HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA,
In the Field, September 9, 1864.
Honorable ROBERT OULD,
Commissioner of Exchange of the Confederate Authorities:
SIR: I have the honor to propose an exchange of all persons captured by one belligerent employed in the merchant or transport service on the other belligerent, men under charges of crime alone except, to be delivered for exchange at such convenient points as may hereafter be agreed upon.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
Major-General and Commissioner for Exchange.
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI,
New Orleans, La., September 9, 1864.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Chief of Staff, &c., Washington, D. C.:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch of the 26th ultimo. No further exchange of prisoners will be made. I transmit for your information copies of the correspondence upon this subject, showing to extent to which exchanges have been made and the reasons and authority for making them. *
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
ED. R. S. CANBY,
LITTLE ROCK, September 9, 1864.
Brigadier General J. O. SHELBY,
Commanding Sub-District, &c., C. S. Army:
GENERAL: Your dispatch was received at midnight. All the prisoners of war in this place, including Captains Rutherford and White, have been reported to the Commissary-General of Prisoners and are out of my hands.
I am informed by General Canby that arrangements have been made for the exchange of all the prisoners of war in this department. I will receive the officers prisoners whom you have sent, and will see that you are credited with them.
I regard to the outrages charged upon my command I have to reply that I am aware that these acts are committed by bad men of your command as well as those of mine. I never fail to punish such acts whenever the guilty parties can be detected. I exercise no immediate command of troops in the field, and it is therefore difficult to ferret out the rascals, especially where the officers in command do not look upon such conduct in the same light that I do.
It has been officially reported to me that a bearer of dispatches, recently sent from Devall's Bluff to General West in the field, and escorted by a small detachment of U. S. cavalry, were surrounded by men in the U. S. uniform, and after being surrounded were shot to death. One sergeant made his escape and is the only one to tell the story. He says he saw the men shot. It is believed that the perpetrators of this deed belonged to your command.
* See Canby to Hitchcock, August 4, p. 538; Hitchcock to Canby, August 20, p. 625; Canby to Hitchcock, June 21, p. 388; Canby's indorsement, August 14, p. 592; Hitchcock to Canby, August 24, p. 674.