County, Ga., for J. J. Garner, a citizen of Winchester, Tenn. ; Warren Durham, of Walker County, Ga., for Isaac Sermons, a citizen of Hamilton, Tenn.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
Major-General and Commissioner for Exchange.
HDQRS. ARMY AND DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
New Berne, N. C., February 9, 1864.
Major General GEORGE E. PICKETT, C. S. Army,
Commanding in North Carolina:
GENERAL: A few days since, while the forces under your command were in front of this place, I sent a medical officer with some ambulances to the smallpox hospital, near which some of your forces had arrived, with a flag, for the sole purpose of bringing away the unfortunate occupants of the building, as in case of an attack on my lines they would be certainly in great danger of having their house burned over their heads. Besides, I had no desire to see the loathsome disease spread among your own forces, and it was proper that you should be put on your guard as to the nature of the hospital.
The medical officer who went of this humane errand was instructed, of course, to explain these matters to any of your officers that he might meet, and he doubtless, did so. He was, however, seized and carried away as a prisoner, with the ambulances and drivers.
I have known you too long and too well to believe that this could have been done by your direction, or by your knowledge, and I respectfully request you to do what I feel certain I would do myself under the circumstances-that is, return the surgeon and the drivers to me. The ambulances with the horses I say nothing of, for they are too trifling to me to mention.
Hoping that you will see the impropriety of punishing this little party for a humane act, and that you will be willing to meet me half way in these little amenities of war,
I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
I. N. PALMER,
Brigadier-General, U. S. Army, Commanding.
The surgeon is Asst. Surg. R. T. Baker, Twelfth New York Cavalry. the drivers are Privates Calvin W. Willis, Company K, Seventeenth Massachusetts Volunteers; Henry Taylor, Company G, Seventeenth Massachusetts Volunteers; Edward Murray, Company C, One hundred and fifty-eighth New York Volunteers; Edward Moore, Company E, Nineteenth Wisconsin Volunteers.
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, February 10, 1864.
Major General B. F. BUTLER, Fort Monroe, Va.:
I do not think it expedient to send a flag-of-truce boat with women and children, nor to give advertisement in Baltimore, Washington, and elsewhere, at present, as you propose to do. If there be any residents of Norfolk whom you want to send away for cause you are authorized