MYSTIC, CONN., December 31, 1863.
His Excellency the President of the United States, ABRAHAM LINCOLN:
MY DEAR SIR: After years of travel, twice around the world, I am in my old ancestral home here to obtain the rest which I require, but may it please the President, the situation of our sons, prisoners of war at Richmond, makes it a duty to offer my services, without pay or any pecuniary compensating, and if necessary my life, to accomplish their deliverance.
I believe that Mr. Davis will be pleased to permit me to visit Richmond and make every arrangement necessary for the exchange of prisoners.
Virginia well knows me and knows that till the attack on fort Sumter I was a true friend of the South, educated by Madison, Monroe, and Jackson.
President Monroe sent me to Europe in 1818, and in his retirement from public life he became poor, and my funds were placed at his disposal, which, as he said, "protected him form want at his table in his old age. "
The monument at Fredericksburg, Va., over the remains of "Mary, the mother of Washington, " the corner stone of which was laid by President Jackson, was all my own, the principal and interest of which is $30,000.
President Taylor was, I think, Mr. Davis' father- in- law, and the accompanying general letter of introduction, with other historical facts with which my name is connected with Virginia, will secure me, I believe, a kind reception at Richmond, and successful accomplishment of the holy mission. *
Believing that I can be the agent in doing this satisfactorily to the President of the United States and the call of my country, I hold myself subject to the President's commands, and remain.
Your Excellency's most obedient and very humble servant,
SILAS E. BURROWS.
JANUARY 9, 1864.
Respectfully referred by the President to the Honorable Secretary of War. +
UNOFFICIAL.] (Received December 31, 1863.)
Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON:
DEAR SIR: The Richmond Enquirer of the 28th instant, I see, con- tains some slang abuse of your report, or yourself on account of it. If there was any ground at all for the Richmond Enquirer's remarks they should have been leveled at me; but there was no ground for any such remarks.
Mr. Ould made his declaration of exchange, to which General Meredith (and myself) took exception, in September. When called upon for the: "valid paroles," as he called them, he furnished the tabular statement of guerrilla captures. This statement, all that Mr. Ould furnished, then became the debatable ground, and was the immediate subject of controversy. This controversy was virtually closed before you went to Ohio in November. After that, after I had prepared my
+See Hitchcock to Stanton, January 13, 1864, p. 838.
51 R R- SERIES II, VOL VI