HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA,
Fort Monroe, May 16, 1863
Colonel W. HOFFMAN, Commissary-General of Prisoners.
COLONEL: I inclose to you a letter just received from Mr. Ould. The character of these women was of course not known to you, and they were probably sent by some mistake on a flag-of-truce boat instead of to a penitentiary.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. H. LUDLOW,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Agent for the Exchange of Prisoners.
P. S. - The description of these women as given by Mr. Ould is fully sustained by the officer in charge of them.
W. H. L.
CITY POINT, VA., May 14, 1863.
Lieutenant-Colonel LUDLOW, Agent of Exchange.
SIR; I send back to you two strumpets who were landed at this place yesterday in company with honorable and virtuous women. If after arriving here they had behaved themselves I should have stood the transaction, though with hard thoughts. A state of war even does not allow any outrage to be perpetrated upon the sanctity of a pure woman's character and last of all where a flag of truce is the vehicle. We are husbands and fathers and brothers and no form of war should stifle or subdue the holy feelings that spring from those relations. If I did not believe you were imposed upon I would be justified in taking this matter as a personal affront. These women since their arrival at City Point have descended to a depth of infancy that I hardly thought could be reached by the sex. They have delighted themselves with the foulest billingsgate that ever disgraced a fish-woman, courting prostitution at every turn and making themselves loud-mouthed in their denunciation of everything cherished and beloved by our people. Their conduct for one night has been so outrageous as to attract the attention of the press and engage the gossip of the streets. Though I cannot charge myself with blame in the affair I feel a deep sense of mortification that so infamous a proceeding should have had the countenance of the purity of a flag of truce. I have written strongly about this matter not only because every sensibility of my nature has been aroused but because of the further reason that I have a jealous regard for a flag whose honor and purity it is our special mission to uphold.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Agent of Exchange.
FORT MONROE, May 16, 1863
Colonel W. HOFFMAN, Commissary-General of Prisoners:
Captain Mulford, with the steamer State of Maine carrying 800 men, will report to you on Monday. Please inform me whether there will be more than that number to come. If so I will order another transport. Complaint is made by Mr. Ould that twelve of Mosby's men were not sent with the others. Please send them now and all officers and men held as prisoners of war.
WM. H. LUDLOW.
Lieutenant-Colonel and Agent for Exchange of Prisoners.