A little over a year ago, I can positively swear that he was a guerrilla acting without authority from the Confederate Government, claiming to be a partisan ranger without a commission and subsisting himself and his band entirely by plunder. He was the murderer of Brigadier General R. L. McCook, which I well know, as I was present at that sad event and narrowly escaped with my life, being carried away as a prisoner. The general commanding the department respectfully asks your opinion as to whether he can be tried for this offense now or whether his rights as prisoner of war will protect him from all past responsibilities. In the case of a spy, which is a military offense exclusively, the decision has been made that when subsequently arrested in arms and in battle he cannot be tried for the crime, but in the case of a robber and murderer it seems to me the rule should be different. I am instructed to ask your early decision of this point, as the general commanding is deeply interested in it.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain and Acting Judge-Advocate, Dept. of the Cumberland.
ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 143.
Richmond, November 3, 1863.
The following notice of exchanged officers and men is published for the information of all concerned: *
Adjutant and Inspector General.
WASHINGTON CITY, D. C., November 4, 1863.
Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
SIR: I have the honor to state that several applications have been addressed to me having in view the exchange of citizens as prisoners. I have exhausted my efforts by correspondence to induce the enemy to discharge our citizens, held as such, by assurances that we do not hold in confinement any citizen on the ground simply that he is a citizen of the section of country in rebellion, but in all cases when arrests have been ordered it has been for some cause.
Mr. Ould, the agent from Richmond, refuses to discharge our citizens, holding them in confinement without any pretense of accusations against them, his object being professedly to create such a "pressure" upon our "people" as shall compel the Government would obligate itself to make no arrests of citizens at all, or to hold parties in arrest only under circumstances that would virtually be dictated by the rebels.
The visible object of this proposal by Mr. Ould (or his Government) is to place the rebels of the South, by something like a treaty, on a footing with the citizens of the whole country, by which the Government would relinquish all right to arrest any traitor engaged in rebellion unless taken in arms.
I have not supposed that the Government can listen for one moment to such a proposal.
*See Exchange Notice Numbers 7, October 16, p. 388.
30 R R - SERIES II, VOL VI