I now make another proposal, to wit: That the officers and crews of all merchant vessels who are now confined on either side be immediately and unconditionally released. Either the proposal made in my letter of the 21st ultimo or in this present one will be acceptable to me.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Agent of Exchange.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF TENNESSEE,
September 28, 1863.
Major General W. S. ROSECRANS,
Commanding U. S. Forces, Chattanooga:
GENERAL: In return for the prisoners paroled and sent to your lines I request that you will place on parole and return to me an equal number, or as many as you may have able to bear transportation. In this request I beg leave specially to include Brigadier General D. W. Adams, who is reported to be in Chattanooga wounded.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HOUSE OF DELEGATES, September 28, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON, Secretary of War:
SIR: I respectfully desire to call you attention to a case of individual hardship, for which there appears to be no redress unless in that final control over military matters which pertains to your office, a control which I invoke in the interest of humanist and justice. An old, honest, and every way reputable citizen of this city, such being his character as indorsed by some of the first citizens of Richmond, was informed about three months ago that his brother was a prisoner on Belle Isle and in a very destitute condition. He immediately applied for permission to visit his brother and supply his needs, but was refused. He then obtained letters representing him as a man of unexceptionable character, socially and civilly, and thus armed made a formal application to General Winder, which was as vain as the former. Another effort, more indirect in its character, was subsequently made, and still without effect. Meanwhile his brother represents himself to be shoeless and almost naked, and the guards absolutely refuse to receive and convey to the prisoner goods furnished by his brother.
Such inhumanity is, I believe, without a parallel in the conduct of civilized belligerents, and is obnoxious to peculiar objection here, since our soldiers in Northern prisons have hardly ever been refused opportunity to communicate with their friends and relatives, and even with strangers amount of material aid which the Yankee Government has since the commencement of the war permitted even parties whom they consider disloyal to extend to our soldier has been immense. With how much greater reason may a loyal citizen, honest, upright, irreproachable, ask the privilege of communicating with his imprisoned brother, from whom he has been separated for many years, and who now appeals to him for the common charities and absolute necessaries of life. Not the least remarkable feature of this case is the protracted detention of this prisoner when, as is alleged, hundreds who were incarcerated since have been exchanged.
A. M. KELLEY.