War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0655 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION.

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of war, the names and rank of whom will be found in the rolls herewith transmitted, viz, 2 captains, 3 first lieutenants, 2 second lieutenants, 1 midshipman, 2 pursers, 1 gunner, 1 carpenter, 1 sailmaker, 2 sailing masters, 1 steward and 69 seamen, in all 85, also 5 seamen taken from merchant vessels while attempting to run the blockade, all of whom will be delivered on your delivering to Lieutenant-Colonel Whipple, aide-de-camp and chief of my staff, the hostages remaining in confinement in the South on account of the said privateersmen now ready for delivery.

Lieutenant-Colonel Whipple goes in charge of the privateersmen and will communicate with you at the nearest approach to Petersburg, your headquarters. He will wait for the arrival of the hostages presuming that no unnecessary delay will be required to accomplish an object much desired by all parties interested.

P. S. -After the above delivery on parole of privateermen and hostages I presume there will be no difficulty as regards future exchanges.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN E. WOOL,

Major-General, Commanding.

In reply to these communications I received the following:

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE APPOMATTOX,

Petersburg, Va., June 2, 1862.

Lieutenant Colonel WILLIAM D. WHIPPLE, Aide-de-Camp. &c.

SIR: I am directed by the major-general commanding to reply in answer to your note of this date that to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock an officer will meet you at City Point with diresctions to receive prisoners and with such instructions relative to them as the Government imposed.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

V. C. BARRINGER,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

I acknowledged the receipt of this letter and added that I presumed that it was understood that the release of the prisoners and hostages was to be simultaneous.

During the afternoon of June 3 I received the following letter:

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE APPOMATTOX,

Petersburg, Va., June 3, 1862.

Lieutenant Colonel WILLIAM D. WHIPPLE,

Assistant Adjutant-General, U. S. Army.

SIR: By direction of the general commanding Major Ashe will bear this to you by flag of truce.

The general regrets that there is some delay in the instructions from the Government, but he is of opinion that a perfect understanding has been effected between the Government of the Confederate States and that of the United States for a general exchange of all prisoners of war, those taken on the sea as well as those taken on the land.

In the absence of instructions the general has directed Major Ashe to receive the prisoners privided you see fit to deliver them to him, or you can await the reply of the Government which will be delivered to you at 10 o'clock a. m. to-morrow.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

V. C. BARRINGER.

To this I replied that my instructions did not permit me to deliver the privateersmen until I received the hostages and that I would await the promised reply at 10 o'clock the next morning.

About 5 p. m. the next day (June 4) I received the following letter:

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE APPOMATTOX,

Petersburg, Va., June 4, 1862.

Lieutenant Colonel WILLIAM D. WHIPPLE, U. S. Army, Aide-de-Camp. &c.

SIR: From a telegram received here from the Secretary of War by the commanding general it appears that there is some misunderstanding as to the "extent of General Huger's promise in his letter of May 3 which can only be settled by a conference and time must be allowed for this. " The general commanding here can do no more than communicate to you the action of the War Department. he hopes, however, that not a moment's delay will be permitted in a fair and honorable exchange of our prisoners.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

V. C. BARRINGER,

Assistent Adjutant-General.