MEMPHIS, November 29, 1861.
[General S. B. BUCKNER.]
DEAR GENERAL: Two surgeons were taken prisoners by our forces at Belmont who were pupisl of mine in the University at Louisville, and I write to you to inquire if they could not be set at liberty. They seem to be worthy men and their liberation would in my opinion strengthen our cause in Southern Illinois where they both live. Their names are Gordon and Whitnell. I have thought you might speak to General Johnston on the subject of their release. Do you think, general fellows could be sent home.
I am, with great regard, dear general, very faitfully your friend and obedient servant,
L. P. YANDELL,
HEADQUARTERS MISSOURI STATE GUARD,
December 9, 1861.
Colonel D. H. ARMSTRONG,
Colonel J. RICHARD BARRETT,
Colonel ROBERT M. RENICK, or either of them,
Commisioners, Saint Louis, Mo.
GENTLEMEN: Major-General Price wishes you to negotiate the exchange of Captain H. W. Salmon and Private James Clifton. Both are or were at Clifton. If you effect the exchange please procure them a safe conduct to these headquarters.
I am, gentleman, respectfully, your obedient servant,
MEMPHIS, December 14, 1861.
General LEONIDAS POLK.
DEAR SIR: The undersigned before visiting your headquarters recently procured an interview with the Federal prisoners here who were taken at Belmont with a view to sound them as to the opinion of the people of the West relative to the free navigation of the Mississippi after the war is over. Whilst we found some of them advised of the action of the first meeting of the Confederate Congress others expressed themselves as having joined the army under belief that the Union must be restored in order to their enjoying such free navigation.
We took the liberty of expressing to them the desire of some of our citizens to see them released on the score of humanity, and after explaining the views of the Government on the navigation question manifested our intention of speaking a good word for them on the score of release.
On our wat to Columbus we conslted together and in a spirit of delicacy concluded to not at that time mention the subject to you. We now mention in only for your consideration knowing that youwho have the whole question before you in all its bearings will be better able to judge of it. We only look at it in two points of view-tho one the humanitarian, the other the effect that might be produced in the West by a proper represantion of the navigation question.
We remain, very respectfully, your obedient servants,
W. B. MILLER.
J. A. NELSON.