number of prisoners remaining until the bay is frozen over, three or four companies more than our present force would be none too much. If the gun-boat Michigan could be ordered here it would add vastly to the security of the prisoners and prevent even the attempt at revolt, which in their present temper is likely to occur at any moment.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. A. SCOVILL,
Major Hoffman's Battalion Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
HEADQUARTERS DEPOT PRISONERS OF WAR,
Near Sandusky, Ohio, October 20, 1863.
Respectfully referred to Colonel William Hoffman, Third Infantry, U. S. Army, Commissary-General of Prisoners, with the report that I called on Major Scovill in obedience to your telegram, this day received, for his views as to increase of guards at this fort, and the within is his reply.
WM. S. PIERSON,
Lieutenant-Colonel Hoffman's Battalion, Commanding.
RICHMOND, October 20, 1863.
Brigadier General S. A. MEREDITH, Agent of Exchange:
SIR: More than a month ago I asked your acquiescence in a proposition that all officers and soldiers on both sides should be released in conformity with the provisions of the cartel. In order to obviate the difficulties between us I suggested that all officers and men on both sides should be released, unless they were subject to charges, in which event the opposite Government should have the right of holding one or more hostages if the retention was not justified. You states to me in conversation that this proposition was very fair, and that you would ask the consent of your Government to it. As usual, you have as yet made no response. I tell you frankly I do not expect any. Perhaps you may disappoint me and tell me that you reject or accept the proposition. I write this letter for the purpose of bringing to your recollection my proposition, and of dissipating the idea that seems to have been purposely encouraged by your public papers, that the Confederate Government has refused or objected to a system exchange.
In order to avoid any mistake in that direction I now propose that all officers and men on both sides be released in conformity with the provisions of the cartel, the excess on one side or the other to be on parole. Will you accept this? I have no expectation of an answer, but perhaps you may give one. If it does come, I hope it will be soon.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Agent of Exchange.
HEADQUARTERS SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Memphis, Tenn., October 20, 1863.
COMMANDING OFFICER C. S. ARMY IN NORTH MISSISSIPPI:
SIR: I am in possession of a letter from Brigadier-General Chalmers stating that he holds two officers, lately captured, as hostages for one Cushman, pretending to be a captain in C. S. service.
26 R R - SERIES II, VOL IV