War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0325 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

persons captured by that naval forces and now chiefly confined in Fort Lafayette", and also "that in any new arrangement for a cartel" the Navy Department "may be allowed to associate an officer or officers to arrange the terms".

In reply the Secretary instructs me to inform you that your communication has been referred to Major-General Hitchcock, commissioner for exchange of prisoners.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

P. H. WATSON,

Assistant Secretary of War.

[Indorsement.]

WASHINGTON, March 13, 1863.

The subject of the inclosed communication was by me submitted to the Secretary of War with a statement that notwithstanding the proclamation of Jeff. Davis exchanges have been made and are in progress of being made now the cartel referred to, and I asked whether the cartel shall be considered valid. He answered that the prisoners captured by the Navy now at Fort Lafayette are not to be exchanged.

It is doubtful whether they came under the cartel, not having been captured on board of armed vessels but for the most part arrested in the act of running the blockade.

E. A. HITCHCOCK,

Major-General of Vols., Commissioner for Exchange of Prisoners.

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, March 7, 1863.

Honorable A. S. WHITE, Stockwell, Ind.

SIR: The Secretary of War instructs me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 5th instant covering a communication form Mr. D. H. Cowan, of Louisville, Ky., asking your influence in obtaining the release of his two nephews now prisoners of war at Johnson's Island. In reply I am directed to inform you that the rule of this Department in such cases is that all persons taken in arms against the United States must be held to count according to rank in a general exchange of prisoners, but no person thus counted on arriving at neutral ground will be forced into the rebel lines contrary to his wish provided he is willing to take the oath of allegiance to the Government of the United States.

Very respectfully,

P. H. WATSON,

Assistant Secretary of War.

OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,

Washington, D. C., March 7, 1863.

His Excellency RICHARD YATES,

Governor of the State of Illinois, Springfield, Ill.

DEAR SIR: In reply to your communication of February 26 in relation to the granting of furloughs, transfers and discharges to the paroled prisoners of our Army I have the honor to refer you to General Orders, Numbers 72, from the War Department, a copy of which I herewith inclose*, and by reference to paragraph III, you will see that no more furloughs will be granted to paroled prisoners, and also that certain camp are specified as places of rendezvous for troops belonging to the several

---------------

* See Vol. IV, this Series, p. 94.

---------------