Ben. S. Wood, surgeon, C. S. Army, relative to the treatment of Lieutenant-Colonel Patton, who was placed in close confinement with ball and chain for trying to escape. *
JANUARY 1, 1864.
Respectfully returned to the Honorable Secretary of War.
Colonel Streight, who attempted to escape some nights since, is now in solitary confinement in irons. The same course, I understand, is to be pursued in future cases. Major White attempted an escape sometime since, but was only confined for a day. Shall he be put irons, or shall I notify the Federals that unless Lieutenant- Colonel Patton is released White will be put in irons! Is it entirely clear that the Yankees have no right to punish a party for attempting to escape!
Please return the paper.
Agent of Exchange.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, January 2, 1864.
SIR: The Secretary of War and myself have concluded to discharge of the prisoners at Point Lookout the following classes:
First. Those who will take the oath prescribed in the proclamation of December 8 and, by the consent of General Marston, will enlist in our service.
Second. Those who will take the oath and be discharged and whose homes lie safely within our military lines.
I send by Mr. Hay this letter and a blank book and some other blank, the way of using which I propose for him to explain verbally better than I can in writing.
Yours, very truly,
WASHINGTON, January 2, 1864- 2. 30 p. m.
Major- General BUTLER, Fort Monroe:
The President has had under his consideration the question presented in your telegram of the 27th ultimo, regarding the enlistment of prisoners, and will to- day send his private secretary, Mr. Hay, to Point Lookout with a letter to you, an also instructions to General Marston. You will please meet him there, if convenient, and come to Washington fort he purpose of explanations and further instructions.
EDWIN M. STAQNTON,
Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
New Orleans, January 2, 1864.
The ADJUTANT- GENERAL OF THE ARMY:
SIR: I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy of an extract from the Tri- Weekly Telegraph, Houston, Tex., Friday, November 20, 1863, being a letter from Robert Ould, Confederate agent of exchange, to
*Wood's letter not found.