from the 5th day of this month, the date of your notification, and directed to supply their wants for the future at the expense of the State. I am also instructed by the Governor to request information for file in this department as to whether the said negroes "were taken in arms against the Confederate States, or giving air or comfort to the enemies of the Confederate States," according to the terms of the seventh section of the resolutions of Congress on the subject of retaliation, approved the 1st of May, 1863, and to respectfully suggest that it is desirable, in the event of future captures being made of such persons, that this department be furnished by the military authority with the names of witnesses to prove the facts necessary to bring the said persons within the terms of the resolution above cited.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. F. ARTHUR,
CONFIDENTIAL.] HDQRS. EIGHTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
DEPT OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA,
Fort Monroe, March 23, 1864.
Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
SIR: In default of the telegraph I have the honor to forward by the flag-of-truce boat, via Annapolis, the report that I have received 63 officers and 965 men, paroled for exchange. This number is an excess of the number last sent up, and nearly equalized the whole number between us. I have now got the matter of exchange to such a point that I think we may go through upon a proper basis. I have, therefore, proposed to the rebel commissioner, Ould, to have him meet me, which he intends to do on the first days of next week, at Fort Monroe.
We have not received Colonel Dahlgren's body, for reasons which I believe are not within the control of the Confederate officers. I trust at least that matters are so far arranged that if we do not go on with the exchange upon an honorable and equitable basis we shall be in a condition to work such proper and thorough retaliation as will bring these rebels to their senses. Therefore I desire that the most active measures be taken to transport all the prisoners we can to Point Lookout. I will be ready to receive at Baltimore these prisoners as fast as they can be put there, because if we are successful, as I believe we may be, I wish to have the whole exchange business finished in the course of a few weeks, so as to be out of the way of the spring campaign.
I have marked this letter "confidential" because I am anxious that no portion of the terms of exchange, or even my meeting with the commissioner, gets into the newspapers before my arrangements are perfected.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
Vicksburg, Miss., March 23, 1864.
Major General S. D. LEE,
Commanding Confederate Forces, Jackson, Miss.:
SIR: There being a few of our wounded soldiers at Clinton and Jackson, Miss., and it being inconvenient for us to send them supplies at these places, I respectfully forward by flag of truce conveyances to