War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0801 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -CONFEDERATE.

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equal grade. Thus for example if the enemy having 1,000 of his citizens under parole at home should have sent to us only 500 of our citizens released on parole the enemy would have the right to select which of his own citizens he preferred to release against the 500 sent us of equal grades, and so if the numbers were reversed we would have the like right.

3. I know of no rule generally established for equalizing exchanges where the prisoners are of unequal grades or for assimilating rank between officers of the army and navy. Perhaps as fair a guide as any other is the relative pay allowed by each service to its own officers and men. Thus for example in our service the pay of a lieutenant-colonel of infantry is $170 a month, that of a first lieutenant $90 and that of a second lieutenant $80. If then we desired to get back a lieutenant-colonel and had no officer of like grade to offer we would under the proposed rule be compelled to give a first and second lieutenant. This rule is merely suggested. It would work equally whether a good rule or not, but any other fair and equal rule would be acceptable. I furnish you a table of the rates of pay in our service for your guide in case this rule should be accepted by the enemy. In giving you these instructions it is by no means my intention to confine you to a strict adoption of them. They are an indication simply of what seems to be fair and equal. Any fair and equal rule will be satisfactory, provided you can see your way clear as regards its practical working. I desire only to impress on you the necessity of extreme caution in avoiding any rule or any arrangement which could possibly give rise to dispute or controversy in its practical operation. Let the arrangement be equal and let it be simple, plain and clear; all else is left to your discretion.

In conclusion I desire to say that the assurance contained in the letter of General Wool that our privateers captured on the high seas will in the future be considered in the same light as prisoners taken in armson land and will be consequently exchanged like other prisoners is entirely satifactory, and you are requested to inform General Wool that as soon as this assurance was received orders were issued placing the officers hitherto held as hostages for these privateers on the same footing as all other prisoners and they will at once be sent home on parole under the proposed arrangements for exchange.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN,

Secretary of War.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORFOLK,

Norfolk, February 18, 1862.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

SIR: I have to report that I last evening received aletter from General Burnside dated Roanoke Island, February 16,* informing mehe would proceed to embark the prisoners for Elizabeth City, to which place he had sent Lieutenant-Colonel Osborn, "who is authorized to give my consent to any proposition he may think just. " I have sent Major Benjamin Allston to meet Lieutenant-Colonel Osborn with similar powers. I have directed Major Allston to send the sick and wounded to the hospital here and to send all others to their homesto await their

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*See p. 266.

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51 R R - SERIES II, VOL II