for Mr. Anderson, of Kentucky. Instructions will be given to the superintendent at Sandusky.
EDWIN M. STANTON.
OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,
Washington, D. C., November 23, 1863.
General W. D. WHIPPLE,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Chattanooga, Tenn.:
I am unable to furnish a classification of the rebel prisoners delivered at City Point to July 25. Their exchange, as announced by Mr. Ould, is recognized.
Commissary-General of Prisoners.
WASHINGTON CITY, D. C., November 23, 1863.
Brigadier General S. A. MEREDITH,
Commissary for Exchanged of Prisoners:
SIR: Your note forwarding a copy of Mr. Ould's letter of the 18th instant, addressed to yourself, as an answer to my letter of the 13th, has been received. Mr. Ould, I perceive, states that our prisoners in Richmond receive "the same rations as soldier in the field," according to the "regulations. "
The "regulations" may be such as Mr. Ould states them to be, but that our prisoners receive the "rations," as stated is contradicted by all the evidence that has reached me outside of Mr. Ould's statement, and this evidence rests upon the statements of eye witnesses and of actual sufferers under the treatment received in Richmond and at Belle Isle, besides the testimony of facts disclosed by the visible condition of a delivery of some 180 prisoners made at City Point, many of whom died before reaching Fort Monroe from starvation, according to the judgment of a competent medical officer.
Upon the evidence above stated, the Secretary of War ordered supplies to be sent for distribution to the remaining prisoners, and this state of things induced the letter of the 13th instant, proposing to receive on parole the prisoners, and to hold them off duty until exchanged, independently of all existing difficulties on the subject of exchanged.
Mr. Ould declines this offer, and proposes that if we will send to the South the prisoners in our hands, they will send ours to us, "the excess on one side or the other to be on parole. "
Whatever appearance of verbal fairness these may be in this, the conduct of Mr. Ould in connection with recent declarations of exchange will not permit us to regard this proposal as made in good faith, and we cannot rely upon its being carried out by the enemy.
In the first place, the proclamation of Mr. Davis, and other public acts of those in power in the South, remain in full force, so far as we know, and are actually being enforced in hitch a distinction is made between classes of troops employed by the United States, and officers serving with colored troops, if taken prisoners, do not receive, and are not to receive the treatment due to prisoners of war, whilst the enlisted men of colored troops when taken prisoners, it has been publicly declared, shall be sold into slavery.
That this distinction is made actual, in the treatment of prisoners of war, we know in some cases, and have much reason to apprehend it in