War of the Rebellion: Serial 121 Page 0384 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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Government. In compliance with this suggestion I make this communication, and at the outhset I would remark that it is my impression that many of the outrages now perpetrated by the U. S. authorities upon our prisoners have been provoked and incited by fase representations made by many of their men confiend in Confederate prisons at various times, and in retaliation for what they regard as brutality on the part of the Confederacy. Statements of such a character, published at large in the journals daily circulated over the country and reaching the officials who have charge of the various places where men are confined, cannot fail to produce bad blood and must lead to unkindness, even to brutal treatment, of the poor prisoners whose lives under the most favorable auspices are very miserable; and while I regard retaliation as the only menas by which the condition o four captives can be ameliorated, yet the publication to the world at large of many facts which must come to your knowledge would more than useless, and tend to aggravate the miseries of the poor men whom you are attempting to relative.

I trust your committee will excuse the above remarks. For certain purposes which it would be irrelevant to state here, with a commission of C. S. colonel in my pocket, I went Kentucky about the middle of October last. I was accompanied by Colonel R. J. Breckinridge and Major Steele. Upon reaching the interior, after passing over a country almost ruined by he marauding parties of both armies, by extraordinary exertions and precautions, we reached he hills of Owen County, on the Kentucky River, all safe. Here we had time to look about us, and had I not seen with my own eyes the attitude occupied by those people I would never have believed that free white men could be reduced so completely and absolutely to the most degrading of all conditions. While outwardly and to the Federal authorities they professed a cordial hatred for all traitors and rebels, paid taxes, furnished money, many of them going so far as to join the Federal Army, for the purpose of saving their property from Yankee confiscation and their persons from Yankee brutalities, to me they professed their cordial sympathy with the South, contributed in many ways to the furtherance of my views, treated me with the utmost kindness and hospitality, and seemed ready and anxious to do everything which mught not endanger their lives or jeopardize their property. They were all things to all men. The whole State filled with a once proud people is now wretched and degraded, a living lie.

In the county of Owen, which is almost universally Southern in its proclivities, separating myself from Colonel Breckinridge and Major Steele, who at once commenced recruiting and were very successful in furtherance of my own plans, I put myself in communication with Colonel Jessee, a Confederate officer, who, with a small part of a regiment, had been cut off from General Morgan's command after the fight at Cynthiana during the past summer. He had remained in this and one or two adjoining counties, with his men not held together in compact form, here in the very heart of Kentucky, for many months, almost undistrurbed by the Federal troops immediately in his vicinity. From Jessee's representations and from various conversations with many of the people it seemed to me that the State was on the very ever of rebelling against the Federal authorities. This opinion was confirmed by information which I received from several of the most prominent men of the State. I was very careful in the concealment of my plans, so fearful of being captured that, avoiding houses as dangerous, I took up my quarters in the hills and woods, where I was fed and