to facilitate the feeding of prisoners at this post, but under present instructions see some difficulties, and before I call the attention of the Quartermaster-General to them would be glad of any suggestions you would be pleased to make which might relieve them. There is no marked whatever at this post and it is utterly impossible that my laborers and employees can purchase the necessary food to live upon, except at the caprice and exorbitant charges of such persons as will bring provisions to them, and it is equally impossible for them to obtain board of any kind at any price. Under these circumstances the Quartermaster-General has instructed me to sell to them at Government rates what provisions they may require. Again, how are my negro laborers to be fed? And again, under precedent set at Richmond, which I am instructed to follow, the Yankees who are detailed at work receive double rations. How are these rations to be accounted for? It is true that I might include them in my five days' provision receipts, but it would always show a larger number of rations issued than prisoners on hand, and as I am receipting to you on provision returns, it would be folly to again take up yours issues on my property return and issue them. If you can so arrange it is to furnish rations to my negro laborers, sell provisions to my employees, and fix the matter so as to issue the extra rations to prisoners, all of which arrangements I think you can easily make, all difficulties will be at end.
Your commissary house I shall try to have completed by 1st of April if Captain Armstrong can furnish me the necessary materials.
Please give me your very earliest attention to matters herein contained, as it is necessary that they should be arranged at once.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. B. WINDER,
Captain and Assistant Quartermaster.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Chattanooga, Tenn., March 5, 1864.
Colonel WILLIAM HOFFMAN,
Commissary-General of Prisoners, Washington, D. C.:
I have the honor herewith to transmit you the official papers relating to the recent exchange of prisoners entered into by Major General George H. Thomas, commanding Department of the Cumberland, and General Joseph E. Johnston, commanding Confederate forces. * Feelings of humanity prompted the commanding general to endeavor to effect this exchange, he having learned from competent authority that there were a number of the soldiers belonging to this army who had been wounded and captured by the rebels at the battle of Chickamauga who were suffering in rebel prisons at Atlanta, and as our forces had captured some wounded Confederates, who were then in our possession, it was not deemed to be imprudent to effect the exchange.
I have the honor to be, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. D. WHIPPLE,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.
*See Thomas to Johnston, January 21, p. 862, and Johnston's reply, February 11, p. 942.