War of the Rebellion: Serial 121 Page 0000 (Untitled)

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there would be danger of the capture of prisoners at Andersonville, and if the exchange is renewed there would be difficulty in transporting them. It would be well to wait for further intelligence unless the danger of being able hereafter to remove the prisoners or to feed them where they are is imminent.

J. D.

[Fourth indorsement.]

JANUARY 20, 1865.


Inform General Winder of the President's indorsement and instruct to exercise his discretion, applying, if circumstances materially alter and he feels at a loss, for further instructions. I incline to think it would be well if the prisoners could be distributed and not all kept at any one place.

J. A. S.


Columbia, S. C., December 31, 1864.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant-General:

GENERAL: There is one suggestion I would like to make, but as it might be misunderstood by some I will not embody it in my official communication, but give it in this semi-official form and present it for your consideration. If it has any merit and is found to be worthy of consideration you can then, if you think proper, present it attached to my official letter.

To me it appears, and it so appears to General Beauregard, that there is no place that can be considered as safe from the operations of the enemy. This being the case, the question arises whether it would not be better to parole at least the officers and such enlisted men whose term of service has expired. By this means we could get rid of a great number. I think the officers, perhaps, might be sent over the lines in the direction of the Potomac. If the enlisted men could not be sent in this way then send them to East Tennessee. I believe the rules of war authorize the party holding prisoners of war to parole them whenever they think proper to do so, provided the prisoner will accept the parole. I offer this suggestion for what it is worth. My sources of information are so limited that I may not clearly comprehend the condition of affairs. If you do not think well of the proposition please destroy this letter.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO H. WINDER, Brigadier-General.



Numbers 42.

Richmond, April 14, 1864. -

* * * * *

VI. The following is substituted for paragraph V, General Orders, Numbers 35, current series, which is hereby revoked. Officer s of the Conscription Bureau will send to general commanding the army or department in which the commands captured last served such officers and men belonging to them as have themselves escaped capture. The general commanding will assign them temporarily to depleted organizations, or such other duty as he may direct.

* * * * *

By order:

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.


*Inadvertently omitted from proper place in chronological order.









The Honorable RUSSELL A. ALGER, Secretary of War.


Brigadier General FRED C. AINSWORTH,









Reprinted 1985 by Historical Times, Inc.

Distributed by Broadfoot Publishing Company

Historical Times, Inc.

Morningside House

THE REPUBLICATION, in its entirety, of the War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, is a service project undertaken by the National Historical Society in the interest of libraries and scholars who have long needed a reissue of this indispensable work. Each of the 128 volumes is published in full, including the Index, and all are heavily bound in buckram for long and continued use. This and other volumes of the set are available only from the National Historical Society.


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Printed on 45 lb. Glatfelter Acid-Free

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The National Historical Society seeks to expand and enrich knowledge of the American past and, through its programs and services, to bring its members a fuller appreciation and deeper understanding of the people and events that came together to create the great history that is our heritage.


The work of preparing the records of the war for public use was begun, under the resolution of Congress of May 19, 1864, by Colonel E. D. Townsend, assistant adjutant-general, U. S. Army (the in charge of the Adjutant-General's Office, and subsequently the Adjutant-General), who caused copies to be made of reports of battles on file in his office and steps to be taken to collect missing records.

Under the provisions of joint resolution of July 27, 1866, Honorable Peter H. Watson was appointed to supervise the preparation of the records and to formulate a plan for their publication, but the performed no service under this appointment, which expired July 27, 1868, by limitation. This resolution having also repealed the former one, the project was suspended for the time being.

The first decisive step taken was the act of June 23, 1874, providing the necessary means "to enable the Secretary of War to begin the publication of the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion,both of the Union and Confederate Armies," and directing him "to have copied for the Public Printer all reports, letters, telegrams, and general orders, not heretofore copied or printed,and properly arranged in chronological order." Appropriations have been made from time to time for continuing such preparation. Under this act the preliminary work was resumed by General Townsend.

Subsequently, under meager appropriations, it was prosecuted in a somewhat desultory manner by various subordinates of the War Department until December 14, 1877, when the Secretary of War, perceiving that the undertaking needed the undivided attention of a single head, detailed Captain Robert N. Scott, Third U. S. Artillery (subsequently major and lieutenant-colonel same regiment), to take charge of the office.

The act of June 23, 1874, enlarged upon the first scheme of publication. On this more comprehensive basis it was determined that the volumes should include not only the battle reports, correspondence, etc., in possession of the War Department, but also "all official documents that can be obtained by the compiler, and that appear to be of any historical value." Colonel Scott systematized the work, and, upon his recommendation, the Secretary of War approved the following order of publication:

The first series will embrace the formal reports, both Union and Confederate,of the first seizures of United States property in the Southern States, and of all military operations in the field, with the correspondence, orders,and returns relating specially thereto, and, as proposed, is to be accompanied by an Atlas.

In this series the reports will be arranged according to the campaign and several theaters of operations (in the chronological order of events), and the Union reports of any event will,as a rule, be immediately followed by the Confederate accounts. The correspondence, etc.,not embraced in the "reports" proper will follow (first Union and next Confederate) in chronological order.

