communications within our lines, and men were detected in attempting to deliver them. One of these letters is an order for a large quantity of drugs and other contraband articles.
As I am not inclined to charge any one other than the party implicated by the discovery with this gross violation of the obligations of a flag of truce, I answer you as though this had not happened; but I shall detain the guilty party for trial. This disposition of the guilty party is one that you as a soldier, versed in the laws and usages of war, must approve. The obligations of military honor should never be trifled with with impunity.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, La., July 27, 1863.
General S. COOPER,
Adjt. and Insp. General C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: I have gathered from the papers, but have no official information, that the exchange of commissioned officers has been resumed.
I write to request that if the exchange mentioned has been resumed an official notification to that effect be sent one.
There are now here quite a number of commissioned officers captured by Major-General Taylor's forces in Lower Louisiana who should be exchanged if this exchange has been resumed.
There are also many paroled prisoners form Vicksburg and Port Hudson passing through the country. I would respectfully request that a special messenger be sent to notify me of the time of their exchange.
I have the honor to remain, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH,
OCTOBER 12, 1863.
Respectfully returned to the Secretary of War.
I hope Lieutenant-General Smith will speedily be informed that the exchange of officers has not been resumed, and I trust he will keep all his prisoners (officers and men) in custody. Would it not be well to send by certain conveyance to him my declaration of the exchange of the Vicksburg prisoners? I have dispatched Major Szymanski west of the Mississippi to inform our commanders there of all essential information as to the present position of all matters connected with exchanges and paroles.
Agent of Exchange.
Inform General Smith of the substance of Mr. Ould's indorsement, also that on the reassembling of two-thirds of any of the regiments of paroled prisoners ordered to rendezvous west of the Mississippi, and information thereof, they will immediately declared exchanged. We