Captain Selden, of the U. S. Army, and to inform you that I accept the exchange of Lieutenant Medina as proposed by you in the place of Lieutenant Losalla. Lieutenant Simmons has accordingly been sent to report to Lieutenant Hunter who will have my safeguard to pass to your lines.
By referring to my letter proposing this exchange you will see that I asked "the release of Private William Leamy, of Company I, Mounted Riflemen, from his parole" as an exchange for Private James Wilson, captured with Lieutenant Simmons and held by me as a prisoner of war. You have, however, sent to me the release from his parole of Private--- Wilson, of Company I, Mounted Riflemen. Not doubting, however, that you intended in good faith to release Private Leamy in conformity with my proposition I also send Private James Wilson to report to you as an exchanged prisoner. Should the opportunity offer itself for you to send me a more formal release of Private William Leamy from his parole it will be more satisfactory and more in conformity with usage of war in exchanging prisoners and of the exact observance of the faith of negotiations under flags of truce.
Your courtesy to Captain Selden and his party calls for my acknowledgment and assures me that the comities of official intercourse will be held by you in strict and sacred regard.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. S. ROBERTS,
Colonel, U. S. Army, Commanding.
U. S. FLAG-SHIP MINNESOTA,
Hampton Roads, January 5, 1862.
Major General BENJAMIN HUGER,
Commanding Department, &c., Norfolk, Va.
SIR: I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your communications of the 2nd and 3rd instant together with papers accompanying the former.
Before replying to that of the 2nd instant definitely it is necessary for be to bespeak your patience until I can consult the Navy Department at Washington. On hearing from there, however, you may be assured that I will write to you without delay.
I avail myself of the occasion nevertheless to say to you that to the extent of my authority you will ever find me willing to respond affirmatively to any feasible suggestion you may make to relieve the sufferings of prisoners or to effect their release.
I may add with perfect confidence that my Government will not permit itself to be outdone in either justice, humanity or generosity.
Your letter to General Burnside has been forwarded to him.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
L. M. GOLDSBOROUGH,
Flag-Officer, Commanding North Atlantic Blockading Squadron.
NEW YORK, N. Y., January 5, 1862.
ADJUTANT-GENERAL U. S. ARMY, Washington, D. C.
SIR: If as I suppose to be the case Colonel O. B. Willcox is held by the Confederate Government as one of he hostages for the privateersmen