War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0712 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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will be put upon an equality in making exchanges, as of right with other troops. Colored men in civil employment captured by the enemy may also be exchanged for other man in civil employment taken by our forces. You are permitted, in conducting the exchange, to waive for the present the consideration of the question of parole and excess now pending between the Confederate belligerent authorities and this Government, leaving them touched as they stand until further exchange of views between those authorities and yourself. In conducting this delicate and perhaps difficult matter you will see to it that in no degree the protection of the Government is withdrawn from colored soldiers of the United States and the officers commanding them, and that in no respect, so far as results from your action, the honor or dignity of the Government shall be compromised. Brigadier-General Meredith is ordered to report to you, and will be relieved from further duty as commissioner of exchange, except under your orders. The conduct of the flag of truce and the necessary transportation to carry out these instructions are placed at your disposal. You will report as often as practicable to this Department your action under this letter of instruction and for further instructions.

By order of the Secretary of War:

E. A. HITCHCOCK,

Major General of Vols., Commissioner for Exchange of Prisoners.

OFFICE OF COMMISSIONER FOR EXCHANGE, Fort Monroe, December 17, 1863.

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Commanding, &c., Fort Monroe:

SIR: By the authority and orders of the Secretary of War you are hereby appointed special agent for exchange of prisoners of war at City Point for the purpose of executing the instructions from the War Office, of this date, addressed to you. *

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. A. HITCHCOCK,

Major General of Vols., Commissioner for Exchange of Prisoners.

OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS, Washington, D. C., December 17, 1863.

Colonel G. W. KINCAID,

Commanding Military Prison, Alton, Ill.:

COLONEL: The practice, as reported in your letter to General Schofield of the 19th ultimo as prevailing at the Alton prison, of taking gold from prisoners and giving them sutler's tickets in return is unauthorized and in violation of the instructions on this point. Whatever money is taken from prisoners must be returned to them in money of the same character, unless expended for them on their own orders; and if there are any prisoners in your charge now holding sutler's tickets you will cause them to be immediately redeemed in the same kind of money for which they were given. Report your action under this order.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. HOFEFMAN,

Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary-General of Prisoners.

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*Next, ante.

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