HEADQUARTERS, Charleston, S. C., July 18, 1863.
Colonel J. L. BRANCH, Charleston, S. C.:
COLONEL: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 16th instant proposing that the portion of Morris Island now occupied by the enemy after it shall have been retaken might be held and fortified by exposing our prisoners to the enemy's fire.
In reply the commanding general directs me to say that it is not considered in accordance with the usages of war to use our prisoners as a means of defense or protection.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Chief of Staff.
OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,
Washington, July 19, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel WILLIAM H. LUDLOW,
Agent for Exchange of Prisoners, New York City:
COLONEL: Your letter of yesterday is just received. I am informed by General Hitchcock that there will be no more deliveries of prisoners of war until there is better understanding in relation to the cartel and a more rigid adherence to its stipulations on the part of the rebel authorities. Preparations are to be made at once for the establishment of a camp where prisoners of war who cannot be held at places now appropriated to them may be held until the matter of exchanges is satisfactorily arranged.
It is desirable that our paroled prisoners, about 10,000 I think, should be exchanged for as many of the rebels paroled by Grant as will balance the account, but this can only be done after we receive the rolls of his captures from which to select the regiments making up the requisite number to be exchanged.
I will be obliged to you if you can direct that rolls of any prisoners received at Fort Monroe from the South be sent to me as early as practicable.
It is necessary that I should have rolls of all prisoners of war captured to enter in our books, and when rolls of exchanged prisoners are received the books are made to correspond. If I wait to get these rolls until the exchange is made, it is attended with much inconvenience in making the records, and, besides, in the meantime I do not know what prisoners we have.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary-General of Prisoners.
20 AMITY PLACE, New York, July 19, 1863.
Colonel WILLIAM HOFFMAN, Commissary-General of Prisoners:
COLONEL: If it has been decided not to send the prisoners of war from Fort Delaware to City Point, would it not be best to be sending the Confederate wounded there? The steamer New York, under charge of Major Mulford, can be used, as she is well calculated to carry sick and wounded. If you so desire you can telegraph Lieutenant-Colonel
9 R R-SERIES II, VOL VI