way of Raleigh, N. C., and Columbia, that route being preferred by the officer in charge of transportation. They will be sent in detachments of 400, daily, which will require a guard of fifty privates, three officers, and four sergeants and four corporals.
I propose that the guard from here shall be relived at Weldon, and return immediately; that guard from Weldon be relieved at Augusta, return immediately to Weldon; the guard from Augusta to go to Andersonville. I propose to place an office at Charlotte, N. C., and one at August, t and distribute the rations to the prisoners.
I have just received a note from Colonel Sims, superintendent of transportation, that the prisoners will be sent by Gaston, instead of Weldon. I request that the troops intended to relieve the guard from here be ordered to repair to Gaston, twelve miles from Weldon, and there relieve the guard.
JOHN H. WINDER,
WASHINGTON, D. C., February 8, 1864.
Major General B. F. BUTLER, Commanding, &c., Fort Monroe:
SIR: In answer to the inquiry contained in yours of the 4th instant, in reference to the "objections" to your declaration of exchange, I will briefly say that it is more comprehensive than any we have a right to issue, under existing circumstances. You are in error in supposing that only 750 men are affected by it. The number on parole declared to be exchanged by our order, reduced to privates, is 2,921, exclusive of 87 civilians, according to an official statement before me from the Commissary-General of Prisoners.
You were permitted(by the instructions authorized by the Secretary of War) to hold in abeyance questions of difficulty between the belligerent parties pending at the time you entered upon the duties of exchange, but you were not authorized to ignored upon the duties of exchange, but you were not authorized to ignore those questions.
Your declaration would have admitted defense if you had extended it to a number precisely corresponding to the number delivered by yourself according to the fifth article of the cartel, supposing that instrument operative. In that case, however, the declaration should have set out the grounds of it, and a proper list of those declared to be exchanged should have been furnished for announcement from the Adjutant-General's Office for the information of all concerned, and Mr. Ould should have been furnished a lost of those delivered to him.
If the cartel was not the basis of your action, then you could only make a declaration after conference with the enemy and in conformity with a special agreement, both parties assenting. The cartel is not held to be binding by either party, but inasmuch as it has not been formally annulled, both parties may continue to use its provisions by a sort of implied assent, but neither party can assume to act independently and make ex parte declarations founded neither upon the cartel north laws of war.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. A. HITCHCOCK,
Major General of Volunteers and Commissioner for Exchange of Prisoners.