War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0348 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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I have also the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your two communications of October 2, which shall be attended to at any next interview with the rebel agent of exchange.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. A. MEREDITH,

Brigadier-General and Commissioner of Exchange.

WASHINGTON, October 5, 1863.

General S. A. MEREDITH,

Commissioner for Exchange of Prisoners:

SIR: I inclose a communication from Mr. Wood, the superintendent of the Old Capitol Prison, which I find upon my table this morning. I wish you to show this communication from Mr. W. to Mr. Ould, and confer with him on the subject to which it points, bearing in mind this point, that the Government will not agree to a rule, such as Mr. Ould has often proposed, by which the people in rebellion could not be arrested; but, at the same time, and the practice hitherto fully bears me out in saying, that there is no disposition to harass and annoy citizens simply as such. In all cases heretofore, so far as I know, whenever Southern people have been arrested it has been for special reasons, marking the individuals as separated from the mass of a community. I wish you to have a free explanation with Mr. Ould, with a view to the release of the parties referred to by Mr. Wood, and it will be necessary for you to say that although we have hitherto refrained from the arrest of citizens, as such, the detention of citizens in the Richmond prisons or elsewhere in the South as Union men will oblige us to resort to similar proceedings. As I recently wrote to you, I know of no case of a citizen of the South being held by us as such, and I wish you to invite Mr. Ould to name any within his knowledge, and if he can name any such we will send them home, and if we have not enough (if we have any at all) to offset those whom he may release, the number can be doubled or trebled by due order to our commanders to arrest them and send them here to be exchanged. Surely Mr. Ould will not wish to oblige us to [take] this step.

Some time ago we arrested two citizens in Virginia for special cause; the Richmond authorities arrested two Union men to answer for them, without any other cause. The two men were paroled for three weeks, as I hear, and then returned to Richmond, where they now are.e not released I shall be obliged to employ the means I have just suggested. Hoping that you and Mr. Ould may together accomplish something for the relief of individual suffering,

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. A. HITCHCOCK,

Major General of Vols., Commissioner for Exchange of Prisoners.

[Inclosure.]

OLD CAPITOL PRISON, Washington, October 5, 1863.

General E. A. HITCHCOCK,

Commissioner for Exchange of Prisoners:

SIR: I take the liberty of stating that I am in possession of recent and reliable information that a number of Pennsylvania, who were taken prisoners in the recent raid of General Lee in that State, are now incarcerated in Castle Thunder, one of the Richmond prisons;