HDQRS. DEPT. OF SOUTH CAROLINA AND GEORGIA,
Charleston, May 17, 1862.
Colonel A. L. LONG,
Military Secretar, Headquarters Commanding General.
COLONEL: I have the honor to transmit herewith copy* of a letter addressed by myself to Major General D. Hunter or officer commanding U. S. troops on the coast of South Carolina and Georgia on the 12th instant, also a copy+ of the reply of Brigadier-General Benham, U. S. Army, thereto. It is proper to add that I have directed Brigadier-General Lawton to return to General Benham his letters with the following indorsement, to wit:
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF GEORGIA, May -. 1862.
I am directed by the major-general commanding the department to return this communication, and to say proposal to exchange prisoners of war was made by him (Major-General Pemberton, commanding in chief an army of the Confederate States) to Major-General Hunter in like position with reference to an army of the United States, and not to Brigadier-General Benham of that service.
Very respectfully, &c.,
J. C. PEMBERTON,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE,
Knoxville, May 17, 1862.
Brigadier General D. LEADBETTER,
Commanding, &c., Chattanooga, Tenn.
GENERAL: The major-general commanding directs that you send an intelligent officer to Bellefonte for the purpose of effecting an exchange of prisoners, grade for grade. You will send with him such an escort as you deem sufficient. The prisoners paroled by Colonel Morgan will be exchange for any prisoners the enemy may have in possession. If this should leave a balance in our favor you can exchange any prisoners you may have. You will be careful to select an officer well qualified for the duty, one who will well and faithfully look to the interests of the country and at the same time observe the utmost courtesy toward the Federal officers with whom he may deal. Inclosed is a communication++ to General Mitchel, which you will forward by the officer making the exchange.
By order of Major-General Smith:
HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT,
Corinth, May 17, 1862.
Assistant Inspector-General, Western Department.
GENERAL: The general commanding has been informed through Major Smith, paymaster, that Federal prisoners now at Jackson, Miss., now on parole, are allowed the liberty of the town. He wishes this
* Omitted here; Pemberton to Hunter, May 12, p. 531.
+ Benham to Commanding Officer of Forces, Savannah, May 13, p. 531.
++ Not found.