You say I am mistaken in stating that no Federal officers are in our prisons who have been declared exchanged. You promise to furnish memoranda.
You actually refer to one case, that of one Spencer Kellogg. I have no recollection of ever having heard of him before. I have already caused inquiry to be made and if he is here he shall be delivered to you. So shall each and every other officer or man who has been declared exchanged if you will say you will do the same. I do not care whether there are charges against them or not. If you wish to limit this to officers I will agree to it. I would perfect it should include the men. Prepare your lists. I have prepared mine. Bring even the men whose deliverance I have asked and who are already exchanged and you shall have at City Point every prisoner whom you can name as being confined in our territory. If any one is wanting I will pay you tenfold. Will you agree to this? I have told you often and repeat it now that there is no reciprocal and fair proposition as to prisoners and exchanges to which I will not agree.
I again say that it is my deliberate conviction that there is not one solitary exchanged Federal officer now in confinement in the South unless Doctor Rucker is made an exception. I honestly believe that you have now in your prisons or on parole confined at the North more than 200 exchanged Confederate officers. You must allow me to say that I was amused at the list which you returned me some time ago; I refer to that which purported to be an answer to the specific cases I had brought to your attention. More than one-half of the case had "no record" appended to them. Such an entry was made in reference to Doctor Green; the same as to Clagett D. Fitzhugh, to Parson Cameron, to Kerchival, and to a hundred others who have seen by scores of people within a month or two. Every man on that list expect such as you have already delivered is now in some of your prisons. He may not be in the one named; if not it is because he has been removed in accordance with the tactics of your Government or its jailers. I ask again will your deliver our exchange officers and men?
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Agent of Exchange.
WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, Va., June 5, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel WILLIAM H. LUDLOW, Agent of Exchange.
SIR: You ask me for a frank statement of the reason for the detention of the officers of Streight's command. I will give it to you as I will in every case when you ask it. I think you find it ranker than your answer to my inquiry as to whether you intended to deliver the officers who have heretofore been declared exchanged.
Allegations have been officially received from the highest authority in Alabama charging these officers with grave offense as well against the laws of that State as the usages of civilized warfare. They are detained until the proper inquiry can be made and the fact ascertained when a determination will be made by the Confederate Government whether they come within the obligations of the cartel as prisoners of war or are to be dealt with as criminals against the laws of war and the State. These men have never been declared exchanged. I believe I have given you a better and certainly a more detailed reason for their detention than you did with reference to Colonel Morehead and other exchanged officers of whom I inquired and about whom all I could learn