War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0262 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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permission should be granted to execute the objects of our visit, and arrangements were made to secure the prompt forwarding of these supplies as required. The ready, cheerful and intelligent advice and assistance rendered by these gentlemen afforded certain assurance of the efficient co-operation they were anxious to give to your objects.

On the 9th instant General Huger sent to Major-General Wool a letter (in reply to that of the letter) covering certain instructions from Mr. J. P. Benjamin to the Honorable James A. Seddon and Honorable Charles M. Conrad, appointing them commissioners to treat with us on the subject of a general exchange of prisoners, affecting to suppose us clohed with a power not committed to us while he ignored the Christian and humane objects of the proposed visit but dexterously sought to pervert it to a political signifcance. We immediately forwarded to you copies of General Huger's letter and of Mr. Benjamin's instructions.

Regarding these as a refusal to allow us to pass through their lines or to visit the prisoners we should have returned immediately to Washington but for reasons stated in a letter which we addressed to you on the 10th instant.

On the 13th instant we received your letter of the 11th and immediately left Fortress Monroe on our return to this place.

Prior to our departure from Washington we received from you $5,000 (one-half in gold and half in Treasury notes); also a notice of deposit of $20,000 in coin with the assistant treasurer of the United States in New York subject to draft by us, and also authority to draw at sight upon the assistant treasurer in New York for the further sum of $25,000.

The refusal of Mr. Benjamin and his associates to allow any portion of this money to be distributed among or expended for the relief of some hundreds of suffering, sick and wounded prisoners enablesus to return to you untouched the entire amount thus received by us and herewith our duties close.

Permit us in conclusion to present to your our coongratulations that although your tender of a mission of mercy and of charity has been refused you have secured other means which promise relief and liberation to our prisoners, and our further congratulations that while our humble agency has been refused otherand potent agencies are active and efficient to dispel the various illusions prevailing in the insurgent Statesand to give to all good citizens the comforting assurance that their Government has other means than those of a humane and peaceful mission to extend its protection over all its citizens-to vindicate its authority and to maintain its national existence.

We have the honor to be your obedient servant,

E. R. AMES.

HAMILTON FISH.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA,

Fort Monroe, Va., February 14, 1862.

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

GENERAL: I have received your several communications of the 12th and the 13th instant. Your application in the first in behalf of Lieutenant Wards is granted. In relation to the second I would refer you to my communication of the 13th instant. If youshould agree to what is therein set forth we can arrange for the release of seamen captured on board of unarmed vessels. I see not the slightest objection to the arrangmeent suggested by you in relation to the men taken from a