War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0824 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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I make no comment on these proceedings further than to remark that it seems scarcely possible that there should be any further exchange of prisoners during the war. We can parole no prisoners with any expectation of reciprocity, and can have no reliance on any promises that may be made. I submit, however, that it is but bare justice to ourselves to declare discharged such of our own citizens as are now subject to parole and so to inform the enemy, and thereafter to entertain no propositions on the subject of exchange of prisoners except on delivery of those held by the enemy and proposed for exchange.

I am, your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN,

Secretary of War.

RICHMOND, VA., March 18, 1862.

His Excellency the PRESIDENT.

DEAR SIR: I send you the certificaties of Colonels Willey and Ferguson in regard to the conduct of Colonel Norton, who was to have been exchanged for Colonel Patton. It really seems to me that Colonel Patton should not hesitate to resume his command in his regiment upon this statement of facts. I present them for your consideration.

I am, truly,

JOHN LETCHER.

[Inclosure.]

RICHMOND, VA., March 18, 1862.

I was made a prisoner by the Federal troops on the 26th of July last, a few days after the capture of Colonel Jesse S. Norton, of the Twenty-first Ohio Regiment of Federal troops. I was present when Colonel Norton was captured and aided in bearing him from the field in a wounded condition. Shortly after my confinement at Camp Chase, Ohio, I learned through the public prints that Colonel Norton had been removed to his home at Perrysburg, Ohio, and that he proposed to reorganize his regiment. Immediately upon his recovery his regiment was reorganized near Cincinnati, Ohio, and entered the service in Kentucky. I learned through the press and from officers in Camp Chase that Colonel Norton was in the service and in command of an expedition from Paris through Eastern Kentuckyk and I saw public notices of his movements frequently. At one time I learned through the steward of our prison that the active service of Colonel Norton had affected his wound before its entire recovery and it was at one time reported that he had died from its effects. I have heard from other sources that I deem reliable of Colonel Norton's conduct at the battle of Ivy Mountain. After the 13th of December last (the date of my removal to Wheeling) I heard through like sources of the removal of Colonel Norton and his regiment from Eastern Kentucky to Bowling Green, in the brigade of General Nelson.

MILTON J. FERGUSON.

I have heard the foregoing statement made by Colonel Ferguson read and I believe it agrees with my information obtained while at Wheeling in every particular.

W. J. WILLEY.