Atlanta and Columbus. News from Charleston to November 16. Firing ceased at 11 a. m. Firing from Gregg and Cummings Point and from two monitors continued up to that time. No other news.
B. F. BUTLER,
FORT MONROE, VA., November 17, 1863.
Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
I am informed and believe that the rebels will give us a man for every man we send them up to the number they hold. Shall I put them the question or interfere about it in any way?
B. F. BUTLER,
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, November 17, 1863.
Major-General BUTLER, Fort Monroe:
The whole subject of exchange of prisoners is under direction of Major-General Hitchcock, to whom as commissioner of exchange, that branch of the service has been committed. He will be glad to have any idea or suggestion you may be pleased to furnish, but there should be no interference without his assent.
It is known that the rebels will exchange man for man and officer for officer, except blacks and officers in command of black troops. These they absolutely refuse to exchange. This is the point on which the whole matter hinges. Exchanging man for man and officer for officer, with the exception the rebels make, is a substantial abandonment of the colored troops and their officers to their fate, and would be a shameful dishonor to the Government bound to protect them. When they agree to exchange all alike there will be no difficulty.
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
OFFICE OF JUDGE-ADVOCATE-GENERAL,
November 17, 1863.
SECRETARY OF WAR:
In this case an atrocious murder was committed on a loyal citizen while engaged in a peaceful and useful employment under the express sanction of the U. S. authorities at Harper's Ferry. The turpitude of this crime was deepened by the fact that the sanctity of a flag of truce was violated in its commission; by the treasonable spirit which appears to have instigated it, and by the circumstances of cold-blooded premeditation and treachery which preceded and surrounded it. Captain Robert W. Baylor, a prisoner from the rebel army, was arraigned before a general court-martial on the 4th of June last charged with the commission of this murder, but before the court had pronounced its judgment its proceedings were interrupted by the advance of the rebel army and it never reassembled. The case being referred to this office for examination, it recommended by its report of the 27th ultimo that Brigadier General B. F. Kelley, by whom the court was appointed, be directed to reconvene it for the purpose of concluding its proceedings in the case.
Upon the report of Major-General Hitchcock that a careful review of the testimony has led him to the opinion that a verdict of guilty cannot be found on it "and that another trial could not bring out any new evidence," and recommending therefore that Captain Baylor be