flag of truce, at Charleston Harbor. He delivered to me 39 surgeons, assistant surgeons, chaplains, and hospital stewards, whom General Jones released as non-combatants; also 2 soldiers recently captured at Port Royal Ferry, S. C., whom General Jones released without equivalent, stating through Major Lay that they were captured by a deception which he disavowed. These released officers proved on examination to be of the rank accepted by General Jones, except in seven instances. Five of these were mustered as hospital stewards, but were acting when captured as assistant surgeons. Since, however, hospital stewards are non-combatants and as such entitled to their discharge, the error is unimportant. The sixth, Rev. Mr. B. Whitney, One hundred and fourth Ohio Volunteers, was released as a chaplain, but was in fact a private, who had been acting as chaplain for several months previous to his capture. The seventh, Lieutenant J. D. Higgins, One hundred and twenty-third Ohio Volunteers, is a line officer, but by an error of the Confederate prison officer in making out his rolls was put down as an assistant surgeon. Of this error he silently took advantage.
When the exchanges were effected at Port Royal Ferry on August 16, to close up the balance of the exchange at Charleston Harbor of August 3, we supposed that we had delivered all the Confederate prisoners then in our hands, except a few who had been captured by our colored troops in Florida and who were held for exchange for colored prisoners. Major Lay, however, then stated that some of the prisoners held by us as having been captured by colored troops were in fact captured by the Seventy-fifth Ohio Mounted Infantry (white). He asked whether, should his statement on examination prove correct, we would exchange them. Supposing that you had authority under General Halleck's letter of July 19 to do so, and believing that an assent to Major Lay's request would, as it did, assist the negotiations in regard to surgeons, chaplains, &c., then progressing between us, I agreed to it. I omitted to refer to this in my written report to you of August 17. An examination subsequently ordered by you and made by Lieutenant-colonel Hall, provost-marshal-general of this department, showed that Major Lay's statement was correct in the case of Lieutenant Packard, Second Florida Cavalry; Quartermaster Sergeant Carroll, Villepigue's battery, and 4 privates. At our interview of September 3, I informed Major Lay of the result of the investigation, and he immediately tendered me Lieutenant Lay, One hundred and seventeenth New York Volunteers; Mr. Parkman, captain's clerk, U. S. Navy, and Sergeant Burkhardt, Fourth Michigan Cavalry, offering to receive the Confederate officer and men above referred to on September 8, at Port Royal Ferry. He stated that Mr. Parkman was offered in fulfillment of a former promise of his to Major
Anderson, of your staff. I did not feel at liberty to decline to carry out my promise made, as above stated, on August 16, and accordingly accepted the proffered officers and sergeant, agreeing to deliver to him Lieutenant Packard and the other Confederate prisoners on September 8.
On my return to Hilton Head Rear-Admiral Dahlgren, at Mr. Parkman's request, sent 4 Confederate privates to the provost-marshal-general of the department to be delivered to the Confederate authorities in exchange for Mr. Parkman, thus relieving you from furnishing equivalents for a naval officer.