General of date January 24, 1865, they have been ordered to be released, except Captain Hanchett, in whose case I have ordered a trial on the charge of being a spy, the result of which will be communicated to the War Department as soon as ascertained. I inclose copy of an order which I have published in consequence of this mutiny.
J. D. IMBODEN,
Brigadier - General, Commanding.
HDQRS. C. S. MILITARY PRISONS WEST OF THE SAVANNAH RIVER,
August, Ga., February 15, 1865.
I. In consequence of a recent mutiny and attempted escape of prisoners from the military prison at Cahaba, Ala., it is ordered that if any prisoners of war confined in any of the military prisons in the State of Georgia, Alabama, or Mississippi shall engage in any mutiny or attempt by force to escape, the guard shall instantly fire upon the mutineers and, if necessary, upon the whole body of prisoners his bands at the time of any mutiny or forcible attempt to escape shall be instantly shot to death; and this penalty will in no case be remitted where such armed prisoners if overpowered by or surrendered to the guard on the suppression of a mutiny.
II. The brigadier - general commanding directs that all prisoners of war who conduct themselves in an orderly manner shall be treated with that humanity becoming the Christian people of these Confederate States, who, notwithstanding the barbarous atrocities inflicted upon them by a cruel and merciless foe, have not yet learned to forget their own high civilization, but he is resolved that no ruffianism shall be tolerated amongst the prisoners under his control.
III. This order will be published to those confined in the prisons of this department, and their own conduct will then determine whether their lives are to be spared or not.
By order of Brigadier General J. D. Imboden, commanding:
G. W. McPHAIL,
Aide - de - Camp and Acting Assistant Adjutant - General.
RICHMOND, January 24, 1865.
Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT, U. S. Army:
SIR: Your communication of the 19th instant, inclosing the names of a number of gentlemen who have been selected by the U. S. Christian Commission to go South for the purpose of visiting our prisons, has been received. You further state that any privilege granted in the matter would be extended to an equal number of gentlemen sent by us for similar purposes, and that such action might probably serve to satisfy the friends of prisoners both North and South of the exaggeration of the reports of suffering so rife in both section.
On the 24th of January, 1864, in a letter to Major - General Hitchcock, commissioners of exchange, I proposed that a proper number of surgeons, to be selected by their own government, should be permitted to attend prisoners on each side, respectively, for the purpose of taking charge of their health and comfort, receiving and distributing contributions and