HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CAIRO,
Cairo, February 1, 1862.
Major General L. POLK,
Commanding Confederate Forces, Columbus, Ky.
GENERAL: The bearer, Captain Elliot, of the U. S. Army, has just arrived from Pilot Knob, Mo., bearer of a proposal to exchange prisoners of war held by us for those taken by General Thompson at Big River bridge on the 15th of October last.
I also hold a number of prisoners belonging to General Thompson's command who I am willing to exchange on the same terms proposes by Colonel Carlin for any prisoners of the U. S. army held by the Confederacy.
I would respectfully request that if inconsistent with your rules to permit Captain Elliott to visit New Madrid you forward the proposal of Colonel Carlin to General Thompson and return his reply to Cairo by any means that may suit your pleasure.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
U. S. GRANT,
HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION, WESTERN DEPARTMENT,
Columbus, Ky., February 2, 1862.
Brigadier General U. S. GRANT, U. S. Army.
GENERAL: On a former occasion I brought to your notice the fact that you were in possession of certain prisoners taken by your command at Paducah, eight in number, who I proposed to exchange for. They were taken while under the command of Captain Bowlen of the cavalry. There are other prisoners taken by you at Cheat Mountain now at Camp Chase belonging to the First Tennessee Regiment, and ohters, for whom I propose to exchange. The names of these men are found on the accompanying slip. * I propose also to exchange for as I have of yours. These will make in all about twenty.
I propose in addition to these to exchange all the rest of your prisones in my hands that were taken at Belmont for an equal number of ours, rank for rank.
I note what you say in your last communication with regard to prisoners Owens. I beg leave to say that this man's is no ordinary case; his character is such that I prefer not to return him for the present.
The arrangement for the delivery of young Groves you will remember was made more than a month before you desired the release of Owens; and Groves's surrender not being conditional on the surrender of Owens but the result of a disposition to reciprocate former courtesies-for example the paroling of Lieutenant Smith without a consideration-I do not feel I am called upon to release him on Growes's account.
I beg leave respectfully to refer you to Insp. General E. D. Blake for the arrangements of the detail of the proposed exchange.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,