MERIDIAN, MISS., October 6, 1863.
General S. COOPER, Richmond:
I respectfully suggest the advantage of exchanging the officers captured at Port Hudson that they may organize their troops.
J. E. JOHNSTON.
Respectfully submitted to Colonel R. Ould, agent of exchange
Assistant Adjutant - General.
OCTOBER 12, 1863.
Respectfully returned to General S. Cooper.
The officers captured at Port Hudson are either at New Orleans or at Johnson's Island, most of them at the latter place. Of course they cannot be exchanged unless the enemy delivered them to us, and that I cannot make them do. If General Johnson will suggest some way in which they can be made to do so I will be very much obliged to him. As soon as I beg those officers in hand I will exchange them.
Agent of Exchange.
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, D. C., October 7, 1863.
Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
SIR: The following prisoners were a part of the crew on the pirate shops Florida and Tacony - went into Portland Harbor and seized the revenue cutter and were captured. *
All these prisoners swear that they did not know the piratical character of the vessel when they shipped and had no chance of escape afterward. They captured and burned about thirty - eight vessels while in the pirate service. Wilton and Lanson want to take oath of allegiance and enlist in the U. S. service. These prisoners should not be discharged or exchanged.
The following prisoners were captured in running the blockade. Some of them had before been captured and exchanged. None of them will take the oath of allegiance, claiming to owe their allegiance to the Confederate States, and all captured under circumstances that should prevent their discharge unless by exchange. *
The sworn statement of the above prisoners are on file in my office. The following prisoners I recommend shall be released from Fort Warren on their sworn parole not to go south of Philadelphia or within the rebel lines during the war or till further order: Captured running blockade - John J. Jowett, forty - three years old, printer; George J. Blakesly, forty - three old, home, Alabama; C. J. Roundtree, thirty years old, North Carolina; Nathaniel Stanton, fifty - seven years old, Alabama. Sworn statements of the above in my office.
L. C. TURNER,
Judge - Advocate.
* Names omitted.