come in return for the first citizens our Government should send to them. Hearing this, Mr. Brengle, referred to before, asked an interview with Mr. Ould, and obtaining one received the reply from Mr. Ould that he would be sent also, if our Government sent any citizens down by flag-of-truce boat. We therefore understood and inferred, whether correctly or not, that Mr. Ould would, to a certain extent at least, be willing to exchange man for man. The scarcity of provisions among them is such that they might, without agreeing on any plan, be willing to make some exchanges, especially if our Government could begin by sending them some of those persons for whom they (the rebels) have already sent off hostages, such as Doctor Hamilton and Mr. Culbertson, of Pennsylvania, now at Salisbury, and Mr. Hollingsworth and Mr. Williams, of Loudoun County, Va., now in Castle Thunder, held as hostages for two our Government now holds. It would be better for some principle of exchange to be agreed upon, but each citizen rescued from such a hard and unhealthful imprisonment is so much done in the right direction and so much misery turned into happiness.
Of the soldiers, thousands will contract disease this winter which will be fatal to them sooner or later. Many are now sick, though not so considered. Before I left, from one warehouse many had been collected; among the number some only slightly sick, the surgeon making the remark in my hearing that if our boat brought any more sick they were going to send these he was removing back in return. But our boat brought none, and so none were sent. It would rescue many lives if all their sick, however slightly so, were exchanged for our own sick there; and this will apply to officers as well as privates.
It is no figure of speech to declare that our soldiers and citizens are dying by hundreds, and they will die by thousands, for they are contracting diseases which will be surely fatal to them sooner or later.
Will not our Government do something for humanity's sake which they would not do from other considerations?
There are in warehouse Numbers 2, for lost baggage in the city, many hundreds of overcoats and blankets, which it has occurred to me to suggest to be sent to Richmond for the further comfort of our soldiers and citizens there. I did state here, the sending of haversacks to the men. They need soap exceedingly, for they get none there, and in addition to all, if they are to be kept there this winter, they must have fire-wood, stoves, cooking utensils, and those on Belle Isle tents.
But if possible, as General Dow repeatedly said, "let them be exchanged. " One other suggestion: If the matter of retaliation be entertained, treating their officers as they treat ours, would it not be more likely to effect the object desired, namely, the better treatment of our officers and privates, too, by proposing the alternative to their officers to petition their Government for a better treatment of our officers and men, and in case of their failing or refusing to commence retaliation in kind-but General Dow said, "not on the privates. "
Excuse the length to which my feelings and their interest I have taken in this matter have prolonged my observations, for I have looked upon the sufferings and felt much of them for seven weeks, which I would see others rescued from, and I suffer yet from an incipient congestion of the lungs, which thousands have there in a worse form.
Delegate U. S. Christian Commission.