War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0416 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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RICHMOND, October 23, 1863.

Brigadier General S. A. MEREDITH, Agent of Exchange:

SIR: In reply to your communications respecting Brigadier General Neal Dow, I state that he is in the Libby, held as a prisoner of war, and on the same footing as your other officers.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

RO. OULD,

Agent of Exchange.

CONFEDERATE STATE OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT,

Richmond, October 23, 1863.

Brigadier-General MEREDITH, Agent of Exchange:

SIR: Captain Frank Battle, Twentieth Regiment Tennessee Volunteers, C. S. Army, is now and has been for some time past in irons in Nashville. It is alleged that he is ironed in retaliation for similar treatment inflicted by the Confederate authorities upon Captain Shad. Harris, Company D, Third East Tennessee Cavalry, who was captured on or about the 26th of December, 1862. I have seen a Special Order, Numbers 51, issued by Brigadier General R. S. Granger, dated August 3, 1863, in which it is directed that Captain Battle shall be so treated and held.

Captain Shad. Harris before he joined the Federal Army was a Confederate soldier. He deserted and was subsequently captured in arms. For the crime of desertion he was tried before a court-martial, found guilty, and sentenced to death. Before conviction he was neither closely confined nor ironed. His farther had access to him both before and after his trial. The President, in mercy, commuted the sentence to imprisonment your authorities have seen fit to put in irons and close confinement an officer captured in open warfare, and against whom no personal charges have been preferred. I am very sure this statement is in entire conformity with the facts. If so, you deny our authority to try and punish a deserter from our Army, even when the desertion is inflamed and made more heinous by direct support and succor to the enemy. I am strongly in hope that the mere statement of this case is sufficient to show the manifest wrong of the proceedings against Captain Battle. I will thank you to inform me if, upon the foregoing facts, your Government justifies its treatment of Captain Battle, and whether you intend by any form of retaliation upon our soldiers to contest our right to punish desertion from our service where the offending party has subsequently joined your Army and been captured by our forces?

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

RO. OULD,

Agent of Exchange.

OFFICE COMMISSIONER FOR EXCHANGE,

Fort Monroe, Va., October 23, 1863.

Honorable ROBERT OULD, Agent of Exchange, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: I inclose to you herewith a letter from W. P. Wood, superintendent of the Old Capitol Prison, addressed to Major General E. A. Hitchock, to which I specially call your attention. *

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* See p. 348.

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