Government, I am called upon to express, and Brigadier - General Grierson (now under to report to Louisville, Ky.), Colonel karge, Second New Jersey Cavalry, at Memphis, Tenn., and Captain S. L. Woodward, assistant adjutant - general on General Grierson's staff, can give more definite information in reference to the peculiar status of these men and the acts of particular individuals than in within my knowledge.
Very respectfully, yours,
JOHN W. NOBLE,
Colonel Third Iowa Cavalry.
[Inclosure Numbers 2.]
Extracts from report of officers commanding troops in the expedition which resulted in the skirmish at Egypt Station, Miss., December 28, 1864, with reference to the capture by the Union forces of certain men who had enlisted in the Confederate Army while prisoners of war in rebel prisons.
Brigadier General B. H. Grierson, commanding Cavalry Division, Department of the Mississippi, and the expeditions, reports the capture of 500 prisoners at Egypt Station, adding "* * * over 100 of the prisoners captured at Egypt formerly belonged to our army, and were recruited from Southern prisons into the rebel service, and most of whom, I believe, were induced to join their ranks from a desire to escape a loathsome confinement. I commend them to the leniency of the Government * * *."
Colonel Joseph Karge, Second New Jersey Cavalry, commanding First Brigade, Cavalry Division, Department of the Mississippi, whose command was the principal force engaged, merely reports the capture of 500 prisoners, making no mention of their character. The Second Brigade, Cavalry Division, Department of the Mississippi, was not engaged at Egypt Station.
Colonel E. D. Osband, Third U. S. Cavalry (colored), commanding Third Brigade, Cavalry Division Department of the Mississippi, makes no mention of the character of the prisoners taken by his command.
RICHMOND, January 24, 1865.
Brigadier General JOHN H.. WINDER, Columbia, S. C.:
The Federal authorities having released all our prisoners of war whom they held in close confinement or in irons, you have theirs released also.
Adjutant and Inspector General.
HEADQUARTERS PRISONS EAST OF MISSISSIPPI RIVER,
Columbia, S. C., January 24, 1865.
General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General:
GENERAL: There are now at Andersonville, Ga., more troops than are necessary for guard to the prison. I had intended to order the Second Regiment Georgia Reserve to the prisons in South Carolina, where they are much needed, but I find the law authorizing the transfer of reserves out of their States has expired by its on limitations.