War of the Rebellion: Serial 121 Page 0692 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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as prisoners of war, on their taking the oath of allegiance, all prisoners at Camp Morton who belonged to the Federal Army and while prisoners in the hands of the enemy took the oath of allegiance to the rebel Government, joined the rebel Army, and were captured while fighting against U. S. troops. If any among them can show that they deserted from the rebel Army and surrendered themselves to any U. S. military authority, make a special report in their cases, giving all the facts, with their post-office address when at home. their own statement as to desertion is not sufficient. The roll of prisoners of the class referred to, forwarded by you on the 28th ultimo, has been received at this office.*

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.


Washington City, July 2, 1865-10.30 a. m.

Major General Q. A. GILLMORE, U. S. Volunteers,

Hilton Head, S. C.:

Your letter of the 21st has been submitted to the Secretary of War, who directs me to sasy your conduct in interfering with the prisoners ordered by the Department to be confined is strongly disapproved. Whenever you think a change of treatment in any particular case should be pursued in respect to prisoners in your charge, it is your duty to reprot the facts and ask instructions, and not assume to set aside the orders of the Department.


Assistant Adjutant-General.


July 3, 1865.


The following remarks are respectfully submitted in compliance with order referring to this Bureay the report of a board of officers-composed of four officers of the One hundred and twenty-second U. S. Colored Troops, and one surgeon of volunteers, and convened by Colonel J. Ham Davidson, commanding depot of prisoners at Newport News, Va.-to investigate and report the circumstancces attending the killing of Private Benjamin Hurt, Company A, Cobb's Georgia Legion, a prisoner of war, by a sentinel of the guard. Two witnesses only were examined-the officer of the guard on duty at the time when Hurt was killed and the sentinel who inflicted the mortal wound. The former-Lieutenant Harold, One hundred and twenty-second U. S. Colored Troops-testified as follows:

I heard a shot inside of the prison. I went down to the sink to inquite the cause. The guard told me that he had fired on a man that had gone on the gallery, where the prisoners were forbidden to go after dark. I said to him: "There is another man on the gallery now; why do you not use the bayonet on him?" He called the man tocome away. The man was just about doing so when the guard jumped forward about eight or ten feet and thrust him with the bayonet, but did it so quickly I ahd no time to prevent it. I was present at the time. The man had moved a step or two from the gallery towerd the privy.


*On June 30 similar instructions were sent to other officers commanding prisons.