Confederate States was arrested outside the limits of those States in such a case it might be a fir subject of negotiation. Mr. Wood did not say tome that he would not negotiate at any other place than Richmond. So far from it he tried repeatedly to negotiate with me at Varina. He only asked as a preliminary for their delivery that I would agree to consider his prisoners as subjects of exchange. If Mr. Wood had made any such declaration as he avers he did make he never would have gone to Richmond, and he having now made such a declaration he never will be allowed to go there.
Mr. Wood entreated me again and again for permission to go to Richmond. At first I refused and remarked to him jestingly that he would not be safe there. I did not, however, even in jest put it on the score of his "violent Unionism. " I knew many of the gentlemen on Mr. Wood's boat, some of them very intimately. They besought me to permit them to be delivered and expressed their horror of being retained. At this stage after I had repeatedly refused to allow Mr. Wood to go to Richmond he came to me and said he was willing to go to Richmond under arrest. I reluctantly consented and accordingly during the following night he was put under a guard and sent to the provost-marshal of Richmond. It is utterly untrue that the issue between Mr. Wood and myself was that he should proceed to Richmond or return with the prisoners. The matter of going to Richmond was an afterthought with Mr. Wood. Mr. Wood's first application was to have the prisoners recognized as subjects of exchange. If I had agreed to that there would have been no proposition to go to Richmond. Mr. Baxter was not appointed to treat with Mr. Wood. Mr. Baxter for more than a year before that time had been engaged in reporting upon the cases of parties confined in prison. Mr. Baxter was not a commissioner for determining the exchange of any kind of prisoners and our Government did not in any way so consider Mr. Wood. Mr. Baxter simply reported case to the War Department and so far as I have ever heard was never authorized to make stipulations and regulations concerning such or any other matters.
Camp Douglas, Chicago, Ill., January 31, 1863.
Colonel W. HOFFMAN, Commissary-General of Prisoners.
SIR: A number of prisoners now in this camp have called upon me, others have written to me, for information as to the probability of their being permitted to take the oath of allegiance. Some have even proposed to enter our service, as they were forced into the rebel. These are generally from Kentucky, Tennessee or Arkansas. Those from Arkansas especially being generally poor men make strong Union professions. Those from Texas and Mississippi are very hostile and do not wish any terms except to fight it out.
Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding.
OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,
Washington, D. C., January 31, 1863.
W. B. SMITH, Machias, Me.
SIR: In reply to your letter of the 20th instant addressed to the Secretary of War I have to inform you that the eighth section of General