I find also that a large number of the prisoners of both Port Hudson and Vicksburg have gone to the other side of the Mississippi River. I desire instructions as to these. Are they to be recovered and brought back to this side, or are they to be organized on that side and turned over to the military commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department? There seems to be a want of clearness of understanding among the troops and officers on this point. If an effort is to be made to recover these men and bring them back to this side, then a settled plan should be adopted to accomplish this, and a general officer should be sent over with full authority in the premises to effect it, and he should be accompanied by as many subordinates as necessary to assist him. Indeed, such an officer should be put in charge of them in any event, whether they are to be brought over here or allowed to report over there.
I desire to know also whether there are arms and accounterments to be had and where to arm the men now in camp and coming?
It seems that certain lists of these prisoners which were taken in Vicksburg at the capture have been lost, and I find on file no means of knowing how many there were captured nor any descriptive lists of the persons captured. These are indispensable to an intelligent execution of the work with which I am instructed. May I ask if there are such lists in the Department and for copies of them if there be? If these lists are not in the Department could they not be had by application to the commissioner of exchange of the Federal Government? We have the means of verifying what they would send.
I have the honor to be, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
SPECIAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF HENRICO, NO. 282.
Richmond, November 24, 1863.
* * * * *
III. Captain T. P. Turner, commanding C. S. military prisons, will send by flag-of-truce steamer Schultz, for conveyance to City Point at 10 o'clock a. m. to-day, all the Federal surgeons now in your [his] custody.
Furnish duplicate rolls of these officers.
By order of Brigadier General John H. Winder:
W. S. WINDER,
ALEXANDRIA, LA., November 24, 1863.
Captain S. D. YANCEY,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Houston, Tex.:
I have been appointed agent for the exchange of prisoners for the Trans-Mississippi Department and have my headquarters at this place.
I have the honor to inclose you herewith a copy of my instructions from Colonel R. Ould, agent of exchange at Richmond, which will inform you generally of the form necessary for all paroles in order to make them valid and insure their recognition by the Federal authorities. * I beg you will send me, at your earliest convenience, a complete list of all the prisoners that have been captured within the district of General Magruder, or by his command, stating rank, to what command they
*See September 25, p. 320.