HEADQUARTERS, Memphis, March 6, 1862.
Colonel T. JORDAN, Assistant Adjutant-General.
COLONEL: I have the honor to inform you that through the inefficiency and neglect of the guard fourteen Federal prisoners escaped from the prison last night. Two were apprehended and brought back this morning. Twelve are still at large. I have telegraphed to Paris, Humboldt, Brownsville, Tenn., and Cortinth, Miss., and hope to get them all back before they cross the lines. To guard against future escapes I have increased the guard and issued more stringent regulations to insure their safe-keeping, to keep up which I require additional men.
I have the honor to be, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain, C. S. Army, Commanding.
RICHMOND, March 7, 1862.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.
SIR: May I ask you to have the inclosed letter in reference to Messrs. Washington and Cooke filed in the appropriate bureau of your Department, so that their names may not be forgotten when there shall be another exchange of prisoners. R. Washington is the brother of the late John Augustine Washington (formerly of Mount Vernon), who fell in Western Virginia and was one of the best soldiers in Jackson's brigade.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. R. BOTELER.
WINCHESTER, March 3, 1862.
Honorable A. R. BOTELER.
DEAR SIR: I sit down the address you as the Representatives of our district in the C. S. Congress in behalf of my cousin, Mr. Richard B. Washington, and also of Mr. Bushrod W. Cooke, son of Mr. Ed. S. Cooke, of Jefferson. These gentlemen happened unfortunately on Thursday to be below Charlestown at the residence of the late Dr. William F. Alexander. On attempting to return to Charlestown, unconscious doubtless of the presence of the enemy, they were met by a party of Yankee cavalry which was returning from Charlestown to Harper's Ferry and were made prisoners. I appeal to you, sir, to apply to the Secretary of War to have their names mentioned in the first exchange of prisoners between the Governments. You are acquainted with both gentlemen and their antecedents. Uncle Dick (so I have been accustomed to call him) entered the army in April and served faithfully in the ranks till October, when on account of erysipeals he was discharged, but I have heard him lately express his determination to re-enlist as soon as the spring opened, although he has now the care of three families upon him, most of them females. He has lately invested to a considerable amount in Confederate bonds and has always shown himself a staunch, loyal, gallant Southern gentlemen. If then he is not sooner put upon parole I beg you to apply to have his and Mr. Cooke's name mentioned in the earliest exchange. At this time when clouds of trial seem to be casting their shadows over the bright prospect of our young Confederacy and public patriotism (I sorrow to record it) seems to be upon the ebb we call ill spare to lose such men as these,