War of the Rebellion: Serial 121 Page 0118 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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himself in position to be captured, for the purpose of obtaining information of the strength and movements of the Confederate forces.

After the defeat of the mutiny I made a demand upon his company in the prison for him, but could get no satisfaction. I then stationed his messmates along a line and passed all the prisoners, requiring them to identify and point him out as he passed. I did not succeed. I then took the prisoners that I had arrested and placed them on my right. Among these was one of the informers who knew him. I instructed him to put his foot upon mine as he approached. I then again passed the prisoners through a guard at open ranks, and by the strategy indicated above I succeeded in arresting him. He was very much excited, and when I addressed him by his alias he confessed that he was not George Schellar, but Captain Hanchett, of Company M, Sixteenth Illinois Cavalry, and at the time of his capture acting assistant adjutant - general on Colonel Capron's staff, commanding a brigade. The prisoners has shaved off his moustache and whiskers, changed his clothes, and otherwise tried to disguise himself. This he did to avoid detection. The investigation was conducted by several officers and myself before the commandant of the post, and from the testimony and his own confession, &c., in undoubtedly the ringleader of the mutiny and a most unmitigated scoundrel. All of uss who were present at this investigation are thoroughly convicted, not only of his guilty leadership in this mutiny, but that he is an exceedingly dangerous and bad man. The colonel commanding post is thoroughly of the opinion that hiss mission among us was that of a spy. Hence he was securely ironed and with seven of hiss confederates confined in a dungeon in the county jail.

By reading the inclosed transcript of the testimony elicited in the investigation you will be able to form a pretty correct opinion of the history of this transaction and the degree of guilt which attaches to each particular individual under arrest. During the excitement not a single prisoner effected his escape.

The question which I desire answered is: What course is it proper to pursue with the chiefs of this mutiny and those who were leagued with them? Having no statute, regulation, or precedent to govern us, we are at a loss to know what courses to adopt, and I most respectfully ask the instructions of the general commanding.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain, Commanding.


POST OF CAHABA, ALA., January 25, 1865.

Respectfully forwarded for the information of and orders from the brigadier - general commanding the prison department.

I am fully convinced that Captain Hanchett, alias Schellar, is a spy and a dangerous man and deserves a spy's fate.


Lieutenant - Colonel, Commanding Post.


Evidence elicited at the headquarters of the post concerning the mutiny in Federal prison, Cahaba, Ala., January 20, between the hours [of] 3 and 4 a. m.

Arrest - George Schellar, alias Captain Hanchett, called. Wad told by commandant that he would not be required to give evidence against