War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0836 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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and these persons are detained within our lines until the enemy shall have returned to us an equal number of our prisoners in exchange for prisoners released and sent to them for whom no return has been received. You will inform Major-General Wool to this fact, stating the names of these persons, that his Government may be informed of the application and of the reasons of their detention.

Your obedient servant,


Secretary of War.

WILLIAMSTON, N. C., April 1, 1862.

Honorable W. N. H. SMITH.

MY DEAR SIR: Soon after the fall of Roanoke Island I moved my family, furniture and negroes from Plymouth supposing that I should be soon exchanged and should again go directly into the army, and as the length of my absence from home would be uncertain I was unwilling to leave my wife and boy in my town, which could be at any time occupied by the enemy. I write to ask if you can ascertain if there is any hope that I shall be released from my parole. Many other officers who were confined with me and who were released on parole after I was and upon the same terms have been exchanged and are at liberty to give their services to the cause. Why Lieutenant S. L. Johnston, Biggs and myself are to be alone left in constraint I cannot understand. Surely the opinion cannot be that we are of least value. If I am to be shelved for the war please learn the fact that I may return home where I can live more cheaply. I beg you will support the recommendation of President Davis declaring all men in the army between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five and please provide that the holding of a commission in the militia shall not exempt. A bad feeling exists all over this part of the State. In one precinct in my county there are young men enough to form a company and Governor Clark has encouraged these scamps in staying at home by saying he should not call the militia from my county into service. Littlejohn, the colonel of our county, is acting badly, repressing volunteering as far as he can. The President's proposition will give us all the men we want. There have been no gun-boats on the Albemarle above the Sucppernong since the little spat at Winston. The Yankees behaved very badly at Columbia. The officers went to the negro huts and openly invited negro women to take their children on board their boats. They took off fifty negro men with them. The negroes who have fled to them at Roanoke Island are greatly dissatisfied. Ten days ago two were shot attempting to escape, and later eighteen had gotten a boat and were making off when they fired a shell into it and killed sxiteen. The others continued their flight and took the sixteen dead to Hyde County. I have lost two men; my boy David has gone off to them. I wrote two letters to Bridgers to which he has not replied. Ask him if he received them.

Most truly,


Inform Major Gilliam that Major Reeve, the only officer of equal rank paroled by us, has been exchanged. That passports to return are refused to our paroled prisoners and General Wool is notified of the fact.