In respect to depredations and maltreatment of citizens, I beg to inform you that the strictest orders have been issued to prevent this, and the severest punishment inflicted upon all offenders who are guilty of such conduct.
Respecting the case of Romulus McBrice, I do not find him upon the list of captured, but have telegraphed to New Orleans to see if he has been sent there by any officer without having been reported at these headquarters.
Can you give me information when and where he was captured, as I can assure you if he is in our possession, upon finding, he will be promptly released.
I feel fully assured, general, that further investigation on your side will show you must have been misinformed respecting the transactions of the 13th instant. It may be that your vedettes make more frequent use of Saint Martinsville and the comforts of their friends there than has been brought to your notice.
With the greatest respect, I am, truly, yours,
EDWD. L. MOLINEUX,
Colonel, Acting Assistant Inspector and Provost-Marshal-General, U. S. Forces in the Field.
CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, December 18, 1863.
Brigadier General S. A. MEREDITH, Agent of Exchange:
SIR: I will thank you to inform me as soon as you can what is the present condition of Captain William H. Gordon, Major Thomas D. Armesy, and Lieutenant Davis. It has been stated on what is deemed reliable information that these officers have been tried and sentenced to various punishment. In one, if not more, instances the party has been condemned to death. Will you not, if these parties have been tried, furnish me with certified copies of the records? I will reciprocate in any case where you may demand similar records. All these officers were regularly in the Confederate service.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Agent of Exchange.
STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Wheeling, December 18, 1863.
Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
SIR: Colonel Powell of the Second West Virginia Cavalry as you are aware, was wounded and captured at the fight of Wytheville, Va., in September last. He is still a prisoner at Richmond, but has recovered from his wounds. The assistant surgeon of his regiment (Doctor Nellis) was captured at the same time, and was a prisoner with the colonel until, some two or three weeks since, he was released and returned with many other of our surgeons. Doctor Nellis informs me that a formal proposition had been made to Colonel Powell by some of the rebel officers to exchange him for a rebel colonel, R. H. Lee, who is said to be a prisoner in the Old Capitol Prison, and Colonel Powell is anxious that his exchange be effected in this way if it be possible in the midst of the present difficulties on the subject of exchanges. Who this Colonel Lee is I am not fully advised, but am assured that he is