Twenty-fourth Ohio Battery; Lieutenant William Palmer, Company D, Fifteenth Regiment Veteran Reserve Corps.
By command of B. J. Sweet, colonel Eighth Regiment Veteran Reserve Corps, commanding post:
E. R. P. SHURLY,
Captain and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
The commission met pursuant to the above order, all the members being present. The commission then proceeded to take evidence in regard to the shooting of a prisoner of war on the morning of the 7th instant by a sentinel of the Second Division. Privates David Tolman, Elijah Tidd, and Horace Snow, all of Company G, Fifteenth Regiment, Veteran Reserve Corps, and sentinels on posts Nos. 5, 6, and 7 of the Second Division, on the morning of January 7, 1865, also Captain J. H. Hastings, commanding prisoners' square, were examined under oath.
The commission, after mature deliberation on the evidence adduced, have the honor to report that the sentinel on post Numbers 6, Second Division, David Tolman, private, Company G, Fifteenth Regiment Veteran Reserve Corps, did, on the morning of January 7, 1865, about the hour of 9 a. m., fire at a rebel prisoner of war who stepped across the dead-line in the prisoners' square, missing him, and that his ball passed into the rebel barracks, numbered as Ward H, and wounded two men in that ward; that in firing the sentinel carried out the instructions given to all sentinels on the parapet. It appears from the evidence that he fired about two feet over the head of the man fired at, a circumstance that may be attributed to his elevated position more than to any culpable carelessness on the part of the sentinel.
In conclusion, the commission is of the opinion that Private David Tolman, Company G, Fifteenth Regiment Veteran Reserve Corps, was strictly performing his duty when he fired at the rebel prisoner of war when he crossed the (so-called) dead-line; but would recommend that the sentinels be instructed to carefully fire low under such circumstances, so as not to injure others who are innocent of any offense.
J. E. CORNELIUS,
Major Fifteenth Regiment Veteran Reserve Corps, President.
J. L. HILL,
Captain Twenty-fourth Ohio Battery.
Second Lieutenant Company D, Fifteenth Regiment Veteran Reserve Corps.
FORT MORGAN, January 13, 1865.
[Major JAMES E. MONTGOMERY:]
MAJOR: I respectfully state that I reached this post this evening with the rebel steamer Waverly with the 1,000 bales of cotton which I am to take to New York under orders of the major-general commanding.
Captain Jenkins, U. S. Navy, commanding naval forces Mobile Bay, having stated to me this evening (upon my reporting to him) that he could furnish no men to transfer the cotton from the Waverly to the Atlanta, I immediately endeavored to raise a gang of stevedores from Captain Dunkan, assistant quartermaster, and failing in that (as the men had been worked very hard), I obtained from Colonel Clarke, commanding post, an order for thirty teamsters from Captain Dunham, for whom I am now waiting. This haste is necessary from the fact that the rebel steamer is a very frail, light vessel, and in the event of much wind would be obliged to seek shelter in a safe harbor until calm weather, and this is the season of "northers."