HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA,
Fort Monroe, Va., May 11, 1863.
JAMES HOLBROOK, Esq.,
Special Agent Post-Office Department, New York.
SIR: The rules adopted in regard to the transmission of letters across the lines not to be considered as authorizing correspondence. It is not to be inferred that all letters complying with them will be forwarded. It is entirely discretionary with the commanding officer here, and there may be times or circumstances which will render all correspondence inexpedient except with prisoners of war. The published memorandum only intended to give native that no letters of any description will be forwarded unless certain rules were complied with. In regard to your special inquiry I answer that letter should be sent unsealed otherwise we shall break them open.
I am, respectfully, yours,
JOHN A. DIX,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF EASTERN ARKANSAS,
Helena, Ark., May 11, 1863.
Major H. Z. CURTIS, Assistant Adjutant-General.
SIR: I have the honor to hand you herewith a communication addressed to the major-general commanding the Department of the Missouri which was this day received from Lieutenant-General Holmes, C. S. Army, commanding District of Arkansas.
Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,
B. H. PRENTISS,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS,
Little Rock, May 7, 1863.
Major General S. R. CURTIS, U. S. Army, or
OFFICER Commanding DEPT. OF THE MISSOURI, Saint Louis.
GENERAL: I have in good faith carried out the cartel agree upon by our respective Governments and have paroled until exchanged and sent within your lines such prisoners as have been captured by the forces under my command.
I have indisputable evidence that many prisoners have been made by troops under your command in Northwestern Arkansas and South Missouri who have never been heard from and have been carried off without any known effort on your part to account for them, while they have not been paroled for exchange.
I shall parole no more prisoners until I find a disposition on your part to comply with the terms of the cartel. it is furthermore reported to me in a manner which precludes all doubt that General Blunt has issued orders for the execution of all prisoners whom he is pleased to style "guerrillas" or "bushwhackers" taken in arms. The persons to whom he thus alludes constitute a part of the Confederate forces, organized specially by me under authority of the acts of the Confederate Congress for the defense of the frontier and in accordance with the laws of all civilized nations.
The orders of General Blunt are contrary to all law and unless immediately rescinded I will retaliate by executing man for man of the prisoners I may have at any time in my hands.