JONES' LANDING, February 2, 1865.
Your dispatch received. I have already forwarded Mr. Ould a letter on the subject of hostages, of which I send you a copy.* The other matter I will arrange immediately and report to you the result.
JNO E. MULFORD,
Lieutenant - Colonel,&c.
37 BLEECKER STREET, New York, February 2, 1865.
General H. W. WESSELLS,
Commissary- General of Prisoners, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to request that you will send me a statement of the number of rebel prisoners now confined in the several prisons under your charge to enable General Beall to distribute his supplies judiciously.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. E. PAINE,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers.
HDQRS.. FORTY- FOURTH U. S. COLORED INFANTRY,
Chattanooga, Tenn., February 2, 1865.
Brigadier General L. THOMAS,
Adjutant-General U. S . Army, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to report the following: On the 20th of December, 1864, Captain Charles G. Penfield, commanding Company E, Forty- fourth U. S. Colored Infantry; Lieutenant Fitch, Twelfth U. S . Colored Infantry, and Lieutenant Cooke, Seventeenth [Twelfth] U. S. Colored Infantry, were captured in the vicinity of Triune, Tenn., by a company of independent scouts of Forrest's command under Captain Harvey. The three officers were marched along guarded by four cavalry- men of this command until the evening of the 22d, when without previous warning,t he men who were guarding them at the time deliberately murdered Captain Penfield and Lieutenant Cooke and badly wounded Lieutenant Fitch, whom they left for dead and who afterward escaped and made the above statement. This cold- blooded murder was perpetrated in the vicinity of Columbia, Tenn. I very respectfully request that, in justice to the officers of colored regiments, some measures of retaliation be adopted for this terrible outrage, which, to judge from Captain Penfield's character as a man and soldier, I ma sure of it, on his part, was not provoked. He was left sick and tired after the battle of Nashville, in which he behaved with gallantry, at the small village of Triune, and was captured while endeavoring to catch up with his command.
I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE ETOWAH,
Chattanooga, February 4, 1865.
JAMES B. STEEDMAN,
*See January 27, p. 136.