DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, January 22, 1862.
Honorable EDWARD BATES, Attorney-General, &c.
SIR: Herewith I have the honor to inclose a letter* from Dr. Abbott Hodgman in relation to the cases of Richard Palmer and John O'Brien, two of the prisoners confined in New York on a charge of piracy, having been captured one on the privateer Savannah and the other on the Sumter.
If you concur I propose to discharge them with the hope that it may serve to procure the release of two of our prisoners who are held by the insurgents in close confinement. Will you have the kindness to return this inclosure with your reply?
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
WASHINGTON, January 22, 1862.
[Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.]
DEAR SIR: Some time last fall Lieutenants C. B. Hall and Charles Freeman, of the First West Virginia Regiment, in the service of the United States, were captured at French's, near Romney. General Rosecrans will exchange for them two lieutenants of equal rank captured at Carnifix Ferry. Their names are J. Barrett, Hawkins County, Tenn., and T. T. Mitchell, Grayson County, Va. Our people are anxious for the return of Hall and Freeman, and I have to request of you in their name that some arrangement if possible be made by which the exchange can be had. Cannot a proposition be made through General Wool? Hall and Freeman are from Hancock County, Va., just across the river from your old home as I am informed, and their friends claim you as one of them and confidently look to you in this matter.
JOHN S. CARLILE.
P. S. --Let me hear from you at your earliest convenience.
Washington, January 22, 1862.
Major General JOHN E. WOOL, U. S. Army, Fort Monroe, Va.
SIR: Honorable A. R. Boteler, of Virginia, has through a friend asked the release or exchange of his son-in-law, R. D. Shepherd, and four other persons named Abram Shepherd, George Johnston, George McGlincy and Conrad Crowl, all of whom are confined as prisoners in the Department of the Potomac. As it is understood there is a willingness to release a corresponding number of our prisoners instead of them you are desired by the General-in-Chief to propose an exchange for the following named: Leonard Clark, private of Harrison County, Va., taken prisoner in the Cheat Mountain last fall, Jonathan Morris, James E. Wood, John Alford and Thomas S. Ross, taken at Guyandotte.
I am, sir, &c.,
*Not found, but see Murray to Seward, with inclosure, p. 204.