War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0403 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

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OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,

Washington, D. C., October 21, 1863.

Honorable A. I. BOREMAN,

Governor of West Virginia, Wheeling, W. Va.:

SIR: Your letter of the 14th instant addressed to Brigadier-General Meredith, making inquiries as to protection extended by the General Government to the militia of West Virginia when captured by the enemy, has been referred to this office, and in reply I have the honor to inform you that by the cartel, a copy of which please find inclosed,* State organizations of the respective parties. But by an understanding between the commissioners for exchange heretofore all irregular organizations have been exchanged as other troops, and if any exchanges are hereafter made presume the practice will be continued. At this time neither party is delivering prisoners of war, and so long as this continued there will be no general exchanged. I fear that nothing can be done in the case of Corpl. Cornelius F. Ketterman, as it appears that the duty upon which he was sent was very like that of a spy.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFFMAN,

Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary-General of Prisoners.

OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,

Washington, D. C., October 21, 1863.

Brigadier General S. A. MEREDITH,

Commissioner for Exchanged of Prisoners, Fort Monroe, Va.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 18th instant, inclosing copies of several communications received from Mr. Ould, and requesting any suggestions I may think proper to make in the premises. Mr. Ould is so utterly reckless of integrity and fairness and so full of finesse in his declarations, and in the foundations which he claims for them, that I do not see how it is possible to continue longer your efforts to carry out the cartel with him, or any engagements he may enter into. In the first place, without available previous notice, he makes a sweeping declaration of the exchange of masses of men without giving you any intimation of who or how many are covered by it, leaving you to ascertain this by such means as are within your reach, and when you have made of the number from the record and announced a declaration to meet his, inviting at the same time the production on his part of any reliable evidence to show if there be error, he, with unblushing assurance, and without a line of record to sustain him, asserts that your figures are not correct, and then, under pretense of following your example, he aggravates the wrong by declaring still another exchange, again giving neither numbers nor persons. He goes so far even as to acknowledge that in his first declaration he did not know ho many men it embraced, as he had no rolls, and it is folly or worse to attempt to negotiate with a man whose principles are so flexible that his rule of action is in no way influence by a sense of honesty or honor. In my opinion you cannot hesitate to report that no reliance can be placed on the words or acts of Mr. Ould, and decline to have further communication with him. I do not think it would be advisable to consent to special exchanges. It would open

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* See Vol. IV, this series, p. 266.

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