HEADQUARTERS FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Camp near Vicksburg, April 12, 1863.
Major-General GRANT, Commanding, &c.
DEAR SIR: A flag of truce brought on the family of Mrs. Mary M. Tompkins, of California, who wishes to go to San Francisco via New York City. She understands her obligations and duties, and I have promised she may with your approval pass to New York and San Francisco provided she respects the laws of propriety whilst passing through our territory. She has two daughters with her, Lilly and Rose, thirteen and eleven. Please given the necessary passes.
I send papers sent me by Major Watts, and have a message that in the gun-boat attack the Mountauk was sunk. Major Watts sent me word that the attack on Charleston had been renewed. He says he has many prisoners he would like to deliver up, but his orders remain the same as before as to officers. Captain Brown has given his parole and gone up to Memphis from Jackson.
If Mr. Dana wants an excuse to see some secession officers and if you have any distinct proposition to make for the exchange of prisoners send them down and I will on with the flag. Mr. Dana can go along. He asked me to notify him the first chance. General Thomas may advise you if it be proper to receive prisoners of war under the old cartel. I see in Northern papers so many notices of the renewal of exchanges that I believe must be some truth in it, though Major Watts told me distinctly he had orders not to exchange officers and sent me word to-day that he had nothing new on this subject.
I am, &c.,
W. T. SHERMAN,
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
Franklin, Tenn., April 12, 1863.
Major-General VAN DORN,
Commanding Confederate Forces, Spring Hill, Tenn.
GENERAL: I am directed by the commanding general of the Army of the United States to forward to you under flag of truce the herewith inclosed General Orders, Numbers 49, * War Department, Washington, February 28, 1863, in reference to the rules and regulations in regard to paroles as established by the common law and usage of war, and which have been published for the guidance and instruction of said Army. These orders have just been received by me and I send them to you at this my earliest convenience.
I regret that I am compelled to inform you that some of your officers violated a well-recognized principle of war and an agreement lately entered into by representatives of the Government of the United States and the Government of the Confederate States in taking two of my medical officers prisoners at Brentwood, Tenn., on the 25th day of March last; and also as I am credibly informed that at the same time these officers so uncomfortably some of my sick and wounded there taken prisoners into wagons and compelled them to undergo such hardships and exposure on the march that a large number of them died from the effects thereof.
* Omitted here; see p. 306.