HDQRS. HOFFMAN'S BATT., DEPOT OF PRISONERS OF WAR,
Near Sandusky, Ohio, May 1, 1862.
Colonel HOFFMAN, Commissary-General of Prisoners:
Your letter is just at hand. Of course you will not receive this reply till you return. I shall do nothing about the matter in your letter till I see you. I have to suggest that you correspond with no one on the subject till I see you, and I will further presume to say, for reasons I will give you when I see you, that the good of the post requires it.
I am advised 300 prisoners will be here to-day. The troops from Columbus are inferior in material, drill and in every respect. But a small portion of them can be trusted on the fence. The company is not full, only one commissioned officers now here. If, with the number of prisoners coming, I am satisfied we are not secure with such troops I shall say so to Governor Tod and have more sent or better. But there is no use of my writing, as you will not receive it, and I shall be pleased to see you as soon as you return. I will take care of the post till I see you, and let me add you have had more anxiety on that subject than you have had occasion for, and I say this in the hope to relieve you of it in some measure. With all the drawbacks I am satisfied the discipline of this post is the best of any in Ohio. Also the two companies are the best two in the State, in men and qualifications for their business.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. S. PIERSON.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA,
Fort Monroe, Va., May 2, 1861.
Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.
SIR: Herewith you will receive copies of two letters from General Huger. * The reason for not continuing the exchanges is a mere subterfuge.
I will receive the 490 non-commissioned officers and privates prisoners on parole. They have paroled several of the hostages held on account of the pirates having been placed on the footing of prisoners of war. What objection have you to exchanging these privateersmen or putting them on parole? If I can be allowed to either exchange or parole them I think I can get the officers at Richmond paroled or exchanged. Why not give me the power? If you consent please send me the names and rank of the so-called pirates. Also all the names of officers known at the War Department as having been discharge or paroled.
You will perceive by General Huger's letter that he proposes to procure in the order of exchanges as follows: First, the privateersmen for the hostages; next, exchanges for those longest in captivity by either party. I think there can be no objection to this plan. It will expedite matters if you will send me immediately rolls of the privateersmen and those officers captured previous to the battles of Forts Henry and Donelson.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN E. WOOL,
P. S. - I also inclose two letters of this date from myself to Major General B. Huger.
* See Huger to Wool, April 26, p. 497, and April 30, p. 507.