War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0496 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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common jail at Cincinnati. I felt it my duty to protest against such treatment as unusual, extraordinary, and contrary to the practice of both the United and Confederate States. In reply I received a communication, a copy of which is herewith inclosed and marked Numbers 1, from Major-General Burnside, to which I beg leave particularly to call your attention. *

General Burnside further informed me personally that Colonel Streight and the officers of his command were confined in the penitentiary at Richmond, and he explained the term "release" to mean the restoration of the above officers to the ordinary footing of prisoners of war. On the 30th of July I, together with such of my officers as accompanied me, was transferred by the military authorities to the custody of the directors and warden of this penitentiary. We were subjected to the same treatment which convicts usually undergo upon entering the institution. Our beards were shaved, our hair closely trimmed, our persons bathed, and we were notified that we were expected to conform to the strict discipline of the prison.

How rigidly it has been enforced will appear in the fact that two of my officers have been confined in the dungeon - twenty-four hours in one instance and forty in the other - upon suspicion of an offense unknown to the regulations of any military prison or any system of military law.

The rigorous confinement to which we have been subjected beginning to tell upon the health of my comrades, and our liability at any moment upon suspicion and without reasonable evidence to undergo the severest punishment which Christian humanity ventures to inflict upon the most abandoned felon, induced me to bring the matter to the notice of General Mason, the military commandant at this point, in a communication, a copy of which I herewith inclose, marked Numbers 2, and to which I respectfully call your attention. +

I have also the honor to inclose you General Mason's reply. ++ It will be perceive that while he declares that "it is no part of his military duty to require more than our safe confinement in the Ohio penitentiary," he nevertheless insists that we shall be subject to and observe the rules and regulations for the government of that institution. Failing, therefore, to obtain any relief through General Mason, I have thought it not improper to appeal to yourself, as the highest military authority, for such amelioration of our condition as all the circumstances of the case seem to merit.

If it be true that Colonel Streight and the officers of his command are now in confinement in any penitentiary within the Confederate States, under similar conditions and circumstances with ourselves, while I might regret that such a policy should be resorted to on either side, I should not fail to recognize our treatment as justifiable as a measure of retaliation, but if such he not the case I respectfully suggest that the same justice requires that we should be transferred to a military prison, where "the same favors that have always been shown to the prisoners taken by the general commanding will be shown us. "

I have the honor to be, sir, your very obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.


*Larned to Morgan, July 29, p. 158.

+Morgan to Mason, October 31, p. 448.

++November 3, p. 461.