our men relased from Fort Warren on parole I am authorized to notify them that they are released from their parole.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
A late letter* from General Wool states he had requested that COlonel Hoffman should be given for Colonel Bradford, of orth Carolina, whereas we have offered Brevet Colonel Chandler, Third Infantry.
What reply shall I give!
HALL OR REPRESENTATIVES, Janaury 17, 1862.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMI, S ecretary of War.
SIR: A large number of Hatteras prisoners belonging to the Seventh (and afterwards numbered Seventeenth) Regiment North Carolina Volunteers, Colonel Martin, released on parole are now at their respective homes and in doubt as to their position. Some of them returned the last of October or soon after and was generally believed in consequence of the discharge by our Government of a like number of U. S . prisoners wounded and disable. Another larger portion were discharged in the month of December. These men enlisted for twelve months and their time of service has not expired and they desire while fully meeting the obligations of their parole to re- enter the service when they can safely and honorably do so. one of those first discharged who resides in my own (Hertford) county, J. D. Barnes, has to- day called on me and I have been with him to the Adjutant- General's and to General Winder's office to make inquiries in regard to the matter. May I ask of the Department information on the following points:
1. Are the prisoners, some sixty in number I understand, still under their engagement not to take up arms against the United States during the present war until exchanged or released, or has that obligation been removed!
2. Does the similar obligation taken by the prisoners released from confinement at Fort Warren remain or has it been discharged!
3. What steps will be taken if any to advise them of their release from parole so that they may again enter the service and if taken be entitled to claim the rights of prisoners of war!
I will be obliged by a brief not giving information in regard to the condition of the prisoners as the convenience of the Department will permit it to give and to enable them to act properly.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. N. H. SMITH.
WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, January 18, 1862.
Mrs. SARAH A. DAWSON, Goresville, Loudoun County, Va.
MADAM: I have received the letter of Colonel J. W. Geary, Twenty- eighth Pennsylvania Regiment, in regard to the excahgne of certain prisoenrs. I do not recognize COlonel Geary as proper authority to negotiate with this Government for the exchange of prisoners and cannot therfore enterinto arrangements with himupon this subject
*Wool to Huger, Janaury 16, p. 195.