HEADQUARTERS FORCES AT STAUNTON, VA.,
September 14, 1861.
SIR: By order of General Loring four prisoners of war were sent to this post to be placed in the Staunton jail. Upon inquiry I found the jail so much crowded with prisoners of war and others as to make it advisable especially in view of our limited ground not to add to their number. I therefore found it in my opinion best to take the responsibility of sending them on to Richmond to be disposed of under your own order, and to that end have this day sent them under charge of Captain Otey, who has two artillery companies started thence through richmond to Yorktown under orders.
Hoping that my disposition of them may meet with your approbation,
I remain, with much consideration, your obedient servant,
M. G. HARMAN,
Captain Otey will hand you or send to your office the names and descriptions of the prisoners.
M. G. H.
WILLIAMSTON, N. C., September 15, 1861.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN, Attorney-General, Richmond, Va.
DEAR SIR: In that sad affair, the fall of Hatteras on 29th ultimo, a son of mine, Lieutenant William Biggs, not quite nineteen years of age, was taken prisoner, and you will I am sure fully appreciate the feeling that urges me to request that the administration will seek every proper opportunity to press an exchange of prisoners. The prisoners taken at Hatteras and now confined as we hear at Governor's Island, N. Y., were composed of the very best of our population in this section of the State. Now that the enemy acknowledges us as a belligerent I can see no plausible reason for a delay of an exchange of prisoners. I do not knows but this request may imply a doubt but what you will do all you can to relieve our people, and I hope you will pardon the intrusion of this letter and excuse it in consequence of the deep solicitude we feel on the subject.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, September 17, 1861.
W. H. S. TAYLOR, Esq., Second Auditor.
SIR: I acknowledge the receipt of the letter* of Honorable Lewis Cruger to you of September 17, referred by you to this Department, in relation to the claim of the deputy marshal of the District of Florida for the expenses of prisoners captured by privateers, &c. It is the opinion of this Department that claim, if sustained by fact and accompanied by proper vouchers, of which you will judge, ought to be allowed and referred for payment to h Department of Justice. The eighth section of the act of 6th of May, 1861 (Numbers 106), provides that prisoners of war taken on board any captured vessel, &c., shall be delivered into the