WASHINGTON, D. C., June 2, 1865.
Brigadier General JOHN E. MULFORD,
Agent for Exchange, Fort Monroe, Va.:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 29th ultimo, making inquiries as to the rules which are or will be observed in the release of prisoners, is received. All prisoners who made application to take the oath of allegiance before the fall of Richmond have already been ordered to be discharged. For those remaining below the rank of colonel in the army or lieutenant in the navy special applications are received through this office, either from themselves direct or through their friends, and unless there is some special objection the release is generally granted.
It is possible that a general order may be published in a few days covering all cases below the grades above mentioned.
The books and papers of the Libby Prison have not yet been sent to this office, but I will endeavor to have you furnished with the information asked for in your letter of the 29th in regard to money sent to prisoners.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Bvt. Brigadier General, U. S. Army, Commissary-General of Prisoners.
HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE JAMES,
Richmond, Va., June 2, 1865.
Major-General ORD, Commanding Department of Virginia:
GENERAL: Libby Prison cannot be vacated till the cases of Ould, Hatch, &c., are disposed of. Now that Morfit has arrived, you will order a board of three officers to investigate and report upon their cases. This investigation will be informal and simply to ascertain whether they, or any of them, should be held for trial and punishment for the abstraction or improper use of money, &c., sent for the use of our prisoners of war.
H. W. HALLECK,
CLARKSBURG, W. VA., June 2, 1865.
Colonel W. OWENS, Eighth Ohio Cavalry, Beverly, W. Va.:
The general commanding the Department of West Virginia has decided, by indorsement, as follows:
First. That if a rebel officer or soldier has been properly paroled it is not regarded as good policy to go behind the parole for alleged offenses, purely military, committed by him prior to his being paroled.
Second. That under no circumstances can horses be taken from paroled prisoners and turned over to citizens. If the horses in their possession are Government horses, they will be taken for the benefit of the United States. If not branded, it is presumable that they were allowed to retain them under the terms given by General Grant.
Third. The parole does not interfere with prosecutions in civil courts founded on larceny or other outrages.
The foregoing is furnished for your information and guidance.
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.