HEADQUARTERS TROOPS IN WESTERN LOUISIANA,
New Iberia, December 4, 1863-3. 30 p. m.
Brigadier General C. P. STONE, Chief of Staff, New Orleans, La.:
General Taylor has answered my dispatch of 1st instant by one dated Alexandria, 3rd instant. He stated that he has no prisoners who are officers of negro regiments. He expresses a willingness to exchange officers and men, officer for officer and man for man, without acknowledging the principle that officers of negro regiments are subject to exchange, or without saying anything about it. He officers to allow an officer to go with the clothing and other necessaries sent to the prisoners if I desire it. He informs me, too, that our Treasury notes cannot be used our officers and men who are prisoners. Gold, silver, and Confederate or Southern bank notes are only available. Will it not be well sent forward Confederate money if the Government has any in New Orleans? I await instructions.
W. B. FRANKLIN,
ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 159.
Richmond, December 4, 1863.
I. Hospitals for prisoners of war are placed on the same footing as other C. S. hospitals in all respects, and will be managed accordingly.
II. The hospital ration is fixed, until further orders, at the same rates of issues now made to soldiers in the field. If a grater allowance is required of any particular articles, special requisitions must be made thereof.
Adjutant and Inspector General.
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington City, December 5, 1863.
Mr. PRESIDENT: A general summary of the military operations of the past year is furnished by the report of the General-in-Chief, herewith submitted. *
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In the operations that have been alluded to, prisoners of war to the number of about 13,000 have fallen into the hands of the enemy and are now held by them. From the commencement of the rebellion until the War Department came into my charge there was no cartel or formal exchange of prisoners; but at an early period afterward a just and reasonable cartel was made between Major-General Dix and the rebel General Hill, which, until recently, was faithfully acted upon by both parties. Exchange under that cartel are now stopped, mainly for he following reasons:
First. At Vicksburg over 30,000 rebel prisoners fell into our hands, and over 5,000 more at Port Hudson. These prisoners were paroled and suffered to return to their homes until exchanged pursuant tot he terms of the cartel. But the rebel agent, in violation of the cartel, declared the Vicksburg prisoners exchanged; and, without being exchanged, the Port Hudson prisoners he, without just cause, and in
* See extract relating to this series, p. 532. For other portions (here omitted), see Series III.