WASHINGTON, September 16, 1863.
General Kemper will be sent to you for exchange. We shall fully reciprocate in the exchange of sanitary persons. Mr. J. F. Scott shall be sent South if possible, and I know of nothing to prevent it at this time.
E. A. HITCHCOCK,
OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,
Washington, September 16, 1863.
Brigadier General S. A. MEREDITH,
Commissioner for Exchange of Prisoners, Fort Monroe, Va.:
GENERAL: Mr. Ould's letter of the 5th instant, with the accompanying letter from Captain W. C. Bird, which you referred to Major-General Hitchcock, commissioner for exchange of prisoners, has been by him referred to this office, and in reply I have the honor to make the following remarks:
Captain Bird states that he was wounded and taken prisoner at the battle of Perryville and remained in Kentucky some months. How much of that time he was in hospital he does not state, but probably most of it, as we have no permanent station in Kentucky for prisoners. He remained at Camp Chase, which is a permanent prison camp, six weeks. From there he was sent to Johnson's Island, where, after a short stay, he was sent to City Point. The delay was occasioned, not by a desire to detain him, but from unavoidable causes, and in part from misconception of orders.
It has not been by the authority of the War Department that this officer or other officers or soldiers who have been discharged have not been promptly delivered. Repeated orders have been given that all exchanged officers and men should be sent forward for delivery without delay, but in some few cases, through a misunderstanding of the orders, persons entitled to be sent beyond the lines have not been forwarded; but in no instance where a case of this kind has been brought to the notice of this office has there been any hesitation in rectifying the error.
The obstacle which for so many months interrupted the delivery of prisoners of war at Vicksburg prevented deliveries that would otherwise have been made, and thus individual cases were lost sight of.
Major-General Hitchcock has addressed you in relation to the case of Captain William Waller, mentioned in the letter of Captain Bird, and nothing is required from me.
Medical officers and chaplains are held because officers of the same class belonging to the Federal Army are held in the prisoner in Richmond.
Mr. Ould asks for the release of Lieutenant W. F. Blackwood, Fifth Arkansas Infantry, captured in Mercer County, Ky., now at Johnson's Island. I am not aware of any declaration of exchange which covers his case. The two last exchanges declared in May and June, so far as I know, exchanged only such prisoners as had already been delivered and paroled. If Mr. Ould can show that he has been exchanged, he will at once sent to City Point.
I will immediately have a careful examination of the records of our prisons made, and all prisoners of war, whether recruits or old soldiers, whose exchange has heretofore been announced will be without delay delivered beyond our lines.