War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0684 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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Vermilionville, December 10, 1863.

Colonel E. L. MOLINEX, U. S. Army, Commissioners, &c.:

COLONEL: The general commanding directs me to say that he is in receipt of a communication form Major W. M. Levy, assistant adjutant and inspector general, Major-General Taylor's staff, stating that he has been appointed commissioner of exchange and that he will be down as soon as the lists of prisoners in our hands can be made out. I look for him this evening or to-morrow morning, and will notify you at once. He has suggested that the prisoners be moved toward this point at once. Papers and heavy document for Colonel Major duly received.

Your obedient servant,


Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.

OHIO PENITENTIARY, CELL, Numbers 7, December 10, 1863.

Honorable DAVID TOD, Governor:

I have been requested by me fellow-officers to address you upon the subject of the harsh and rigorous treatment to which we have been subjected since, and I presume in consequence of, the recent escape of General Morgan. Since the beginning of this unfortunate war I believe we are the only prisoners who have been confined in a penitentiary and subjected to the ordinary discipline of convicts. General Burnside believed, and so stated to us, that Colonel Streight and the officers of his command were similarly situated in the South, and so long as this appeared to be the case we had, perhaps, no reason to complain. It is mow more than three months since the announcement of Colonel Streiht's release was made by authority in the Washington newspapers. In an official communication to General Morgan, dated Cincinnati, July 30, 1863, General Burnside distinctly declares that we shall be restored to the ordinary footing of prisoners of war upon the release of Colonel Streight and his officers. It would seem, therefore, that previous to General Morgan's escape we were entitled at all events to be removed to a military prison, and I cannot discover upon what principle his escape ought to affect the question so far as we are concerned. Instead, however, of fulfilling the promise of General Burnside in our behalf, the authorities, whether civil or military, have suddenly deprived us of every mitigating feature in our condition, bad enough, and in our judgment unjust, as it was before. I can conceive of but one motive that could possibly dictate such an extraordinary punishment-that it is necessary to secure our safe-keeping-for it is not possible for a moment to suppose that the authorities desire to punish us because we did not betray our comrades and our commanding officer.

We recognize clearly and distinctly your right and your duty to take such precautions as you may deem necessary to secure our safe-keeping, under such restrictions, however, as are imposed by the general voice of mankind, and which cannot be justly disregarded. Is solitary confinement necessary to secure our safe-keeping? I am authorized to say that every one of my comrades is willing to give his parole of honor not to attempt to escape. But aside from this, it was not the liberty allowed us but the gross negligence of the civil officers in charge that rendered escape practicable. Vigilance would render escape impossible quite as effectually without as with solitary confinement. There