Letter from Ro. Ould to BG S. A. Meredith regarding death sentence of Maj. Lee W. Long and PVT George Woolfolk.
WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, November 13, 1863.
Brig. Gen. S. A. MEREDITH, Agent of Exchange:
SIR: I have before me a printed order of General Burnside, No. 153, dated Cincinnati, September 18, 1863, by which two prisoners, Maj. Lee W. Long, C. S. Army, and Private George Woolfolk, C. S. Army, are ordered to be "shot unto death" on the 30th of October, 1863. The order is made "subject to the approval of the President of the United States." Major Long is charged with being secretly within the lines of the U. S. forces." Substantially the same charge is made against Woolfolk. It appears that so much of the specification in the ease of Major Long as averred that he denied his character and employment as a soldier was found by the court not to be true.
I will thank you to inform me at an early date whether these parties have been tried on these charges; whether they have been found guilty, and whether the sentence has been or is to be carried into effect. As this charge of "being secretly within the lines of the U. S. forces" seems to be made a matter of life and death, I will thank you also to inform me what your authorities consider "being secretly within the lines of the U. S. forces."
Do your lines include all Kentucky and Tennessee? Do you consider that any portion of Confederate territory not actually occupied by your forces is "within the lines of the U. S. forces?"
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Agent of Exchange.
OFFICE COMMISSIONER OF EXCHANGE,
Fort Monroe, Va., November 18, 1863.
Respectfully referred to Maj. Gen. E. A. Hitchcock, Commissioner of Exchange.
S. A. MEREDITH,
Brigadier-General and Commissioner of Exchange.
NOVEMBER 20, 1863.
Respectfully submitted to the General-in-Chief.
E. A. HITCHCOCK,
Maj. Gen. of Vols. and Commissioner for Exchange of Prisoners.
November 21, 1863.
The information so insolently demanded by the writer of this letter will not be furnished unless under the special direction of the Secretary of War. This position was taken some time siuce-it is believed with the Secretary's approval-in reference to a similar communication from the same source.
Source: Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series 2, Volume 6.
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