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640 Series I Volume XXIX-I Serial 48 - Bristoe, Mine Run Part I

Page 640 OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLI.

treated as prisoners of war. They are without orders and many of them without uniform. It appears by the shipping articles (of which I have obtained possession, and which are herewith forwarded) that they are but partisans, receiving no pay from the so-called Confederate States, and trusting entirely for remuneration for their services to the possession of such property, public or private, as they may chance to capture.

If, after deliberation, the major-general commanding shall agree with me that these parties are not entitled to be considered and treated as prisoners of war, I would respectfully suggest that they be tried either by military commission or that they be sent back here for trial by the civil authorities of Accomack and Northampton Counties, where the depredations have been committed, as is provided for in the Virginia Code, 1860. I am rather inclined to think the latter course would be the preferable one, inasmuch as some of the citizens seem to be considerably incensed against these riders, and I think twelve men at least, in the country of Accomack, can be procured who will be disposed to deal with these fellows as their outrages deserve.

Further than this, a trial and conviction of these offenders by the civil authorities would have a great effect upon the political status of these counties, inasmuch as it would inflame the rebel authorities against them, and by that means a counter-inaction would be produced. As this is understood to be but one of three or four bands of outlaws of the same character, it is highly important that a precedent in regard to them should be determined upon.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, &c.,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Lieutenant Colonel W. H. CHESEBROUGH,

Assistant Adjutant-General.


Baltimore, November 21, 1863.

Brigadier General H. H. LOCKWOOD,

Commanding First Brigade, Drummondtown, Va.:

GENERAL: Your report, with inclosed papers relating to the capture of John Y. Beall and his crew of 14 men, has been received.

The general commanding appreciates highly the bravery and sagacity of Lieutenant John W. Corner and Sergt. Robert R. Christopher, of the First Regiment Eastern Shore Maryland Volunteers, who commanded the detachment that capture these prisoners, and of the men under their respective commands, and he directs that you commend those officers and men in general orders for their good conduct on that occasion.

As to the prisoners themselves, they will be held for the present, not as prisoners of war, but as pirates or marauding robbers, until the further pleasure of the Secretary of War, to whom the matter will be submitted, shall be known. Not being protected by commissions or any orders produced from the pretended rebel Government, they will probably be tried as pirates or as robbers, either in the United States court or the local court, unless ordered to trial by military commission.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, our obedient servant,


Lieutenant-Colonel, and Assistant Adjutant-General.

Page 640 OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLI.