The offenses for which Cushman was tried are robbery and murder, not pretended to have been committed in any military capacity, and within the lines of the U. S. forces.
No evidence has been produced that Cushman has, or ever had, any rank in the Confederate service, or has ever been commissioned, appointed, or recognized by any legitimate authority. He was not even an officer of the plundering band known as Richardson's Partisan Rangers, since, I am informed, remodeled and recognized as soldiers of the Confederate authorities. I have the original books, papers, and muster-rolls of the so-called Colonel Richardson, captured at one of the many times he ran away in West Tennessee. No such person as Cushmanis on his muster-rolls as an officer; therefore I do not believe his statement. I should not hesitate in ordinary circumstances to take the word of a commissioned officer of such rank as General R. V. Richardson, and were it not that I hold his own papers to contradict him, and have besides no faith in a man who habitually while in West Tennessee sold out his own Government, if he has any such, by pocketing for his own use fines and bounties for exemption from conscription, and all other illegitimate means of plunder, I should hold Cushman as a prisoner of war.
He is now confined in Alton prison as a common thief and robber - one who preyed upon unarmed and innocent people.
If the Confederate authorities choose to exercise rigor upon officers captured in open war they can do so, and it will be of a piece with the honor which declares the Vicksburg prisoners exchanged when no equivalent for them has ever been offered to the United States.
S. A. HURLBUT,
COLUMBUS, OHIO, October 21, 1863.
Honorable E. M. STANTON:
I feel it my duty to advise that the guard at Johnson's Island be at once largely increased. It now consists of four companies. We have at that place 2,500 prisoners, over 2,000 of whom are officers, many of high grade. I recommend that the battalion be increased to a full regiment.
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, October 21, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel W. S. PIERSON,
Commanding Depot Prisoners of War, Sandusky, Ohio:
Mr. Talbot, a prisoner of war, is said to be in a low condition of health at Johnson's Island. It is presumed that your attention is directed to the condition of all of the prisoners, and that you will see that Talbot receives every care that circumstances will permit.
By order of the Secretary of War:
JAS. A. HARDIE,