War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0333 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

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what articles are purchased for the sick; how the property is accounted for, &c. Report particularly on the personal condition of the sick, whether cleanly in their persons, bedding, clothing, &c. In making your report be governed by the forms used in the medical department as far as they are applicable. Forward your reports by mail as soon as they can be made up, and having accomplished the inspection, report in person at this office.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN,

Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary-General of Prisoners.

HDQRS. HOFFMAN'S BATTA., DEPOT PRISONERS OF WAR,

Near Sandusky, Ohio, October 1, 1863.

Colonel WILLIAM HOFFMAN,

Commissary-General of Prisoners, Washington, D. C.:

There is a bad spirit among the prisoners. They have the idea that it would be a great thing for the Confederacy for them to escape, and they are talking about it being their duty to make the attempt, as they are superior in numbers to so great extent; that as all the Confederate officers are collected here, if they could get off to Canada their Government would be much relieved on the exchange of our officers who commanded colored troops. Such things are reported to me by those who overhear. I have little doubt it will be only a question of time for them to make a revolt. If the numbers will continue as large, or lager, the force here should be immediately increased at least two companies, in my judgment. It would also add much to our security if the U. S. steamer Michigan lay off here. I do not know how much it would interfere with the other purposes of the Government to have her ordered here, but she could certainly render a very important service. I need not say a word as to the importance of my charge at the present time.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. S. PIERSON,

Lieutenant-Colonel Hoffman's Battalion, Commanding.

RICHMOND, October 1, 1863.

Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have received the accompanying discourteous letter* from the Federal agent, which I will take occasion to answer in a few days in what I trust will be fitting terms. In the meantime pardon me for a few suggestions.

General Meredith's letter is filled with falsehoods. I cannot speak positively as to his first item of 1,208 officers and 14,865 men, who he says are discharged by my declaration of exchange. The lists I have received rom Vicksburg are too imperfect to be fully relied upon. General Meredith's computation as to the Vicksburg prisoners may therefore be true, though I doubt it.

The second item of 72 officers and 8,014 men who he says were delivered at City Point is grossly false. All the officers referred to were especially exchanged at the time of delivery, and therefore there is no

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*See Meredith to Ould, September 24, p. 315.

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