Cape Girardeau, Mo., May 20, 1863.
Colonel J. O. SHELBY,
Commanding First Div. of Forces in Arms against the United States.
COLONEL: The proposition made by Captain Adams, the representative of General Marmaduke, for an exchange of prisoners-as follows, Major McConnel for Major Blackwell, Captain Spencer for Captain Woodsmall, Captain Mitchell for Lieutenant Edwards and two enlisted men, Captain Barlett for Lieutenant Ferrill and two enlisted men-was telegraphed to General Davidson who makes the following reply:
The exchange must take place by delivery at Vicksburg of equal number and rank.
J. W. DAVIDSON,
I therefore in obedience to their parole and orders from headquarters return to your custody the three captains you sent to this point for exchange.
I have the honor to be, colonel, your very obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS CAMP OF INSTRUCTION,
Benton Barracks, Mo., May 20, 1863.
Major H. Z. CURTIS, Assistant Adjutant-General.
MAJOR: On examination I find that 115 officers and 1,200 enlisted men at this post are declared exchanged by General Orders, No. 117, Adjutant-General's Office, current series. The officers with one or two exceptions belong to the Department of the Tennessee while the men belong to the Department of the Cumberland. The men are organized into companies and comprise the Fourth Battalion Paroled Men, three companies of the Second Battalion and half a company of the First Battalion, commanded by officers detailed for that purpose as their proper officers have not yet reported here. As these officers have in charge the muster and descriptive rolls of the men and are familiar with all the records to prevent the confusion of accounts incidental to a change of commanders I recommend that they be retained here till the proper officers arrive; or if that is not practicable that they be instructed to take the men to their proper commands in the field, turning over all the military history in their possession. Besides these exchanged men we have about 3,000 paroled men present and absent who will require 45 or 50 officers for their command. As there are no paroled officers who can be used for this service I suggest the propriety of retaining here those exchanged officers who have no commands in the field and of sending the others to join their regiments at once. I would also suggest that it might be well to relieve from duty at this post those colonels and lieutenant-colonels whose commands are mainly here to enable them to act for the benefit of their regiments in the field and in their respective States.
Awaiting your instructions I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. L. E. BONNEVILLE,
Colonel, U. S. Army, Commanding.