War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0507 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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gate for the admission of officers who had little or no responsibility for their conduct when inside.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN,

Colonel Third Infantry, Commissary - General of Prisoners.

RICHMOND, April 22, 1863.

Lieutenant Colonel WILLIAM H. LUDLOW, Agent of Exchange, &c.

SIR: Your communication of the 21st has been received. I did not answer your communication of the 13th instant because I really had nothing more to say in relation to the subject - matter than what was contained in the letter to which that was a reply. In my unofficial note to Captain Mulford I certainly did not intend to be discourteous or to write anything " exceptionable. " You will do me the justice to engaged our attention in correspondence I have never stepped beyond the bounds of decorous propriety. I take pleasure n saying the same in reference to yourself.

In my former communication and in personal interviews I demanded that equivalents should be given for the officers whom we had paroled and released since the 10th of December last in Tennessee and Kentucky. I distinctly put those officers upon the same footing as that of those whom we now hold in confinement. I only asked that in exchange officers paroled and released should be put in the same category as those who were retained.

You had complained that we did not parole your officers. Although in your communication of the 13th you agreed to give equivalents for such officers as we had retained you refused to give any at present for those whom we had paroled and released. In other words in cases where we had perused a course which you had declared objectionable an equivalent would be given; but where we had conformed to your own demands in the released of officers none should be given.

I must confess I was very much surprised at your letter of the 8th instant. I expressed that surprise in perhaps very strong language in my communication of the 11th instant. I intended in that letter so say to you very distinctly that unless the released officers in the West were put upon the same footing as those whom we held in confinement no more deliveries of officers would be made to you. I came to the determination with great regret. Your letter of the 13th did not mend matters much. I thought our demand was so fair, so equitable, that no one could refuse it. When therefore you sought in your communication of the 13th to put the released Western officers upon a different footing from those held by us I considered that you acknowledge our fair claim.

In your letter of the 13th instant you say: " I will acknowledge all proper paroles of our officers by delivering to you equivalents of your officers after the special exchanges of those now in confinement are carried out. " That was not what I asked. I demanded simply that the Western released officers should be put the same footing with those held by us. I did not wish to have any controversy about "proper paroles," not did I think it right that such cases should be postponed until all those in our custody were released. I though and still think that the exchange should ne simultaneous. You have an excess of officers - more perhaps than those now held by us added to such as we have paroled.