|from The |
| Paroled Officers of the Fifteenth
We print in another column, a document signed by sundry line officers of the fifteenth regiment, which we cannot justly allow to pass without comment. Art Ballís Bluff, many captains and lieutenants in that regiment were killed or taken prisoners. The vacancies made by death were filled. Those who were taken prisoner were after a time released on parole, and most of them are not yet exchanged, although they have all diligently sought an exchange, and are all extremely anxious to return to the regiment. Capt. Bowman first refused a furlough of more than ten days, hoping to be free to join his company at the end of that time; and he has done everything in his power to go free of his parole. The others have felt and acted in a similar manner. Meanwhile there has been a constant expectation of an immediate exchange and the government has encouraged this expectation.
The officers in question are among the very best in the regiment. Their resignation would be a disaster; and we have the means of knowing that it would be very unsatisfactory to their official superiors. There are now indications that the desired exchange will not be very long delayed. It is stated that the efforts to secure a general exchange of prisoners promises to be successful, and that we may expect soon to see it in operation. Of course the paroled men of the fifteenth will be among the first set free. But if the delay should be much longer than now seems probable, it would be none the less certain that the interest of the service requires that these officers not resign, for the exchange is sure to come before a very long time has passed, and the regiment will be saved from giving them up for new and untried men. Meanwhile the organization can be served complete by the appointment of acting officers for all the vacancies created by there absence.
The document asking them to resign is signed by lieutenants and two or three captains, all of them inferior in rank, or the juniors in office of several of the paroled officers. They freely express the satisfaction with which they would see their absent associates return, but they conclude to hastily that there is no prospect of this. Some day not far away in the future they will have the luxury of a pleasant disappointment. We think they did not consider carefully the whole bearing of the published document to which their names are appended, else, instead of having it published, they would have waited awhile longer, or at least would have sent it to Col. Ward for explanation and advice. We doubt not that the motive was good and honorable, but was there not a lack of due consideration.