The second series will contain the correspondence, orders, reports, and returns, Union and Confederate, relating to prisoners of war,and (so far as the military authorities were concerned) to state or political prisoners.

The third series will contain the correspondence, orders, reports, and returns of the Union authorities (embracing their correspondence with the Confederate officials) not relating specially to the subjects of the first and second series. It will set forth the annual and special reports of the Secretary of War, of the General-in-Chief, and of the chiefs of the several staff corps and departments; the calls for troops, and the correspondence between the National and the several State authorities.

The fourth series will exhibit the correspondence, orders, reports, and returns of the Confederate authorities, similar to that indicated for the Union officials, as of the third series, but excluding the correspondence between the Union and Confederate authorities given in that series.

The first volume of the records was issued in the early fall of 1880. The act approved June 16, 1880, provided "for the printing and binding, under direction of the Secretary of War, of 10,000 copies of a compilation of the Official Records (Union and Confederate) of the War of the Rebellion, so far as the same may be ready for publication, during the fiscal year;" and that" of said number 7,000 copies shall be for the use of the House of Representatives, 2,000 copies for the use of the Senate, and 1,000 copies for the use of the Executive Departments." Under this act Colonel Scott proceeded to publish the first five volumes of the records.*


*All subsequent volumes have been distributed under the act approved August 7, 1882, which provides that:

"The volumes of the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion shall be distributed as follows: One thousand copies to the Executive Departments, as now provided by law. One thousand copies for distribution by the Secretary of War among officers of the Army and contributors to the work. Eight thousand three hundred copies shall be sent by the Secretary of War to such libraries, organizations,and individuals as may be designated by the Senators, Representatives, and Delegates of the Forty-seventh Congress. Each Senator shall designate not exceeding twenty-six and each Representative and Delegate not exceeding twenty-one of such addresses, and the volumes shall be sent thereto from time to time as they are published, until the publication is completed. Senators, Representatives, and Delegates shall inform the Secretary of War in each case how many volumes of those heretofore published they have forwarded to such addresses. The remaining copies of the eleven thousand to be published, and all sets that may not be ordered to be distributed as provided herein, shall be sold by the Secretary of War for cost of publication with ten per cent. added thereto, and the proceeds of such sale shall be covered into the Treasury. If two or more sets of said volumes are ordered to the same address,the Secretary of War shall inform the Senators, Representatives,or Delegates who have designated the same, who thereupon may designate other libraries, organizations, or individuals. The Secretary of War shall report to the first session of the Forty-eight Congress what volumes of the series heretofore published have not been furnished to such libraries, organizations, and individuals. He shall also inform distributes at whose instance the volumes are sent."


Colonel Scott died March 5, 1887. At his death some twenty-six books only had been issued, but he had compiled a large amount of matter for forthcoming volumes; consequently his name as compiler was retained in all the books up to and including Vol. XXXVI, although his successors had added largely to his compilations from new material found after his demise.

The Secretary of War, May 7, 1887,assigned Lieutenant Colonel H. M. Lazelle, Twenty-third U. S. Infantry, to duty as the successor of Colonel Scott. He had continued in charge about two years, when, in the act approved March 2, 1889, it was provided-

That hereafter the preparation and publication of said records shall be conducted, under the Secretary of War, by a board of three persons, one of whom shall be an officer of the Army,and two civilian experts, to be appointed by the Secretary of War, the compensation of said civilian experts to be fixed by the Secretary of War.

The Secretary of War appointed Major George B. Davis, judge-advocate, U. S. Army, as the military member, and Leslie J. Perry,of Kansas, and Joseph W. Kirkley, of Maryland, as the civilian expert members of said board. The board assumed direction of the publication at the commencement of the fiscal year 1889, its first work beginning with Serial Numbers 36 of Vol. XXIV.

July 1, 1895, by direction of the Secretary of War, Major George W. Davis, Eleventh U. S. Infantry (subsequently) lieutenant-colonel Fourteenth U. S. Infantry), relieved Major George B. Davis as the military member and president of the Board of Publication. Subsequently Colonel Fred C. Ainsworth, Chief of the Record and Pension Office, War Department, was appointed the military member and president of the board, relieving Lieutenant Colonel George W. Davis June 1, 1898.

December 1, 1898, under the provision of the sundry civil act of July 1, 1898, relative to the War Records Office, the Board of Publication was dissolved, whereupon, by direction of the Secretary of War, the continuance of the work, beginning with Vol. VI, Series II, devolved on Colonel (now Brigadier-General) Ainsworth.

By operation of law (contained in "An act making appropriations for the legislative, executive, and judicial expenses of the Government for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1900," approved February 24, 1899), the War Records Office was merged into the Record and Pension Office, July 1, 1899, and since that date the work of publication has been conducted under the supervision of the chief of that office.

Each volume includes a copious index, and for the further convenience of investigators there will be,in addition, a separate general index to the entire set.

Nothing is printed in these volumes except duly authenticated contemporaneous records of the war. The scope of the compiler's work is to decide upon and arrange the matter to be published; to correct and verify the orthography of the papers used, and, wherever deemed necessary, to add a foot-note of explanation.






Correspondence, Orders, etc., from January 1, 1865,

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