HDQRS. DEPT. OF SOUTH CAROLINA AND GEORGIA,
Savannah, May 12, 1862.
Major General D. HUNTER, or
OFFICER COMMANDING U. S. TROOPS ON THE COAST OF SOUTH CAROLINA AND GEORGIA.
SIR: I am authorized to propose to you a general exchange of non-commissioned officers and privates prisoner of war, man for man, and to exchange lists of commissioned officers with a view to negotiations for future release. I have now at my disposal for this purpose between 800 and 900 prisoners captured by the Confederate forces from the armies of the United States.
Should this proposition prove acceptable to you, sir, I have the honor to request that you will notify me of the same by flag of truce at 2 a. m. on Thursday, the 15th instant, and toask further that our flags may meet at the lower end of Elba Island in the Savannah River.
This communication will be transmitted by the hands of Major R. H. Anderson, adjutant and inspector general of this department.
Very respectfully, &c.,
J. C. PEMBERTON,
HEADQUARTERS THIRD DIVISION,
Camp Taylor, Huntesville, May 13, 1862.
Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON:
I have just receive an order from General Buell to send all prisoners of my divisions captured and paroled by Morgan to Louisville for duty under the provost-marshal. Before receiving this order I had opened negotiations with Generals Beauregard and E. K. Smith for an exchange. I trust in this I was not passing the limit of my duty and hope I may be permitted to make the exchange. Have sold two hundred and seventy bales of captured cotton, which is now going forward to market.
O. M. MITCHEL,
HDQRS. NORTHERNDISTRICT, DEPT. OF THE SOUTH,
Hilton Head, S. C., May 13, 1862.
To the COMMANDING OFFICER OF FORCES, Savannah.
SIR: Your letter of the 9th instant which I would hereby acknowledge I might from its tenor and temper be well excused fromreplying to, but in the entire absence of any thought or motive on my part other than the most frank and honorable toward yourselves, and of course without the suspicion that any one could or would have cause to attribute to me any other I did not guard myself as completely as I might against any possible insinuations as to my "purposes. "
My "own purposes," sir, in the delay that has occurred were those of humanity alone, and whatever cause of complaint we may feel we have had against your forces elsewhere it has been a pleasure for me to feel that in different instances in this vicinity your troops have recognized the laws of humanity and war, so that I doubt not every reflecting mind on either side now will fully approve those "purposes. " Your