COLUMBUS, OHIO, November 30, 1863.
(Received 10,50 p. m.)
P. H. WATSON, Assistant Secretary of War:
I cannot learn that any person has been permitted to see or correspond with Morgan save only the necessary guards and attendants. Neither do I find any evidence that he received any aid or assistance without or within in making his escape. A failure to examine and inspect the cells is the sole trouble. The civil authorities connected with the prison insist that this was the duty of the military authorities and the military authorities claim that it was the duty of the warden and his assistant. Both were certainly to blame, for between the two no inspection was had for the last twenty days. I have this moment received information, which I deem reliable, that Morgan is at Toronto, Canada.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WESTERN LOUISIANA,
Alexandria, November 30, 1863.
Major General W. H. FRANKLIN,
U. S. Service, Commanding Troops in Western Louisiana:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication dated November 29, 1863. In reply I have the honor to state that if your expression of willingness to "commence the exchange without regard to the regiments or corps to which the prisoners belong" is extended to embrace those who belong to negro organization the instructions of my Government preclude me from acceding thereto.
With the exception of members of such organizations I am willing to exchange all prisoners, man for man.
In view of the hardship and sufferings to which the prisoners were subjected and my inability to supply their wants of clothing, I dispatched an officer to Vicksburg to endeavor to make an arrangement for their reception until they should be properly exchanged, and they have been moved in that direction. It such arrangement is effected the prisoners will not require the clothing and blankets to be forwarded to them as you proposed. Should it not be effected I will communicate with you on the subject so that those articles
The officers of your command who are prisoners in my hands, a list of whom I forwarded to General Washburn shortly after their capture, are in want of clothing to General Washburn shortly after their capture, are in want of clothing and out of money, and articles necessary for making them comfortable which you may send to Brigadier-General Green will be delivered to them.
Recognizing your statement relative to the improper detention of four men who were captured while acting as safeguards as being well founded, I have directed their immediate release, and at the earliest practicable moment they shall be returned to your lines, I have taken steps to prevent the recurrence of this matter.
Should you accede to my proposition for exchanges as herein stated, I will appoint an officer authorized to negotiate with one whom you may appoint the necessary terms and details.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,