WASHINGTON, October 26, 1863.
This copy of a letter from the Navy to the War Department is sent to General Meredith, with instructions to confer with Mr. Ould on the subject, especially as to the prisoners of the Harriet Lane.
General Meredith's report on the subject, when received by the undersigned, will be transmitted to Navy Department.
E. A. HITCHCOCK,
Major General of Vols. and Commissioner for Exchange of Prisoners.
HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, October 20, 1863.
COLONEL; The General-in-Chief wishes to know the number of U. S. troops paroled, but not yet exchanged.
J. C. KELTON,
OCTOBER 20, 1863.
COLONEL: There are 1, 371 men on parole, delivered at City Point in September.
OCTOBER 21, 1863.
Cannot these men be declared exchanged and sent to the field?
H. W. HALLECK,
I am disposed to think that their regularities set on foot by Mr. Ould must end somewhere, and had better be terminated by non-action on our part from the date of the last declaration. To declare the men exchanged who have paroled since the 1st of September will seem to be following the example of Mr. Ould in a false direction, and can only tend to embarrass future efforts to return to the laws and usages of war. At all events, before making a further declaration of exchange on our part it would be better to make one distinct effort to draw from the rebel agent a statement of the kind of paroled prisoners he claims as constituting his rights to make declarations.
E. A. HITCHCOCK,
Major-General of Volunteers and Commissioner for Exchange.
DEPOT OF PRISONERS OF WAR,
Near Sandusky, Ohio, October 20, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel WILLIAM S. PIERSON,
Commanding Depot Prisoner of War:
COLONEL: In obedience to instructions received from you this morning I have the honor to report that in my opinion our force here is inadequate to the duty at present, and should be re-enforced to the extent of at least two companies at once, and in the event of the present