War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0834 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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and that of other paroled prisoners was disposed of on Saturday after an interview with the President. The determination was to decline granting passports for the prisoners within the lines of the enemy, but to relieve them from the suspicion of having violated their parole by notifying General Wool of their compulsory detention. If you will favor me with your brother's address I will furnish him official evidence of his detention. With reference to your report of our conversation I beg leave to say that my recollection of its purport differs somewhat from your own, but as it was very brief and in a crowd I may not remember it accurately. It is only necessary for me to assure you that you are mistaken in supposing that I entertained any feeling whatever in the matter.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. W. RANDOLPH,

Secretary of War.

WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, March 31, 1862.

Colonel M. J. FERGUSON,

167th Regiment Virginia Militia, Present.

SIR: I have received your letter in which you ask either for a certificate of exchange or for passport to return to your captors in conformity with the terms of your parole. The President will not consent to your return to captivity until the enemy sends back to us an equal number in exchange for prisoners already released and sent to them for whom no return has been received. General Wool will be informed immediately of your desire to return to fulfill your parole and of the reasons of your compulsory detention.

Very respectfully,

GEO. W. RANDOLPH,

Secretary of War.

RICHMOND, VA., March 31, 1862.

General R. E. LEE,

Commanding C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.

SIR: We have the honor to state that a communication was forwarded by us a day or two since to the Secretary of War of the Confederate States relating to our exchange or general parole for the purpose of effecting an advantageous change of our present condition. Since that time we are informed that Col recfeived permission to proceed to the United States by virtue of his exchange (for Colonel Pegram). Believing our cases to be similar to that of Colonel Bomford's; having been made prisoners with him; having taken the same parole and having proceeded to Richmond under the same order, &c., we respectfully request the same favorable consideration for an exchange between ourselves and the Confederate officers now in or near this city who came here as we have been informed for that purpose, or that we may be permitted to accompany him to the North on parole.

We can state in addition that we are now the only officers of the whole number of those belonging to Colonel Reeve's command who have not been exchanged or received paroles to go to the United States.

We are, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

Z. R. BLISS,

Lieutenant, U. S. Army.

J. J. VAN HORN,

Lieutenant, Eighth Infantry, U. S. Army.