CAIRO, November 29, 1861.
Major General L POLK,
Commanding, Columbus, Ky.
DEAR SIR: I feel constrained to inform you that General Grant and the officers who attended him with the flag of truce understood that he should liberate all the prisoners under his control and that you should do the same.
He is of the opinion that be sent you sound, healthy men that you returned him wounded men. In relievng you of the wounded he did you a service and leaves an obligation due from you.
On the 16th instant I delivered you one private for which you made no return. On that I formed the opinion that if our prisoners had not already been sent to Memphis that you would have delivered them to me.
My earnest desire for the liberalion of mine of the Twenty-seventh Regiment is unabated. It preys upon me. I desire you to return the ninety-eitght prisoners sent to Memphis and express to you the belief that your magnanimity will be suitably acknowledged.
Let us have one more meeting and talk of peace.
N. B. BUFORD,
Colonel Twenty-seventh Regiment Illinois Volunteers.
SAINT LOUIS, November 30, 1861.
DEAR SIR: This morning in reading the telegraphic dispatches from Cairo I notice that one Colonel Chappell came to the Federal lines at that place with a flag of truce the object of which "was to obtain leave to proceed to Saint Joseph to get Thompson's wife and then escort here South. " The leave was refused him General Grant and "rather than return he decided to remain as a prisoner of war until instruction are received from General Halleck. " In connection with this matter I respectfully inform you that Mrs. Jefferson Thompson has not been living with her husband for some time; that she has for a long while and still is confined as an inmate of the luntic asylum which is in the southern part of the city under the control of the Sisters of Charity. Further information if deemed necessary will be furnished you in regard to her.
LEON J. PAPIN.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, Mo., December 3, 1861.
Major General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN,
Commander-in-Chief, Washington, D. C.
GENERAL: * * * *
I have directed to the Adjutant-General of the Army the correspondence between General Grant and Bishop General Polk in relaion to the exchange of prisoners.
After full consideration of the subject I am of the opinion that prisoners ought to be exchanged. This exchange is a mere military