no complaint was ever made to me. Though I was powerless to redress grievances, yet I could and would have represented their cases to higher authority. In paroling for exchange (by order) at Baldwin, Fla., 3,400 prisoners, the whole line as I passed it gave expression to the kindest feeling toward myself. In everything which officially I have done in this connection I have acted by order. My personal intercourse with every prisoner, and I refer especially to general and field officers, has been, and I am so assured by them, of the most agreeable character. So far as General Wilson's or your power to arrest me is concerned I freely admit it. So far as his or your right is concerned I totally deny it. I am a colonel, or was, in the army of the Confederate States. General Johnston's surrender necessitated mine, and I respectfully claim as a right, not as a favor, the customary parole. In this connection permit me to call your attention to the closing paragraphs of the convention between Generals Sherman and Johnston. You will perceive I carefully avoid any claim to the consideration of your generosity on the ground of my being a prisoners of war, and claim only what I think you acknowledge to be my right as such prisoner. I take between the commandant of a prison post and the commandant of a prison. I have already told you my position in the State as a citizen. It is for you now on this representation to act. I have also named to you citizens and officians who will confirm all I have in conversation told you.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. C. GIBBS,
Late a Colonel of Provisional Army, C. S.
P. S.-Wirz commands by order of the Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION,
Tallahassee, May 18, 1865.
Respectfully-forwrded. A similar communication was sent to corsp headquarters from Albany, I think. I will retain Colonel Gibbs as prisoners and send him to Macon unless the general commanding orders otherwise, although I think he is the wrong man, and Captain Wirz (that you have already) the guilty party. If you desire him paroled and released, please notify me at an early dy, as he lives below here, and if will a long way to send him as prisoners unless he is retained.*
E. M. McCOOK,
[MAY 12-22, 1865.-For reports and correspondence relating to Clement C. Clay not published in this series, see Series I. Vol. XLIX, Parts I and II.]
RICHMOND, VA., May 13, 1865.
Honorable E. M. STANTON, Washington:
I do not think that Judge Campbell intentionally misrepresented his conversation with. President Lincoln. Military officers here deliverd the same impression. There was probably some misunderstanding,
* See also McCook to Beaumont, May 21, Series I, Vol. XLIX, Part II, p. 861.