The steamer Sumter is a Federal vessel and has been seized by the traitors and rebels to the constitued authorities of the Federal Government, and has been engaged for the past eight or ten month in capturing, plundering, burring and sinking merchant trading vessels of the United States, two of which were captured, plundered and sunk in the straits of the Mediterranean Sea; and these men that I have in custody-one of them being an officer of the said pirate Sumter-came to this place without any passport, or oany government empowered to give them passport expect the Government I represent, and we on their way to Cadiz for the purpose of devising means to renew their depredetations.
With reference to what Yours Excellency alludes to and desiring to pursue the same line of policy that has been adopted and Cadiz and Gibraltar with reference to the said pirates, yor are aware that the regulations by which they are governed in Europe have to reference whatever with that of your country, which is regulated by treaties with foreign governments. I have no doubt that if Your Excellency had been aware of these facts you would not have adhered to the representations made to you by a pirate.
Shall seventy-six years of uninterrupted friendship that has existed between your Government and of the United States be brought to an end for the sake of pirates?
I trust in this brief note to Your Excellency that after the explanations given that no impediment will be offered to my embarking the prisoners on board of the American man-of-war now in your harbor.
Very truly, your most sincere friend,
JAMES DE LONG.
INDIANAPOLIS, February 27, 1862.
Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
About four thousland rations have been furnished to rebel prisoners and guards on arrival here by my order at 25 cents each. Please instruct by telegraph Major Kilburn, commissary of subsistence, to pay for them on my certificate. No regular army officer was here to make arrangements and prisoners nearly famished.
Four thousland prisoners here, 500 at Terre Hante and 800 at Lafayette-all comfortably quastered and safety guarded. Generals Buckner and Tilghman left last night for the East. One hundred and ten rebel officers started at noon to-day for Columbus, Ohio, under guard.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA,
Fort Monroe, Va., February 27, 1862.
General HOWELL COBB, Nortfolk, Va.
GENERAL: I am prepared again to confer with you on the subject of the exchange of prisoners at such time and place as you may please to designate.
In the meantime it is proper to say that my powers are exclusively limited to the exchange of prisoners as presented to Major-General Huger the 13th February, 1862.
Until I may hear from you on the subject of our general negotiation, I propose for exchange the following officers for officers of equal rank,