ASSISTANT INSPECTOR-GENERAL'S OFFICE,
HEADQUARTERS NINETEENTH ARMY CORPS,
New Iberia, La., December 28, 1863.
Major General W. B. FRANKLIN, U. S. Army:
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that the exchange agreed upon by the cartel of December 13 has been fully and satisfactorily effected. The exchange took place at noon on the 25th instant at the old stage station, midway between Vermilionville and New Iberia, and a verbal agreement was entered into that no hostile movement or demonstration should be made by the Confederate toward New Iberia and its rear or on our part toward Vermilionville and its rear during the 25th, 26th, and 27th instant, for the purpose of giving each party sufficient time to refresh and send to the rear the exchanged and paroled men.
I would respectfully refer you to the herewith rolls of exchange and paroled prisoners by which we receive back and report for duty to their respective regiments 29 commissioned officers, 222 non-commissioned officers and privates, and received in charge 449 paroled prisoners subject to a cartel to be entered into between the commissioners on behalf of Major General N. P. Banks, U. S. Army, and Major General R. Taylor, C. S. Army.
At the request of the commissioner for Major General R. Taylor, C. S. Army, the paroled prisoners before being delivered were drawn up in line and it was announced to them that their paroles were binding upon them until regularly exchanged; that they had been delivered into the charge of the United States to prevent suffering among them during the winter; that in the event of no amicable arrangement being made they were subject to be returned to the custody of their captors, although such a contingency was not likely to occur.
The roll was then called over and corrected and the said paroled men delivered over to me in good faith, upon my simply signing receipt for the correct number at the foot of each roll.
In compliance with your instructions those of our men suffering for the want of shoes, blankets, &c., were supplied, provisioned, and the exchanged officers and men of the regiments at this place sent to their commands.
Those belonging to the Thirteenth Army Corps were sent, under a guard, to report to Brigadier-General McGinnis at Algiers, and the paroled prisoners, under guard, to Brigadier-General Bowen, provost-marshal-general, at New Orleans.
It is with considerable pleasure that I can report that the Confederate prisoners-officers and men-were anxious to express their feelings at the humane manner in which they had been treated while in hands of the U. S. authorities; but I consider it my duty to call attention to the following fact:
Many of the prisoners who were despondent at the prospects of the Confederate before they were sent to New Orleans on their return from that city seemed to be animated with a different feeling and to have been encouraged in their treason and hopes from the numerous interviews which they reported to have had with rebel sympathizes and friends visiting them in that city.
They arrived here-the officers and, in many instances, the men-with presents of two, and sometimes three, suits of clothing and under-clothes. I suffered the officers to pass their clothing, but I deemed it proper, as provost-marshal-general in the field, to seize such articles as the following, which the men had concealed, viz, files, cotton thread,