War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0266 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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Merrill, of the Corps of Engineers, for First Lieutenant T. M. R. Talcott, of the artillery on engineer duty, captured at Roanoke Island. I also consent to the exchange proposed in the case of Lieutenant Brummel. I have been requested to inquire whether A. W. Habersham, of Georgia, late of the U. S. Navy, now confined as a prisoner in Fort McHenry, Maryland, will be accepted in escahnge for Mr. RoswellM. Shurtleff, who is now a prisoner at Richmond. If the proposals which I have presented to you in regard to the exchange of prisoners be accepted I think you and myself or any one else selected for the purpose could soon dispose of all cpative prisoners North and South.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,




Roanoke Island, February 16, 1862.


Commanding Department, Norfolk, Va.

GENERAL: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your acceptance of my proposition for an exchange of prisoners, and we are now making out the roll for their signatures of which a correct copy will be sent to you. When I made the proposition I was not fully aware that there were no well-established usages for exchange, but feeling that you will be governed in this matter by principles of justice I shall proceed to embark the prisoners. In the meantime I have to submit the following as a basis for said exchange. Please communicate an early answer to Lieutenant-Colonel Osborn who bears this and who is authorized to give my assent to any proposition that he may think just. In case the number of prisoners relased by me should exceed the number now held by your forces I take it for granted that the overpluse will be passedto the credit of our forces to be used against any prisoners which may hereafter be taken by your army. In case the officers of any one rank should outnumber the officers of the corresponding rank on the other side the exchange to be continued upon the basis agreed upon until one side or the other has exhausted its prisoners.

The following is the basis I propose:

For one colonel-One lieutenant-colonel and major or three majors or seven captains.

For lieutenant-colonel-Two majors or four captains or six first lieutenants.

For major-Two captains or four first lieutenants.

For captain-Two first lieutenants or three second lieutenants.

For first lieutenant-Two second lieutenants.

For second lieutenant-Four sergeants or six corporals or ten privates, or in same proportion for other grades in the communication.

All exchanges shall commence with the highest rank on either side; that is to say after all thoseof equal rank have been exchanged then those of the highest rank remaining on the other side in accordance with the above basis.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.