MEMPHIS, TENN., November 23, 1861.
How will it do to put to work in our shops any of our prisoners who may be gunsmiths or machinists? Shall I seize all guns that are being carried ff by parties who procured them at Belmont?
W. R. HUNT.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORFOLK,
Norfolk, Va., November 25, 1861.
Honorable SECRETARY OF WAR, Richmond, Va.
SIR: I transmit herewith a copy of a letter* received on 23rd instant from Commodore Goldsborough proposing to exchange W. R. Butt for Captain Ricketts, of the U. S. Army. To this letter I shall make no reply.
In my letter to you of the 23rd I mentioned the names of Lieutenant Peacock (Volunteer U. S. Navy), captured on the steamer Fanny, and Master's Mate Abbot, captured on a prize, as suitable exchanges for Mesrs. Butt and Dalton.
I should feel disposed to meet this proposition of Commodore Goldsborough by a counter proposition to exchange Captain Ricketts for Captain J. A. de Lagnel, and mention this for your consideration.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant.
NOVEMBER 26, 1861.
Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War. Mr. Butt I understand is quite a youth, and if a lieutenant in the U. S. Navy must have been made so very recently.
Captain De Lagnel, of C. S. Army, now a prisoner in United States and who was badly wounded at Cheat Mountain under General Garnett, would be a suitably exchange for Captain Ricketts.
Adjutant and Inspector General.
WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, November 25, 1861.
Major General B. HUGER, Norfolk, Va.
SIR: Your several letters inclosing your correspondence with Commodore Goldsborough have been received and your action in relation to the subject is entirely approved. The puerility and tergiversation that mark the whole conduct of the enemy on this subject merit contempt, and it is scarcely consistent with self respect to continue any intercourse with them in relation to exchange of prisoners until some semblance of regard for civilized usages is displayed by them. +
* * *
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. P. BENJAMIN.
*Omitted here; Goldsborough to Huger, November 23, p. 140.
+Part omitted has nor inference to prisoners.