suffered. The lowering of the flag might, may ought, by every military rule to have brought a bombardment upon the city resulting in no one can know what destruction of property and life.
I would call attention to the policy of allowing me to assure within this department certain classes of persons who have been in the rebellion of a condonation of all political offenses to whomsoever should take the oath of allegiance on or before a given date, excepting those of course who have sinned away the day of grace. I am confident that many are tired and sick of the war here who would gladly return to the allegiance if by some authoritative act they could be assured that the past would be forgiven. Men have been so deceived as to the intentions of the Government that I have had grave judges, men of business and intelligence and planters from the country come to me under safeguards for assurances of their personal safety and that of their property from confiscation in case they placed themselves within the power of the United States. If either under direct guidance and instructions of the War Department of if left to my discretion as to the terms to be employed a declaration of amnesty under certain conditions could be made I will venture to undertake that Louisiana will within sixty days from the date of such action return to her allegiance.
* * * * *
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
SPECIAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS SECOND DIVISION, ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI, NO. 28.
June 10, 1862.
Hereafter all prisoners of war and deserters taken by the patrols, pickets or other detachments of this division will be brought to these headquarters with such arms of other property as they may have. Written statemnts giving details of the capture, name and description of each prisoners and of property belonging to him will be furnished at the time of delivering up the same.
By order of General Stanley:
W. DEAN COLMAN,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
HEADQUARTERS, Richmond, Va., June 11, 1862.
Major General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN,
Commanding Army of Potomac, &c.
GENERAL: I have had the honor to receive your letter of the 8th instant. In accordance with your proposition I have appointed Brigadier General Howell Cobb to meet such officer as you may designate with a view of arranging a general exchange of prisoners upon fair and equitable terms. As it is my wish to mitigate the calamities of war be alleviating as far as possible individual suffering I would prefer that this arrangement should embrance all prisoners of wa. I beg therefore to inquire whether it was your intention to arrange a general cartel in this sense or to confine its operation to the armies in Virgiania. I request that you will inform me of the name of the officer that you may select to meet General Cobb, and appoint a time and place where they may confer and arrange a plan of proceeding.