WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, December 17, 1861.
His Excellency JOHN LETCHER, Governor of Virginia.
SIR: In reply to you leter of yesterday I am happy to be able to inform you that Captain Riketts has been exchanged for Captain De Lagnel. The very curteous intimation of your letter is highly appreciated, but there is no other officer whom I desire to suggest for the place you design for Captain De Lagnel. He is perhaps the very best officer that could be selected for the important position at Craney Island, which has been left vacant by Colonel Preston.
J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War.
MONTGOMERY, December 19, 1861.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:
Better send no more prisoners to Tuscaloosa. Accommodations exhausted. lunatic Asylum will not be leased. To seize it would disorganize the institution and arouse the indignation of a loyal and Christian people.
Governor of Alabama.
HUMBOLDT, December 19, 1861.
Major General LEONIDAS PLK.
SIR: I am directed by General Tilghman to state to you most respectfully that he omitted to inform you that eight men of the Kentucky company of cavalry stationed at Fort Henry were captured (with their hourses) and taken to Paducah. Captain Bolen who permitted his men to be taken by a smaller number than his own and without resistancde is strongly suspected of treason and is under arrest in the fort.
General Tilghman believing it necessary to have these men as withnesses is desirous to have them returned. He asks the major- general's permission tosend a deputation under a flag of truce to Paducah for that purpose, and would be pleased if the general could furnish him with a corresponding number of prisoners for exchange.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Fort Henry.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORFOLK,
Norfolk, Va., December 20, 1861.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.
SIR: I inclose a letter* received last evening from Major- General Wool with copy of my answer* annexed. I felt authorized to express the views of my Government in this case and hpe you will be able to carry them out. Captain J. A . de Lagnel was sent to me yesteday. As General Wool has acknwledged the arrival of Captain J. B. Ricketts I
*Omitted here; Wool to Huger, December 19, p. 165, and Huger's answer, December 20, p. 165.