HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS,
Little Rock, May 24, 1862.
GENERAL COMMANDING U. S. FORCES IN ARKANSAS.
GENERAL: In a skirmish which took place near Searcy between a portion of your forces and mine Surg. A. Krumsick, Third Regiment Missouri Volunteers, U. S. Army, was taken by my troops and in consequence of their inability to return him brought to this city, where he is now enjoying his freedom subject to the limits of the city, awaiting an opportunity to be returned to your army.
In the campaign about to open before us I desire to have some distinct understanding with you on several points which I shall clearly define, and to which I beg as distinct replies.
1. I propose that surgeons and their assistants belonging to either army (as agreed by General Beauregard and Major-General Buell) shall be allowed to visit the field of battle to attend to the wants of the wounded of both sides without any molestation from either party.
2. It has been reported to me that you or your officers are in the habit of arresting citizens of this State who are not in arms and making their release conditional upon taking an oath of allegiance to the United States, forcing them to accept conditions wholly obnoxious to their wishes and our laws.
I sincerely trust that this is not the case and that you or yor officers do not arrest unoffending citizens without arms. I am therefore compelled to inform you that I cannot respect an oath taken under such circumstancea as are referred to above. Should any person who has thus been forced to take the oath engage in the service of the Confederate States and be subsequently taken by you I shall expect that he be treated with the same consideration which civilized warfare demands from belligerents. I take this occasion to say, however, that should you inflict upon any such persons the penalty of a violation of an oath I shall deem it my duty to retaliate man for man as fast as authentic infrmation of the facts reach me. I desire, general, to conduct this war so far as I am able in the limits of the most enlightened warfare and to that end I do not seek toa rrest unarmed, defenseless men or molest helpless women and children, and I am unwilling to believe that you desire to conduct your campaign on any other principles, and to this end I have addressed you this communication.
All of your prisoners held by me are daily walking about our streets under no confinement, and I shall always hold myself ready to exchange rank for rank with you for Confederate soldiers provided the same willingnenss be shown by you.
I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN SELDEN ROANE,
FORT MONROE, May 25, 1862.
Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
I have received dispatch by a flag of truce from General Huger of this date which contains the following, viz:
Colonel Wool who has been released on parole is relieved from his parole if he has not been notified heretofore, and he is exchanged for Colonel G. S. Patton. The Department of War was under the impression that he had been so notified before.
I sent a flag this morning with Mr. Lowe and three rebel officers to be exchanged or to return to Fort Monroe by the flag. The main object