FORT MONROE, December 27, 1862.
Colonel W. HOFFMAN, Commissary- General of Prisoners:
No Confederate prisoners who have taken the oath of allegiance should be sent South against their will. They would be immediately impressed in to the Confederate military service. It is best to set them at liberty.
WM. H. LUDLOW,
Lieutenant - Colonel and Agent for Exchange of Prisoners.
OFFICE U. S. MILITARY COMMANDER,
Detroit, December 27, 1862.
Colonel W. HOFFMAN, Commissary- General of Prisoners.
COLONEL: Nineteen men of the Fifteenth Michigan Infantry, captured at Corinth 2nd and 3rd of October, and some of the Third Cavalry and Twelfth Infantry same days; some fifty- off men captured by Morgan's men on the Lexington turnpike and there or four other squads of two or three captured at different places- I cannot determine whether they are exchanged or not. On reading your letter to Colonel Duffield I made up my mind that all Michigan troops were exchanged, for you said in that letter: "An order will be published to- morrow or next day announcing all the recent exchanges according to the place of capture, and it is intended to cover all our paroled troops up to 11th of November, exclusive of a few at Harper's Ferry. " You further state: The exchanges are fully perfected and the announcement is in the order relieving every officer and soldier from responsibilities of his parole, * * * and covers all classes. " On reading the above I was convinced that al our Michigan troops were exchanged who had been captured prior to the 11th of November. But yesterday Captain James E. Mackey, of Fourteenth Michigan Infantry, showed me a letter from your office declaring that he was not exchanged, He was left sick with one or tow men down toward Tuscumbia somewhere and picked up. I had announced in orders that all Michigan troops were paroled and had given other orders for their movement, but Captain Mackey's letter throws me all back. What can I depend upon as regards those I have mentioned above! Please give an early answer.
Very truly, yours,
J. R. SMITH,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Military Commander.
FORT MONROE, December 28, 1862.
Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
In view of the recent proclamation of jeff. Davis directing that noncommissioned office of the United Sates taken prisoner shall be released on parole before exchange until General Butler is punished shall not all Confederate commissioned officers taken prisoners be detained instead of being forwarded as usual for exchange! I shall go to City Point to meet Mr. Ould immediately after the 1st of January. Do you wish to see me at Washington before I go!
WM. H. LUDLOW,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Agent for Exchange of Prisoners.