War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0616 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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signed with initial letters. To put an end to these annoyances and to secure a certain degree of responsibility in correspondents some brief rules were adopted. They are inclosed and marked A. * The result has been to reduce correspondence so much that not more than two or three hours a day are required by one of my aides to examine letters, including those addressed to prisoners of war.

4. These rules imply no obligation to forward letters. Even when fully complied with the transmission is discretionary. In explanation I have the honor to inclose a copy of a letter+ to J. Holbrook, esq., special agent Post-Office Department, New York, marked B.

5. This subject has been twice a matter of reference and explanation, once incidentally, between the War Department and myself, as will be seen by the inclosed indorsements* marked C and D. In a personal interview with you soon after they were made I also explained the matter. I had then stopped all letters, but I found there were cases of great hardship in which intelligence of the death or wants of relatives and the distresses of families were sought to be communicated, and under the strict rules I adopted letters are now forwarded as before.

6. As a sample of the correspondence which is permitted I send three letters taken without selection from a number waiting to be forwarded. If there is no objection they will go to their destination when returned.

7. You are under a misapprehension in supposing that letters have only been forwarded with the sanction of the War Department in "one or two isolated instances. " I have directed Captain Lord who has charge of the correspondence to keep a memoranda of the letters forwarded to the President and Departments of the Government, and he reports the number received since November as follows: From the President, 5; from the War Department, 25; from the Post-Office Department 5; from the State Department, 3. In addition to these a large number have been received from Major Turner, from officers of the Government and members of Congress. They are all, however, subjected to the usual scrutiny. No letter passes in either direction without being read.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX,

Major-General.

FORT MONROE, May 15, 1863

Honorable E. M. STANTON:

I send you files of the Richmond papers for several days previous to the 14th by mail. The prisoners arriving here think the whole number received at Richmond from Fredericksburg do not exceed 4,500. Those captured by the rebel General Forrest have arrived in Richmond.

JOHN A. DIX.

Major-General.

FORT MONROE, May 15, 1863

Honorable E. M. STANTON:

I send by to-day's mail from Richmond papers of the 14th. News from Tullahoma, Chattanooga and Charleston up to the 12th. Nothing important. The prisoners from Richmond are arriving. It is

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*Not found.

+Omitted here; see p. 591

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