by himself. In my letter I informed him that it extended to some 3,000 officers and men, reduced to privates. The fact is one of record and is indisputable, but in a brief reference to it, in a mere letter answering a question of his own, I did not think it necessary to make authentic calculations which could not in any view affect the main point, and I therefore accepted his own report as to the number which he stated would be affected by his declaration, to wit, 750, and did not reduce the two officers-for there were but two-to their equivalents in privates, which might have carried the number up some twenty, or thirty, forty, or possibly fifty more, but which could by no possibility carry the number anywhere near the 3,008, the actual number affected by his declaration. Upon this wholly unimportant matter General Butler take occasion to say that my statement is "not too ingenuous," or, in other words, that it is disingenuous, and he makes a statement himself that his 750 included some officers who were not reduced to their equivalents in privates; thus disingenuously, even dishonestly, attempting to convey the impression that if his 750 had been reduced to privates they would have been equivalent to the 3,008. It is shocking to one's better nature to the obliged to come into contact with so disreputable a proceeding in any shape.
General Butler thinks the argument is all one "one side," meaning his own side. He is welcome to the argument; the facts, as I affirm, are all against him.
He accuses me with being displeased with his declaration of exchange because not made by myself. General Butler ought to know enough of the course of duty in which he is engaged to know that I have never made a single declaration of exchange, nor have I at any time desired to make, over my own name, any announcement in connection with a declaration of exchange.
I have pointed out to him the proper course, sufficiently indicating my indifference on this point, to wit, that the agent should report to Colonel Hoffman, the Commissary-General of Prisoners, when an exchange has been properly agreed upon between the parties, and that Colonel Hoffman's duty is then to furnish the specifications or details to the Adjutant-General, who announces the declaration in orders for the information of all concerned; to for the information. My name has in no instance appeared in connection with such declarations, and the allusion to a point like this in General Butler's letter can only show his own over-weaning anxiety to parade his own name before the public in connection with the duties of exchange in order to create the opinion that he is doing something in the direction of this duties as agent of exchange, and here I must beg leave to remind you, and through you General Butler himself, that in the hope of furnishing relief to our suffering prisoners in Richmond I myself, in the presence of General Halleck, urged upon you or suggested my wish for the appointment of General Butler as the special agent of exchange at City Point, having understood that he thought, or professed to think, that he could accomplish the release of those prisoners if empowered to act as agent of exchange.
You will also doubtless recollect, and will excuse my allusion to the fact at this time, that when it became apparent that the system of exchanges had become seriously interrupted to the prejudice of our prisoners in Richmond, I, by a note addressed to yourself, expressed me entire readiness to withdraw either altogether or temporarily, as you might deem proper, from the duties of exchange, to give any other