested toward officers of colored troops and Lieutenant Orrillion was forced to march at the head of his "niggers," as the rebels expressed it, there was no other violence or ill-treatment offered to the prisoners within his knowledge. No conclusive testimony can be obtained from citizens in regard to this matter.
It has been stated by some of them that the wounded colored soldiers were well treated and cared for; some of them state that they have heard that some of the colored soldiers were in some underhand way sold at auction in Clinton, La. ; others state that they had heard that a number of the colored soldiers taken prisoners at Jackson had been shot. But in all these points they speak from hearsay only.
As to the beating of the colored soldiers I am informed that in one or two instances they were struck several times by some of the rebels, but were no seriously injured.
While I am clearly and decidedly of the opinion that colored soldiers cannot with justice be employed as such without receiving the same protection that other troops would receive under similar circumstances, and while I am entirely ready and willing to carry out with stern severity any retaliatory measures which may be deemed proper by the commanding general of the department or other competent authority which I should feel bound to consult in a matter of such importance before proceeding to execute, I am on the other hand of opinion that no such measures should be resorted to without clear and decisive evidence of the commission of acts calling for such action, and in the present case I do not consider the evidence up to this time satisfactory as to the alleged hanging of colored soldier prisoners of war.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. L. ANDREWS,
Brigadier-General of Vols., Commanding Post and Corps d'Afrique.
There is no evidence upon which retaliatory measures can be properly based, and the reply of General Logan must be received as satisfactory upon the part of the alleged execution of or punishment of negroes. He is not justified, however, in placing officers and soldiers of the United States in close confinement upon the presentation of the inquiry unless accompanied by some other statement not disclosed in the correspondence. This opinion should be made known to General Andrews.
N. P. BANKS.
OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,
Washington, D. C., September 14, 1863.
Brigadier General E. R. S. CANBY,
Commanding U. S. Forces City and Harbor, New York:
GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose herewith regulations which were established by authority of the Secretary of War for the government of officers commanding stations where prisoners of war are held
19 R R-SERIES II, VOL VI