communication prevents my giving you a definite answer relative to their wishes on the subject proposed. I will, however, immediately communicate with them and will convey their answer to you under flag of truce at the same point to-morrow at 12 m.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
(Same to Brigadier General George W. Cullum, chief of staff and engineers, Department of the Missouri.)
Washingoton, March 1, 1862.
Colonel D. H. RUCKER,
Quartermaster, U. S. Army, Washington.
COLONEL: The Secretary of War is informed that the prisoners arriving here from Richmond and Fort Monroe are not well provided for at this place; that they have sent on their baggage from Baltimore in many cases under the impression that they would be detained here only a day, and that some hundreds have been detained seven or eight days getting their accouts settled and waiting to be paid off. During this time they have slept on the floor in the buildings near depot.
Some forty have gone into hospital unable, enervated as they are by long confinement, to resist the effect of exposure. One has died.
They represent that they have neither beds nor straw; that they get but one meal a day, and that the building is very filthy.
The Secretary desires that the best provision possible may be made for them. It is probable that there will for some time to come be a succession of prisoners arriving and always some to be taken care of. He considers the prisoners as in charge of the Quartermaster's Department and wishes them well cared for, and holds the Quartermaster-General responsible for its being done by the officers of the department. You will please at once take the necessary measures to have the building examined, put in thorough police and the wants of the prisoners supplied.
M. C. MEIGS,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA,
Fort Monroe, Va., March 2, 1862.
Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.
SIR: Yesterday, the 1st instant, I had an interview with Brigadier General Howell Cobb on the subject of the exchange of prisoners. All negotiations with reference to the exchange of prisoners is closed for the present. The exchange of prisoners is left to direct exchanges between Major-General Huger and myself, General Cobb having no powers in relation to direct exchanges. He has, however, transmitted to be his views in regard to general exchanges which I will after examination transmit to you.
I receive notice from Brigadier-General Winder that the would send down prisoners, without stating the number, on Friday last, between 10 and 12 o'clock m. I sent a boat to receive them. In the meantime he telegraphed by way of Nortfolk that he could send until the next