War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0210 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, January 23, 1862.

Honorable H. G. BLAKE,

House of Representatives United States.

SIR: Your letters of the 20th and 22nd instant are received, and I am directed by the Secretary of War to state in reply that early attention will be given to the condition of the soldiers now held as prisoners by the rebels.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

P. H. WATSON,

Assistant Secretary of War.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA,

Fort Monroe, Va., January 23, 1862.

Major General B. HUGER, Commanding, Norfolk, Va.

GENERAL: I send herewith by flag of truce H. B. Claiborne and Dulany A. Forrest, prisoners of war, who are permitted to go South on parole for forty-five days unless within that time Major James V. Bomford, Sixth Infantry, U. S. Army, be unconditionally released and set at liberty at Fort Monroe, in which event the first-named officers may consider themselves discharged from their parole.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN E. WOOL,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA,

Fort Monroe, Va., January 23, 1862.

Honorable ERASTUS CORNING, House of Representatives.

MY DEAR SIR: I have received your communication in relation to the exchange of Lieutenant Frank E. Worcester, Company B, Seventy-first Regiment New York Volunteers. In making applications for the exchange of prisoners of war the rank should be given. In making propositions for the exchange of prisoners of war I ought to know what prisoners we have of the enemy in our possession to give in exchange. If I had a roll of these and authority to make exchanges as I might deem proper I have no doubt I could exchange most of the officers taken at Bull Run and Ball's Bluff. You have named in your letter Lieutenant Worcester, but you do not say whether he was a first or second lieutenant. I therefore do not know what grade of lieutenant to offer in exchange.

I have several applications for exchanges but not knowing either the number of prisoners or their grades in rank to give in exchange I am somewhat at a loss to know how to present the question. For instance in presenting the name of Lieutenant Worcester I ought to know whether we have a prisoner of his rank to give in exchange. As soon as I am informed of the name of some officer who can be given in exchange for Lieutenant Worcester I have no doubt I will be able to effect the exchange you desire.

Most truly, your friend,

JOHN E. WOOL,

Major-General.