You will also deliver to Robert Ould, esq., commissioner for exchange, to be transferred to the United States by the first flag of-truce boat, Amos Bares, a free negro from Pennsylvania, whose release is applied for by the Rev. T. V. Moore, of this city, upon grounds which appear to the Department to justify an exceptional policy with regard to him.
By order of the Secretary of War:
J. A. CAMPBELL,
Assistant Secretary of War.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, D. C., December 15, 1863.
Hon. OGDEN HOFFMAN,
U. S. District Judge, San Francisco, Cal.:
The oath in the proclamation of December 8 is intended for those who may voluntarily take it, and not for those who may be constrained to take it in order to escape actual imprisonment or punishment. It is intended that the latter class shall abide the granting or withholding of the pardoning power in the ordinary way.
CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, Va., December 15, 1863.
Brigadier General S. A. MEREDITH, Agent of Exchange:
SIR: The Confederate Government has received authentic information that Acting Master John Y. Beall and Edward McGuire, of the Confederate Navy, and fifteen regularly enlisted seamen of the same service, are now closely confined in irons at Fort McHenry, awaiting trial as pirates. They were recently captured in Virginia. They were engaged in open warfare and are entitled in every respect to the treatment of prisoners of war.
With whatever regret retaliatory measures may be adopted, the course of your authorities leaves no other alternative. In the hope, therefore, of inducing your Government to accord to these parties the treatment due to prisoners of war, I inform you that Lieutenant Commander Edward P. Williams and Ensign Benjamin H. Porter and fifteen seamen, all of the U. S. Navy and prisoners in our hands, have been placed in close confinement in irons and held as hostages for their proper treatment.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Agent of Exchange.
OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS, Washington, D. C., December 15, 1863.
F. N. KNAPP, Esq.,
Associate Secretary Sanitary Commission, 244 F Street, Washington, D. C.:
SIR: Believing that there were some inaccuracies in the report of the condition of the prisoners of war at Point Lookout, made by an inspector of the Sanitary Commission, of which you had the kindness
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