War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0432 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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[Second indorsement.]

Captain ALEXANDER, Castle Thunder:

This money is sent for the relief of the most needy Union prisoners at Castle Thunder. Please send me a receipt for $300, stating upon the face that the amount will be devoted to the use of such.

RO. OULD,

Agent of Exchange.

Brigadier General S. A. Meredith, U. S. Agent of exchange, inclosed $500 Confederate currency to be distributed among the most needy Federal prisoners. This money was from the hands of W. P. Wood, superintendent Old Capitol, and the package was directed to Brigadier General Neal Dow.

[Indorsement.]

OCTOBER 27, 1863.

Respectfully returned to Brigadier-General Meredith.

Every note is counterfeit. They have been all so stamped and are returned. I have had the portions of the letter that did not relate to the money copied. That copy will be given to General Dow when the goods arrive.

RO. OULD,

Agent of Exchange.

CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT,

Richmond, Va., October 27, 1863.

Major-General MAURY, Mobile, Ala.:

GENERAL: The Governor of the State of Alabama has submitted a letter from Colonel Robert A. Smith to him this Department, in which the following sentence occurs:

The provost-marshal of this place does not hesitate to imprison civilians at will for supposed civil offenses; to refuse them counsel; to send them out of the State to prevent their obtaining a writ of habeas corpus.

This officer is under your control and subject to your orders. The Department is not aware of any constitution, law, order, or instruction that authorizes the exercise of any such authority by him, by yourself, or by this Department. This allegation of Colonel Smith is referred to you that a report may be made of all such cases and for such explanations as can be afforded. Colonel Smith should have notice, in order that he may designate the matters that are the subject of complaint.

The Honorable M. J. Saffold was appointed in February last to examine into the cases of prisoners held in Alabama and a portion of Georgia for the commission of offenses of a political character where the offenders did not belong to the Confederate Army. His commission has been continued, and the Department relies upon him to examine and to report upon such cases under his original letter of instructions. The Department has never had any disposition to allow the provost-marshal in Alabama any such power as has been exercised, according to the statement of Colonel Smith, nor is it supposed that such power has been exercised, if at all, with your concurrence or sanction.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War.