HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORFOLK,
November 16, 1861.
Flag - Officer L. M. GOLDSBOROUGH,
Commanding North Atlantic Blockading Squardon.
SIR: I have referred your letter of the 12th instant to my Government and received its views in reply.
1. Lieutenant Worden is now in his way here, and on his arrival and the release of Lieutenant Sharp I am authorized to restore Lieutenant Worden to you " without any exactions or conditions whatsoever," as has been agreed between us.
2. I am also directed to say that your proposal to excharge Mr. H. K. Stevens, of South Carolina, for Lieutenant Kautz is certainly not in accordance with that honorable sense of equality and fair dealing that ought to characterize such propositions between belligerent powers. In saying this I entirely acquit you of any imputation which my language may seem to convey. I refer solely to the action of your Government. They seize upon Southern citizens as prisoners of state and then tender them in excharge for prisoners of war. We are not so obtuse as to be blind to the unfair advantage they this seek to reduved to captivity are, however, stronger motives of action than the just indignation inspired by such a course of conduct on the part of our enemies.
I am therefore authorized to consent to the excharge of Mr. Stevens for Lieutenant Kautz and to tender the further excharge, which seems to be invited by your letter, by offering to restore to you Lieutenant Selden for Mr. Benjamin P. Loyall, of Virginia. In the course of a few days I hope to suggest the names of others of your officers to be offered for Messrs. Butt and Dalton.
In comsenting to these excharge I beg to protest in the name of my Government against a system unknown in the rules and usages of war - fare by which unarmed men taken captive as political prisoners or prisoners of state are held by the Government of the United States to be tendered in excharge for its officers captured in battle, and that in consenting to such excharges this Government is moved by a sense of humanity and concern for its captive citizens and is not to be understood as conceding that the excharge is a fair and equal one.
I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major - General, Commanding Department.
Retured to Major - General Huger November 20, 1861.
L. M. GOLDSBOROUGH,
Flag - Officer, Commanding North Atlantic Blockading Squadron.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA,
Fort Monroe, Va., November 18, 1861.
Honorable THOMAS A. SCOTT, Acting Secretary of War.
SIR: On the 11th instant I transmitted a copy of a letter from Major General B. Huger, commanding at Norfolk, in which he said: " My Government will allow clothing, blankets and other articles necessary for the comfort of prisoners of war to be sent them. "