official report, and after I had written the letter for the Time newspaper, and after the data for official action had passed, prior to the preparation of the message of the President, Mr. Ould artfully wrote a letter to re- open the controversy, not with General Meredith, but with me, and in this letter he professes himself ready to produce evidence of the validity of the paroles claimed in the tabular statement, and then, not only at the eleventh hour, but after it, he declared his readiness to exclude from the tabular statement all citizens!
Here is a confession that the tabular statement did contain citizens; just what General Meredith said of it, and what I say of it; and if the statement was not to be considered on its face, why was it presented at all!
The simple fact is that Mr. Ould intended to force us to the acceptance of the tabular statement; but, finding himself thwarted, comes forward with a letter with no less than seven proposed questions for a new discussion, which he proposed to carry on with myself.
The 28th of November I wrote the letter to General M., to be communicated to Mr. Ould, in which I stated that it would be time enough to discuss any points Mr. Ould might present at the time of presentation; and this is the letter to which Mr. Ould refers as conclusive evidence that you knew that the statements in your report were not true, when, in fact, Mr. Ould's imitation to enter into controversy with myself made no essential point in his favor.
With great respect,
E. A. HITCHCOCK.
[December 31, 1863. - For Butler to Stanton, in regard to operations of General Wild against guerrillas in northeastern counties of North Carolina, &c., see Series I, Vol. XXIX, Part II, p. 595.]
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, December 31, 1863.
Major General B. F. BUTLER,
Commanding Department of Virginia and North Carolina,
Eighteenth Army Corps, Fort Monroe, Va.:
SIR; The Secretary of War directs me to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 27th instant, and to express his gratification at the satisfactory condition of affairs at Point Lookout.
The measures which you have adopted and propose to adopt, as stated in that communicating, are approved by the Secretary.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
ED. R. S. CANBY,
Brigadier-General and Assistant Adjutant-General.
JUDGE- ADVOCATE- GENERAL'S OFFICE,
December 31, 1863.
Major W. M. DUNN, Judge- Advocate:
MAJOR: On the receipt of your letter of the 24th instant I conferred with the Secretary of War in regard to the grave and important question it presents. From him I learned that this question had already been decided by the President himself, who holds that the amnesty proffered by his proclamation does not extend to prisoners of war, nor to persons suffering punishment under the sentence of military courts, or on trial or under charges for military offenses. The case of Burch is still in the hands of the President on a report from this office. I