ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 125.
Richmond, Va., May 26, 1863.
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XI. The depot for recaptured slaves at McMinnville, Tenn., as announced in General Orders, Numbers 25, current series, is hereby changed to Chattanooga, Tenn.
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By command of the Secretary of War:
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
May 27, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON, Secretary of War.
SIR: Since the receipt of your letter of April 13 with regard to the general orders (Numbers 49) issued by Major-General Halleck, commanding U. S. forces, on the subject of paroles and prisoners of war, I have had no fit opportunity of communicating to General Hooker your views concerning that order.
Upon a full examination of the subject I beg leave respectfully to submit for your consideration that in my opinion no good can be accomplished by a discussion with General Hooker of the various points suggested.
From the conduct of the United States Government for some time past in the long detention of our prisoners, &c., they do not seem to regard the late cartel as binding, nor is this order (Numbers 49) the rule of their conduct since they administer the oath to all prisoners who will take it, a clear violation of paragraph 8 of that order.
In their late expedition to Ashland they paroled our wounded men and others in violation of paragraph 6 of the same order.
This is an order issued for the guidance of all the armies of the United States, and I think some more satisfactory understanding might be arrived at by causing Commissioner Ould to present the subject to the Commissioner of the United States for the consideration of his Government. If he could effect only the more prompt return of our prisoners by the enemy it would be a considerable improvement on the state of things which has prevailed for some months past, and might prevent in a measure the suffering and loss incurred by long imprisonment.
Any letter which I might write to General Hooker would be referred by him to his Government, and would most probably lead to recrimination and end in a long and useless correspondence.
I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT, Numbers 2,
Shelbyville, May 27, 1863.
ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL, Richmond, Va.
SIR: On the 25th instant the Honorable C. L. Vallandigham, of Ohio, United States, was brought by an armed guard of the enemy to the