War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0488 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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Philadelphia, Pa., April 17, 1863.


Commissary-General of Prisoners, Washington, D. C.

COLONEL: Your letter of the 15th instant has been received. Any alternation or improvement which you may suggest in the plans for the barracks about to be erected at Fort Delaware involving additional expense should come through the Quartermaster-General's Office, with his approval and orders thereon.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Assistant Quartermaster-General.

OLD CAPITOL PRISON, Washington, April 17, 1863.

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

SIR: I respectfully submit the following as a report on the communication and papers submitted to the War Department by W. Hoffman, colonel Third Infantry and commissary-general of prisoners:

As regards the note of General Hitchock addressed to me on the 12th ultimo (March) I respectfully submit the documents marked A and B. On my discovery of Mr. Adamson's negligence in this matter I expressed myself in the strongest terms to him of the mortification and disappointment it had caused me in not having received the communication of General Hitchock. The officer on duty at the prison will fully corroborate this fact. Some time previous to the issue of the note of General Hitchock before alluded to Colonel Hoffman had endeavored to obtain information from me in relation to the prisoners under my charge, but as I had no authority to furnish him with such information he did not receive it. Subsequently he made application to the military governor and provost-marshal upon which he was furnished with a list of prisoners. On or about the 11th or 12th ultimo (March) while in the provost-marshal's office on business Captain Todd exhibited to me a list of prisoners which he said Colonel Hoffman was about to exchange. I remarked that that roll would only mislead Colonel Hoffman as but one-half thereon were subjects of exchange, and that there were many of that class who were not on the list who had been committed since the list was gotten up. I informed Captain Todd of the propriety of notifying Colonel Hoffman of these facts as a prevention of the blunders of others being subsequently charged to me. Captain Todd requested me to call on Colonel Hoffman myself and give him this information which I declined to do, remarking that I did not recognize Colonel Hoffman as having jurisdiction or authority over the Old (Capitol Prison or myself, nor had I ever seen any order giving him jurisdiction in the exchange of rebel prisoners, but that I would comply with Colonel Hoffman's requests if ordered to do so by the military governor. I further informed Captain Todd that I had an order from the Secretary of War authorizing me to obey all orders of General Hitchcock, and if that general should give orders to the effect that I should comply with such requests by Colonel Hoffman that should promptly execute them. Upon this explanation Captain Todd immediately sent one of his clerks to Colonel Hoffman, and I am satisfied that the clerk's visit to Colonel Hoffman's office caused the issue of the letter of General Hitchock of the 12th ultimo.