While on the subject of Morgan
's command, it may not be inappropriate to relate an incident which furnishes a dark chapter in the history of paroles, and serves to show the times upon which the country had then fallen My authority is a letter from Lieutenant Colonel Alston
, of Morgan
's command, to the Confederate Secretary of War
On the 5th of July, 1863, General Morgan
captured the command of Lieutenant Colonel Charles H. Hanson
, at Lebanon, Kentucky
The latter requested that he and his command be paroled, pledging his personal honor that he not only would observe it, but would see that every other one to whom the privilege was extended should observe it; and further, that if he should be ordered back into service, he would report to General Morgan
at some point within the Confederate
and his command were paroled, and as a return for this favor, three days after, a portion of his command thus paroled actually captured a part of General Morgan
Lietenant Colonel Hanson
himself, a few days after his capture under the circumstances detailed, was ordered to Louisville
to do provost duty.
It would be difficult to find in the annals of war a parallel to this.
and his officers were detained in Richmond
, on allegations from the highest authority in Alabama
, charging him and his officers with grave offenses as well against the laws of that State as the usages of civilized warfare.
I informed the Federal Agent
, in response to an inquiry from him, that they were detained “until proper inquiries can be made and the facts ascertained, when a determination will be made by the Confederate Government whether they come within the obligations of the cartel as prisoners of war, or are to be dealt with as criminals against the laws of war and the State
The right of the Confederate Government to detain and try Colonel Streight
and his officers was distinctly recognized by the United States
in their General Order
, No. 100.
The 59th paragraph of that order declared that “a prisoner of war remains answerable for his crimes committed against the captor's army or people, committed before he was captured, and for which he has not been punished by his own authorities.”
Moreover, the United States
had claimed and exercised the right of holding many Confederate officers on the merest suspicion, without trial or proceedings of any sort against them.
Yet, when the Confederates
retained Colonel Streight
and his officers, on charges preferred by the highest authority in Alabama
, and in accordance with Federal practice and general order
, a great outcry was made.
Frequent applications were made for special exchange — that is,