HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORFOLK,
Norfolk, Va., February 2, 1862.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.
SRI: I had observed the announcement in the Northern papers of a mission to be sent to us ad has given my insturctions to the aide- de- camp in charge of flag of truce (Lieutenant J. Preston) how to act in case these gentlemen presented themselves. On receivin uyour letter of the 31st ultimo giving me you directions on this subject I was gratified to find that I had anticipated them in almost every particular, the caourse I propsed to pursue being indenticl with that prescribed by you. Ihave no further accounts of these gentlemen as yet.
I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WAR DEPARTMENR, Richmond, Va., February 3, 1862.
General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Winchester, Va.
SIR; I responded to your telegrm last evening about the exchange of prisoners. I take it for granted that McClellan's first setp (if he accedes to anything at all) will be to arrange for a meeting of commissioners tobe sent by both of you to some common point to agree on some terms of excahgne. If so it is most desirable that all questions of exchange should be closed. I would not, however, refuse to exchange army prisoners simply on the ground of their refusing to exchange the naval ad privateersmen. We can force them on that point by retaining the hostages and refusing to exchange them. General Wool had the hardihood to propose to exchange the privateer Smith, condemned to death, for COlonel Corcoran. So Impudent and unblushing an attempt was of course treated with contempt. Smith was a seaman and Corcoran a colonel. We keep their field officers in close confinement as hostages, but we have of course not the remotest idea of exchanging except for equal numbers of equal grade. *
* * * *
Your obedient servant,
J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War.
RICHMOND, VA., Feburary 3, 1862.
Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretry of War of the Confederate States of Amercia.
SIR: I have the honor to inform you that I was taken prisoner by the forces of the United States Government at the surender of Fort Hatteras on the 29th of August last an have since then untilt he 21st ultimo been held as prisoner in the Northern forts. On that day, 21r of January, 1862, I was released upon my parole to return and surrender myself to the commanding officer at Fortt Warren, Boston Harbor, att he expiration of thirty days unless with9in that time I V. D. Reeve, major, U. S. Army, shall be unconditionally releaded fromhis parole of honor, and if Major Reeve is already released then I am to effect the unconditional release of Major C. C. Sibley, Urole
*Omitted protion pertains to army matters.
50 R R- SERIES II, VOL III