War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0805 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

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obtain sufficient legal proof to justify a prosecution, would it meet with approval if I should compel the suspected party to pay over to the commissary for account of prisoners' savings fund what I might determine to be a fair restoration of the money thus wrong fully sought to be and already obtained! I have informed the contractors and Curtis of my suspicions and have also notified the commissary (Captain Edwards) to with hold his settlement to wait further investigation. The fact that this hardness in weight in beef has been almost entirely with the prisoners is the reason why I think clear proof will be difficult to obtain. Curtis has had an interview with me and would, I think, consent to my order to refund. I also desire to advise you that I find here prisoners of war permanently engaged in helping the persons about the camp. Has this practice met with your sanction.!

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. W. ORME,

Brigadier-General. Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,

New Orleans, December 31, 1863.

Colonel C. C. DWIGHT, 160 th Regiment New york Vols., New Orleans:

COLONEL: The major-general commanding appoints you commissioner to confer, in his name, with a commissioner appointed by Major General R. Taylor, C. S. Army, on the subject of exchange of prisoners. The place of meeting agreed upon for the conference is Red River Landing, near the mouth of Red River, to which place you will please proceed without delay. The time of meeting is the 1st proximo, or as soon thereafter as practicable.

Inclosed you have a copy of a letter* from the major-general commanding to Major- General Franklin, confirming the exchange agreed upon by the latter, and you are desired to give form all sanction to that exchange in the name of the major-general commanding, should it be requested.

You are authorized to offer to Major-General Taylor, on the same terms as those agreed upon by Major- General Franklin, all the prisoners recently captured by the U. S. forces in Texas, provided he will procure the release on parole of our prisoners captured at Brashear and other points in the department, and now held by the Confederate authorities.

You will be careful in all conferences to keep in view the fact that the commanding general will not sanction any difference being made between the officers and men of different corps of the army.

The officers and men of colored regiments have been received into the service of the country; and no agreement can be made or discussed in which the rights of the colored troops or their officers to be treated and exchanged as other prisoners of war any be ignored.

You will please correspond freely with these headquarters during your conferences, using the telegraph from Port Hudson to facilitate communication.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHAS. P. STONE,

Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.

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*See December 21, p. 737.

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