War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0378 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Wheeling, October 14, 1863.

Brigadier General S. A. MEREDITH,

Commissary for Exchange, Fortress Monroe:

GENERAL: I write you in regard to armed militia in active service who have been captured and are now imprisoned by the enemy. I have armed a great many of the militia of the State for the purpose of protecting themselves from armed bands of rebels, as well as to cooperate with the forces of the United State in case of emergency. They are frequently on duty, sometimes simply drilling, sometimes aiding actively in movements against the enemy. Some of these mourned, and it becomes a matter of interest to their friends are as well as to those of the militia remaining at home, who also are bearing arms, to know whether provision has been made by the U. S. authorities for their protection while prisoners and for their exchange as soldiers captured in the Government service. I may say that I am not advise what negotiations have been had with the rebel authorities recently on the subject of exchanges, not have I at hand a copy of the cartel heretofore entered into. My attention has been called to this subject from the fact that on the-day of September, 1863, while Captain Daniel Gould's company, of One hundred and thirty-third Regiment West Virginia Militia, were drilling at Centerville, Upshur County, seventy-three of the company, including the captain and other officers, were captured with their arms and were carried off and are still prisoners in the hands of the enemy. The rebels at the same time captured and carried off Jacob Bash, a private, unarmed citizen. I inclose you a list* of those captured and respectfully request that you will interest yourself in their behalf and effect their exchange as speedily as possible. I have another case also to which I respectfully call your attention. Captain E. C. Harper, who commands a State volunteer company in active service, in Pendleton County, on the 15th of September, 1863, sent Corps. Cornelius F. Ketterman, of his company, to ascertain the position of the enemy, and on the night of that day he was captured by a squad of Jenkins' cavalry on Bennetts Mill Run, near Circleville, in Pendleton County, was tied and led off and is still a prisoners. I inclose you a letter+ of Mr. George Harrison, of this city, who is engaged with his son, Captain Harrison, acting quartermaster, at Cumberland, Md. His young son, who captured as there in represented, was in the employ of Captain Harrison and was on a foraging expedition at the time of his capture. I know the family well; they are all loyal.

The case of this youth is one of especial interest, and I feel sure that you will so regard it. I have just this moment heard that he was in jail in Richmond.

Very respectfully, &c.,



EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Frankfort, October 14, 1863.


Commissary of Prisoners, Camp Douglas, Chicago, Ill.:

DEAR SIR: At your request I return the petition+ in case of Puryear. It is, however, my own thorough conviction that the rebel prisoners who fail from Kentucky ought never to be returned to Kentucky during the rebellion. The exceptions cannot be greater than


* Nominal list omitted.


+Not found.