War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0248 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, February 9, 1862.

Major General J. A. DIX, Baltimore:

Please be in readiness to receive into your custody a prisoner* by the early morning train, in respect to whom if arrested instructions to you will be delivered by the officer in charge. Please acknowledge the receipt of this message when received and postpone your visit to Washington until you hear again from me.


Secretary of War.

FORT MONROE, February 9, 1862.

Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington.

SIR: We have the honor to inclose herewith a copy of a letter from General Huger to Major-General Wool in response to the letter of the latter announcing our arrival at this post and the purpose of our appointment; also a copy of the instructions referred to in General Huger's letter as given by Mr. Benjamin to Messrs. Seddon and Conrad which have been this day received by a flag of truce from Norfolk.

As the purport of these instructions from Mr. Benjamin embraces matters not intrusted to us we take this earliest opportunity to communicate them to you and will await here your further instructions.

General Wool has not yet acknowledged the receipt of these papers.

We have the honor to be your obedient servants,





Norfolk, Va., February 9, 1862.

Major General J. E. WOOL,

Commanding Department of Virginia.

SIR: I have communicated to my Government, as announced in my letter of the 4th instant, your letter to me of that date, with the copy of the instructions of the Secretary of War of the United States addressed to the Rev. Bishop Ames and the Honorable Hamilton Fish.

I am happy to inform you that the proposition contained in the letter of instructions is cordially welcomed and that in order more effectually to accomplish the humane purpose so justly lauded by you the Secretary of War of the Confederate States has appointed the Honorable James A. Seddon and the Honorable Charles M. Conrad commissioners to meet and confer with Messrs. Ames and Fish, with instructions,+ a copy of which is herewith inclosed. The honorable gentlemen commissioners propose to spare Messrs. Ames and Fish the necessity of travel to Richmond and other places in the South by agreeing at once to the restoration of all the prisoners to their homes on fair terms of equal exchange and with this view to confer with Messrs. Ames and Fish at Fortress Monroe, anticipating that you will previously transmit to me such safeguard as will insure their protection. If this, however, should not be acceptable to yoto any arrangement you may desire for the meeting of these four gentlemen on a cartel vessel as is usual between belligerent powers on such occasions. I call your attention to the last paragraph of the instructions to our commissioners


*Probably refers to Brigadier General Charles P. Stone.

+Omitted here; Benjamin to Seddon and Conrad, February 6, p. 788.