War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0269 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. --UNION.

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WASHINGTON, February 13, 1863.

Lieutenant Colonel W. H. LUDLOW, Agent for Exchange of Prisoners.

How many citizen prisoners do you want for exchange?

W. HOFFMAN,

Commissary-General of Prisoners.

OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,

Washington, D. C., February 13, 1863.

Lieutenant Colonel W. H. LUDLOW,

Agent for Exchange of Prisoners, Fort Monroe, Va.

COLONEL: I have the honor to inclose herewith all the information* I have been able to obtain in relation to the two prisoners in the penitentiary at Albany. From their own statements it is plain that they belong to no proper military organization and that neither of them was an officer. It was not till recently that the rebel authorities would recognize guerrillas, bushwhackers and other irregular bands as fit subjects for exchange, and within a few weeks past they have rejected some of this class. They cannot now therefore go back to 1861 and claim to exempt a band of marauders who break into a post-office and steal the mail from proper punishment on the ground that they belonged to the Army and were acting under the authority of their Government. You will fully understand how to bring this matter before Mr. Ould so as to insure the release of our officers who are held in their penitentiaries as hostages for these robbers, and I need only put the papers in your hands. Nothing has yet been decided in Zarvona's case. General Hitchcock has been confined to his room for several days, and probably nothing will be done till he can attend to it.

Mr. W. L. McDonald, sutler of the Twenty-sixth New Jersey Volunteers, called on me this morning with a parole in which he was pledged to effect the exchange of S. J. Anderson, on parole in New York, for himself within thirty-five days or to return to Richmond. His parole is January 19 [1863]. As you have already made provision for the exchange of sutlers and their employees I told Mr. McDonald it was unnecessary that he should make a special exchange, and that he might consider himself exchanged unless he hears further from me. Mr. Anderson was arrested in August, 1861, by order of the Secretary of State and sent to Fort Lafayette from whence he was paroled. I presume there will be no objection to his being exchanged and I will apply to have him sent to report to you to be given as an equivalent for Mr. McDonald if that should be necessary, or to be exchanged for some person of standing held by them. I inclose the papers+ in this case. I have to-day telegraphed to persons in the West to send citizen prisoners here for exchange. I doubt if I can get as many as 300 unless I send unwilling persons. I will notify you by telegraph of their arrival and their number. You are aware that all captured rebel officers are held by us. Did you have any understanding with Mr. Ould about them when he announced that all our officers captured before the 10th of December would be released? I have been two days confined to my bed by illness which has delayed the necessary arrangements for the delivery of citizen prisoners.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN,

Colonel Third Infantry, Commissary-General of Prisoners.

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*See Morris to Stanton, p. 266.

+Not found; but see case of Samuel J. Anderson, Vol. II, this Series, p. 602 et seq.

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