reference to the detention of the bearer of a white flag accredited by Mr. John W. Green, acting assistant adjutant-general, &c., for the following reasons:
When you are officially informed and acknowledged an outrage committed on the rights of a flag of truce on the Murfreesborough pike you returned the three captured without their overcoats and robbed of part of their equipments. When on the very next day you coolly came behind your own flag, borne by Lieutenant-Colonel Hawkins, and halted at our lines and captured some forty of our cavalry-men in his presence and against his protestations, you neglected promptly to repair the outrage although in principle the same as the former one, but under circumstances far more aggravating, and when your attention was subsequently called to this neglect and you were informed that such reparation would be regarded as a sine qua non to further official intercourse you replied by a communication justifying the outrage and moreover accusing the general's authorities of twenty-four hours' detention of your flag of truce, the justification being a manifest contradiction of acknowledged principles and facts, and the statement concerning the detention false, for which you made yourself responsible by saving that had fully examined the case.
The general will forward herewith the communication directed to your official superior, trusting that more enlightened and just views will be taken by him and that there may yet by preserved that respect for the sacred character of a flag of truce which the interests of humanity require. All the general asks is that a flag of truce shall not be used to cover tricks and spying but confined to its legitimate objects - needful and honorable intercourse on great public matters between opposing armies. To prevent individual hardships he directs me to suggest that due notice ought to be given that persons presenting themselves at our line with white flags but without due authority from the superior officer of your forces on any of these lines will be liable to be treated as spies for lurking about our lines and for disgracing the sacred character of a flag of truce.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA,
Fort Monroe, Va., January 18, 1863.
Honorable ROBERT OULD, Agent for Exchange of Prisoners.
SIR: Will you please send me by Captain Mulford a reply to my communication to you of the 14th instant in reference to your retention of U. S. officers in violation of the cartel and also to the case of Mrs. Piggott? Will you also inform me whether you will release the citizen prisoners now held by you and especially those captured by General Stuart in his raid into Maryland and Pennsylvania?
William J. Peters whose release you promised me some time ago has reported tome with a copy of parole to procure the release of one White, a citizen, or return in thirty days. I should have been glad if his release had been unconditional as agreed on, but having given his parole he has diligently but unsuccessfully sought out White. Only three Whites have been found on the rolls, two at Fort McHenry and one at Fort Monroe, but all were released some time since. It being