War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0298 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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There have been mustered out of service-

Enlisted men. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 931

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Total absentees. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11,951

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Total in camps. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11,999

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Total report of. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16,953

This total deducted from the whole number leaves as absentees not yet accounted for, deserted, discharged, and dead, 2,352.

Of the troops on parole after the absentees are collected in, there should be a total of 16,000 men available for the field.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN,

Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary-General of Prisoners.

OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,

Washington, D. C., September 17, 1863.

Brigadier General S. A. MEREDITH,

Commissioner for Exchange, Fort Monroe, Va.:

GENERAL: You will probably find it difficult to make a declaration of exchanges covering all of our paroled men without going into an elaborate classification, and I will, therefore, venture to make the following suggestions: You have in your possession rolls of Federal prisoners of war now on parole captured prior to the 1st of September amounting in all, including 76 officers, to something over 19,000. There are of the rebel forces now on parole 15 general officers, 2,176 officers, 37,734 enlisted men, and 252 citizens, without taking note of the enlisted men captured at Port Hudson, though I believe most of the officers are included. Mr. Ould in his letter of the 11th instant enumerates troops amounting to over 1,600, which will cover a like number of our paroled forces, but it will be difficult to separate them from the mass, and to facilitate the arrangement I would suggest that you announce to Mr. Ould your desire to declare the exchange of the balance of those on parole captured prior to the 1st of September, giving him the number of officers and men, and request him to designate upon the rolls of the Vicksburg captures an equal number of officers and men now on parole to be declared exchanged as equivalents or you can designate them yourself.

If you can effect this arrangement it will relieve you from the embarrassment of numerous details and it will leave no doubts as to who are exchanged. If possible, let the declaration include camp followers and citizens. I presume from Mr. Ould's letter that he includes as being under valid paroles the prisoners captured by the enemy at Gettysburg, though by the understanding between him and Colonel Ludlow on the 22nd of May no paroles are to be considered as valid except those given on delivery as provided for in the cartel.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN,

Colonel Third Infantry -General of Prisoners.

P. S. -The numbers I give you come from reports to 31st of August, and are perhaps only about the time numbers. The rolls are most reliable.

W. H.