War of the Rebellion: Serial 121 Page 0058 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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those who have fallen into my hands has been in violation of my orders and has promptly received necessary attention. While I do not claim undue mildness, I have the right to claim, and shall except, that prisoners from my command shall be treated as prisoners of war. To secure this end I now notify you that I hold three Federal officers of equal rank from your command, whose treatment shall be regulated by that extended to the officers named, and whose fate shall be decided by theirs. Upon information that you have restored your prisoners to the status of prisoners of war, I will make a corresponding change in the condition of those held by me.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN C. BRECKINRIDGE,

Major-General.

HDQRS. DEPT. OF WEST VIRGINIA AND EAST TENNESSEE,

January 12, 1865.

COMMANDING OFFICER U. S. FORCES, Knoxville:

During the recent raid under Major-General Stoneman a number of officers and men were captured and paroled to report to Knoxville at a future day. The object of this communication is to inform you that, in accordance with the interpretation given to the subject by both Governments, all such paroles given to parties within our lines have been declared null and the men and officers ordered to duty. While your forces occupied the country the obligation was binding upon them individually, but when they were recaptured by the reoccupation of the Confederate forces they were released from the operation of the parole given. A number were found on their way to Knoxville to report as pledged--among whom I have been requested to mention the following who considered themselves under peculiar obligations to report: Surg. Ben. Gillespie; Major Lewellyn, quartermaster; Captain William Johnson, assistant quartermaster; Captain G. N. Eakin, assistant quartermaster; Lieutenant G. S. Feeny, and Captain A. J. Waters.

I have also the honor to state that Surgeon Carrick, who was captured at Marion, was sent to Richmond for transmission through the lines there in preference to the tedious route to Knoxville. Notice has been received that he has been sent through by flag. I have also sent for similar transmission Asst. Surg. John Swan, Fifth U. S. [Colored] Cavalry; Asst. Surg. W. S. Robbins, Sixth U. S. [Colored] Cavalry; Surgeon Gardner, Thirtieth Kentucky Cavalry [Infantry], having received assurance through Commissioner Ould that Medical Director Ramsey and other surgeons captured at Bristol would be sent through by flag. An agreement having been made between Brigadier-General Vaughn and the representative of the U. S. authorities stipulating the security of citizens from capture and imprisonment, I have the honor to call your attention to the fact that a number of citizens, among them Mr. Sperry, of Bristol, were captured and sent to Knoxville, and to request that in compliance with the terms of the agreement they be released and returned to their homes.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN C. BRECKINRIDGE,

Major-General.

[JANUARY 12, 1865.--For Dana to Forrest, relative to exchange of prisoners, see Series I, Vol. XLVIII, Part I, p. 498.]