be an agreegale relief to them, might be of some little revenue to the Confederacy and fill up to some extent at least a much-needed supply oa an article indispensable to the comfort of our troops, many of whom are even now but poorly supplied with suitable shoes from the fact that they cannot be obtained. It may not be known to Your Excellency that this great scarcity of shoes does exist, but with this matter I am familiar, having been for many years engaged in the manufacturing and dealing in shoes in this city. the impossibility of obtaining the services of shoemakers who are amongst us and of us arises from the fact that every man or boy who can make or thread is now and has been for several months engaged in military work at such advanced prices and wages that none can be induced to work at such advanced prices and wages that none can be induced to work on shoes. This scarcity of hands is still further increased from the second fact that about one-half of those formerly employed in that way were Northern men who caught the Bull Run fever and left us for homes more congenial to their feelings, Should this matter be or seem to Your Excellency one which might be carried through on the terms I propose without detriment in any sense I would be pleased to receive a permit (after satisfying you who and what I am) to visit the prisons and see what I might do or what might be done in this way. In the meantime should you chance to see or meet with James Lyons, esq., at Jos. Mayo's, esq., city mayor, they can inform you of my character with regard to the propriety of my visiting your prisons.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
An act of the Confederate Congress authorizing the President to retaliate upon prisoners, approved August 30, 1861.
Whereas, the Government of the United States has placed in irons and lodged in dungeons citizens of the Confederate States acting under the authority of letters of marque, issued in accordance with the laws of the Confederate States by the President thereof and have otherwise maltreated the same, and have seized and confined sundry other citizens of the said Confederate States in violation of all principles of humane and civilized warfare: Therefore,
Be it enacted by the Congress of the Confederate States of America, That the President be and he is hereby authorized to select such prisoners taken from the United States and in such numerous as he may deem expedient upon the persons of whom he may inflict such retaliation in such measure and kind as may seem to him just and proper.
WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, September 2, 1861.
Colonel EPPA HUNTON,
Commanding 8th Regiment Va. Vols., Camp Johnston, near Leesburg, Va.
SIR: Your letter of August 28 proposing exchange of Arthur Dawson, of the Loudoun Cavalry, now a prisoner in the hands of the enemy, for one Henry Johnson, of New Hampshire, now a prisoner of war in richmond, and stating considerations in favor thereof, has been received. The attention of this Department had been already called to this case and in reply to the same proposal the answer has been returned that it would be both inconsistent with the diguity and self respect of this