honor to request that the families who were recently to have come out from Knoxville be now allowed to do so.
I have the honor to be, general, your most obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, La., February 28, 1864.
Major GEORGE WILLIAMSON,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Department Headquarters:
MAJOR: I am directed by Lieutenant-General Smith to say you will proceed under a flag of truce to the Federal lines nearest the headquarters of Major-General Steele, U. S. Army, for the purpose of arranging for an exchange of prisoners with a commissioner to be appointed by him.
The principal object which you will keep in view in your negotiations is, that arrangements shall be agreed upon by which the prisoners taken by the Federal and Confederate authorities, respectively, in this department may be restored to duty as soon as possible. To avoid embarrassments and possible disagreements, a system of actual exchange, according to the schedule agreed upon at Haxall's Landing, on James River, July 22, 1862, should be adopted. In order to facilitate the exchange an agent will be appointed for the District of Arkansas to receive and deliver prisoners exchanged, and should an agreement be entered into between yourself and the commissioner appointed by General Steele you will make known to him the name of such agent.
I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. S. ANDERSON,
FORT MONROE, VA., February 29, 1864.
Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
Flag-of-truce boat is in. We are making progress. As soon as they can be prepared I will send up 200 officers. I should rather not be obliged to send up 200 officers just yet. Can get an exchange of men. Please telegraph me if I can delay the execution of order.
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington City, February 29, 1864.
Major-General BUTLER, Fort Monroe:
You may exercise your own discretion as to the time and number of officers to be sent for exchange. Representations made by escaped officers led this Department to the conclusion that if 100 or 200 officers were sent to City Point by you and offered in exchange for the same number of ours the rebels would not dare to refuse; hence the order was given you. But it you deem it more advantageous to the service to delay its execution you may do so.
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.