Washington, February 26, 1862.
Mrs. MARIE L. WILLCOX, Detroit, Mich.
MADAM: Your letter of the 15th of February to the Secretary of War has been been referred to this office. I trust a perusal of the inclosed copies of letters* and a careful notice of their respective dates will convince you that the following words found in your letter were penned under misapprehension:
Through treachery in the Adjutant-General's Department Colonel Pegram's mission was nullified. A recently released prisoners, Captain Withington, First Michigan, * * * told me that an Nortfolk he was informed that Colonel Pegram had been sent down and that Colonel Bomford was to be returned in his place. Not a word I connection with Colonel Willcox.
The first letter, dated December 31, 1861, directs Colonel Dimick to release Colonel Pegram on condition that he procures the release without parole of Colonel Willcox. The second from Colonel Pegram, dated January 5, 1862, express the apprehension that Colonel Willcox will not be released because he is kept as a hostage for the preivateersmen. The third to Colonel Pegram, dated January 9, 1862, express the hope he may succed in effecting Colonel Willcox's release, but authorizes him if he fails in that to try to effect that of Colonel Bomford.
You will observe that in the fourth letter, dated January 21, 1862, and addressed to General Wool that officer is directed to urge by all means the release of Colonel Willcox.
The letters of General Wool dated January 21 and 24 give the reasons why the exchange of Colonel Willcox was refused by those who had him in custody. Colonel Pergam's letter of January 27, 1862, gives exchange for Colonel Willcox. General Huger's letter of January 29 shows that he proposed the exchange himself of Lieutenant-Colonel Bomford for Lieutenant-Colonel Pegram.
I will only add that three-fold more trouble has been taken by the Adjutant-General's Office to effect the release of Colonel Willcox than in the case of any other of our captive officers and men.
I am, madam, &c.,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA,
Fort Monroe, Va., February 26, 1862.
Colonel MAX WEBER, Commanding Camp Hamilton, Va.
COLONEL: The major-general commanding the department directs that you refuse for the future to receive flags of truce sent to your outposts by General Magruder or any of the officers under his command.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. D. WHIPPLE,
NEW YORK, February 26, 1862.
Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.
SIR: Having just returned from the South, where I was for more than three months a prisoner of war, I deem it my duty to inform you how
* Omitted; refers to letters hereinbefore printed.