War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0958 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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exchange would go forward in such a manner as to give us every soldier, black and white, that they have in their hands.

Upon the proposition as to surgeons, however, I will confer with Commissioner Ould and report further; and in the meantime I beg that no further action will be had by the Government.

I wish further to add that I understand that Mr. Fulton's statements in regard to his conversation with Commissioner Ould must be taken with some grains of allowance.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

BENJ. F. BUTLER,

Major-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA,

Fort Monroe, February 16, 1864.

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

SIR: Colonel McCreery, of Michigan, one of our escaped prisoners, will hand you a dispatch and give you such information about our prisoners' fare and treatment as will demonstrate the necessity of retaliation if I do not succeeded in starting the exchange which I hope to do.

Yours, truly,

BENJ. F. BUTLER,

Major-General, U. S. Volunteers.

P. S. - Allow me to call your attention to an article in the Richmond Examiner sent herewith.

[Inclosure.]

[From the Daily Examiner, Friday morning, February 12, 1864.]

Some extremes of abasement there are to which our Government will not degrade this Confederacy. For example, we shall be slow to believe that it would ever ask an officer bearing a Confederate commission - let us say Judge Ould - to meet on terms of equality and to treat about exchange of prisoners with a negro colonel of a Massachusetts regiment. If President Lincoln should signify that he is ready to permit a new negotiation to be entered upon with a view to exchange, provided we send our commissioner to settle the terms with Frederick Douglass or with Colonel Pompey, on the part of the other belligerent, we presume that our Executive would decline. At any rate, our soldiers now in Northern prisons would feel bitterly humiliated by the thought of their freedom or captivity depending on such a negotiation. No; we do not believe that the Government of our country will ever bring us down to this.

But the Legislature of Virginia is not of our opinion. There is no depth of degradation, it is said, that they are not willing and eager to plunge us into in 'secret session. " No wonder it was in 'secret session" that some person or persons, to us unknown, have moved and advocated, and carried through both houses of the Legislature, a resolution in the nature of a petition to the President, requesting him to accept, as Federal agent of exchange, not even the mulatto Frederick, or the wretched runaway slave Pompey, but a person whom the President has officially proclaimed "a felon deserving of capital punishment" - " an outlaw or common enemy of mankind," a criminal who, wherever he shall be caught, "is to be executed by hanging. " Such is the language of the proclamation of Mr. Davis, dated 23rd of December, 1862.