War of the Rebellion: Serial 121 Page 0951 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

Search Civil War Official Records

general appearance of state prisoner Jefferson Davis compared with his condition in these respects when you first attended him professionally; also the difference between his present condition and that when he was first paroled, and what exercise he takes daily.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. S. GANSEVOORT,

First Lieutenant, Fifth Artillery, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

WAR DEPARTMENT, BUREAU OF MILITARY JUSTICE,

August 8, 1866.

Respectfully returned to the Secretary of War.

From the new papers in the within case (of the alleged murder at Cahaba, Ala., in April, 1865, of Captain H. S. Hanchett, Sixteenth Illinois Cavalry, a prisoner of war in the enemy's hands) it appears that the investigation which has been instituted for the discovery of the whereabouts of those accused of the crime has met with but little success. Lieutenant-Colonel Jones, of the rebel Army, under whose orders it would seem that Hanchett was made away with, has not been found after careful search; nor has his adjutant, also implicated, been discovered. The only one of the parties charged who has been reached is P. B. Vaughn, residing at Cahaba, who was one of the guard through whom the orders of Colonel Jones are reported as having been executed.

Upon the facts which appear as the result of the investigation this Bureau is of opinion that it would not be worth while to bring P. B. Vaughn, a mere subordinate of Jones, and, if guilty at all, far less guilty than his superior, to trial before a military commission apart from his supposed associates. And in view of the failure to find and arrest Jones, Robinson, and Phelin Vaughn, and also of the fact that since the investigation was instituted the peace status has been restored in Alabama, the opinion is entertained that no further action on the part of the military authorities at this time is called for in this case. It is submitted, however, whether the same may not properly be referred, through the appropriate channel, to the Governor of Alabama, with the request that he will use his efforts to bring to justice before a civil court, when they shall be arrested, the perpetrators of this atrocious and cowardly murder of a U. S. Officer in violation of the laws of civilized warfare.

W. WINTHROP,

Brevet Colonel and Judge-Advocate

(In absence of the Judge-Advocate-General).

FORT MONROE, VA., August 9, 1866.

Major General N. A. MILES,

Commanding District of Fort Monroe, Fort Monroe, Va.:

GENERAL: In reply to your communication of August 8, 1866, I have the honor to report that the present health and physical strength of state prisoner Jefferson Davis is much better than when I assumed the medical charge of him in December last. His appearance is much better; the wrinkled and shriveled condition of his skin has changed, and the sallow buckskin color has in a great measure left him. He does not complain as much as dyspeptic symptoms, and seems to have a better appetite. His whole digestive system seems to be improved. Were