November 17, 1862, Paola,
Captain James Christian to Major General Curtis
(with indorsements by N. P. Chipman and John W. Noble)
PAOLA, KANS., November 17, 1862.
Commanding Department of the Missouri.
GENERAL: At the earnest solicitation of a number of men, members of Company H, Twelfth Regiment Kansas Volunteers, I take the liberty of addressing you in their behalf. The subject of this grievance is as follows: In the latter part of September last a company of volunteers was recruited in Olathe, Johnson County, Kans., now Company H, Twelfth Kansas Volunteers, and at the time the town of Olathe was sacked and robbed by Quantrill's band some thirty or forty of Company H were taken prisoners and compelled to take an oath not to take up arms against the Southern Confederacy and discharged upon their parole. Since their return home some of them have been arrested and compelled to take up arms in their old company or be put into the guardhouse. I ask in their behalf that they be exchanged and released from their parole, or discharged from further service in Company H, as in your wisdom you may see fit.
I am, sir, with the most profound respect, your obedient servant,
Captain and Commissary of Subsistence of Volunteers.
NOVEMBER 24, 1862.
GENERAL: In a decision by you which I sent as letter of instruction you hold that soldiers of the Second Kansas captured by Quantrill should be considered as prisoners of war, and when paroled by Quantrill not ordered to duty till exchanged, except "compatible" duty.
[N. P. CHIPMAN.]
[JOHN W.] NOBLE:
Do these men come under the rule governing prisoners of war?
[N. P.] CHIPMAN,
I think not. Quantrill's band are guerrillas as I understand it. They would not be received by the enemy on exchange, and we would try them by military commission. If this is so they cannot be made prisoners of war while the cartel lasts. The remedy is to order the men to duty with the assurance that in ease the enemy attempt to treat them in case of regular capture with unusual severity the Government will make their cause its own. If they are taken by guerrillas they will be subject to no law and must not be taken.
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