War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0261 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION.

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In reply I have to state that no arrangement has yet been made for exchanging prisoners and it is therefore beyond the pwoer of this Department at present to afford any relief to Mr. Ward.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of War.


Washington, February 14, 1862.

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II. The Secretary of War directs that the rations of prisoners held in the rebel States shall be commuted for and during the period of their imprisonment, the communication to be rated at cost price.

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By command of Major-General McClellan:



WASHINGTON, February 14, 1862.

Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

SIR: The humane purpose of ministering relief and comfort to the unfortunate prsons formerly in the military service of the United States, now held as prisoners at variousplaces in the South, contemplated by yoru wise and benevolent sympathy has failed of its object by the refusal of those in power in the rebellious States to allow the visitors appointed by you to pass their lines.

Immediately on receiving notice of your order of the 26th of January last appointing us to this duty we repaired to this city, and having in personal interviews with yourself ascertained your views and wishes, and after conference with the Adjutant-General and Quartemaster-General and other officers to whom we werereferred by you on the 3rd of February we received yoru written instructions and the funds and credits necessary for the execution of the humane and Christian objects contemplated by your practical sympathy for the unfortunate prisoners, and on the same day we took our departure for Fortress Monroe.

In the meantime orders had been given through the Adjutant-General and the Quartermaster's and Surgeon-General's departments and arrangements made for establishing a depot of clothing, medicines, supplies and other articles not usually furnished to the ARmy but deemed necessary for the comort and helath of the prisoners to be opened at Fortress Monroe, subject to our requisition.

Arriving at Fortress Monroe on the 4th instant we communicated with Major-General Wool and delivered to him your letter under date of 30th January. He entered most cordially and earnestly into the spirit of our mission and forthwith communicated to General Huger, in command of the rebel forces at Norfolk, the fact of our arrival there and the object of our visit, transmitting to him at the same time a copy of our written instructions.

While waiting at Fortress Monroe for a reply from General Huger we received all practicable assistance from Doctor Cuyler, the medical director of the Department of Virginia, and from Captain Tallmadge, assistant quartermaster, with reference to the medical supplies and the clothing and other aritcles that it was thought would be needed in case