War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 1078 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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by the War Department that hospital stewards shall be considered non-combatants. Accordingly hereafter when captured they will not be held as prisoners of war, but will be sent beyond our lines at the most convenient point and unconditionally discharged, as in the case of surgeons and chaplains.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN,

Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary-General of Prisoners.

GENERAL ORDERS,

ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 35.

Richmond, Va., March 19, 1864.

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V. Until exchanged and reassembled the officers and men of captured organizations will be temporarily assigned by the general commanding the department in which the troops have been serving to deplete organizations in the service, or to such other duty as the commanding general may direct. To this end it will be the duty of the officers of the Conscription Bureau in the several States to return to the general commanding the department in which the troops have last served such officers and soldiers as are now, or may be hereafter, absent from duty on account of the capture of their commands. *

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S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector-General.

HEADQUARTERS, Austin, Tex., March 19, 1864.

Captain E. P. TURNER, Assistant Adjutant-General, Houston:

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of Special Orders, Numbers 74, paragraph IX, and in reference thereto beg to state that prior to the receipt of said order the prisoners referred to were turned over to the sheriff of this county, who has them in charge now, and who declines to have a military guard placed over them, saying that he "can find enough men to protect and defend them. "

I conferred with the Governor. He is opinion that the men should be guarded. I have offered and urged the protection of the military here for those men and it has been positively refused and declined.

If I may be permitted to suggest or offer my opinion the prisoners are not safe as now held. They can in my judgment escape at any moment, and although I have not placed a guard over them yet, if vigilance on my part can prevent escape they are safe in the particular.

The prisoners not having been turned over to me, the sheriff having charge of them, and the guard that brought them here from San Antonio having returned (they did not report to me at all) before the receipt of the order, I have not taken any further steps to guard them, nor will without special orders so to do, at the risk of clashing with the civil authorities. Meantime all the protection in my power shall be afforded them. I await orders.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. H. SPARKS,

Major, Commanding Post.

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*See General Orders, Numbers 42, paragraph VI, April 14, Vol. VII, this series.

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