War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0752 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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[Inclosure.]

LOUISVILLE, KY., December 8, 1863.

Messrs. EDITORS:

On leaving Libby Prison, November 24, 1863, I was requested by Captain Samuel McKee, of the Fourteenth Kentucky Cavalry, to give you a statement of his case.

Captain McKee was captured at Mount Sterling, March 22, 1863, by Cluke's cs of surrender were that every officer and enlisted man should be paroled on the spot. All were paroled except Captain McKee. By the influence of his old enemies from Mount Sterling who were with Cluke he was retained. Upon remonstrating with them for their bad faith, he was told that charges had been made against him since his capture, and that he would be sent on to Richmond for trial. He was immediately sent to Richmond, placed n Libby Prison, where he has been up to the present time. In all that time I think he has not been allowed to set foot out of his prison.

* * * * *

Very respectfully,

WM. FORRESTER,

Surgeon Fifth Kentucky Cavalry.

HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA,

Fort Monroe, December 24,* 1863.

Honorable ROBERT OULD,

Commissioner of Exchange, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: I have the honor to inclose to you an official copy of the authority conferring upon me the duties of commissioner of exchange of prisoners, so that we may be able to establish official relations upon that subject. +

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

BENJ. F. BUTLER,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,

JUDGE-ADVOCATE'S OFFICE,

Saint Louis, December 24, 1863.

Colonel J. HOLT, Judge-Advocate-General:

COLONEL: The inclosed letter raises a question on the President's proclamation of amnesty. ++ Charles H. Burch, a soldier in the rebel army, was tried by a military commission in this city on two charges: First, being a spy; second, violation of the oath of allegiance. Was convicted and sentenced to be hanged. The proceedings were approved by commanding general and forwarded for the action of the President September 19, 1863. My recollection of the case is that though the evidence showed him technically to be a spy, there was not sufficient evidence to establish that he was such in fact. Of the other charge he was no doubt guilty. Now he proposes to avail himself of the amnesty proclaimed by the President. Is he within the provisions of that proclamation? Other cases are being presented daily of persons charged

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* Another copy is dated December 25.

+ See Hitchcock to Butler, December 17, p. 712.

++ See p. 680.

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