HEADQUARTERS CAMP OF PAROLED PRISONERS,
Enterprise, Miss., September 17, 1863.
General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond:
GENERAL: I have the honor to report, for the information of the Department, that being deprived of the assistance of the officers who are, I understand, retained by the enemy as prisoners of war, I have been unable as yet to reassemble any portion of the troops recently comprising the garrison at Port Hudson.
Respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
W. J. HARDEE,
SEPTEMBER 26, 1863.
Respectfully submitted to the President.
Would it not be well to order such officers as are not on active duty, and may be commanded, to temporary commands in organizing these prisoners?
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
The plan approved, with the understanding that the officers so employed shall be of the same State as the troops, or of the Regular Army if the former cannot be had.
OCTOBER 1,1 863.
Can you not suggest proper officers according to the above suggestion and the President's limitation?
J. A. SEDDON,
FINANCIAL AGENT'S OFFICE,
Huntsville, September 17, 1863.
Major General J. B. MAGRUDER,
Commanding District of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona:
DEAR SIR: Your communication on the subject of receiving Federal prisoners into the penitentiary for safe-keeping, dated at Sabine Pass, September 11, mailed at Houston 16th instant, reached me this morning. Were it my province as superintendent of the penitentiary to accede to your wishes, I would most cordially co-operate with you in carrying out your desires. But I have alone charge of the financial affairs of the institution, and have no power in the premises. It was by no act of mine the former prisoners were removed; it was the act of the superintendent, Thomas Carothers, and I think in accordance with suggestions from the Executive. I have handed your communication to Mr. Carothers, with a request to write you on the subject immediately.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN S. BESSER,
Financial Agent Penitentiary.