exchanging prisoners, which has been approved by General Hood and by Lieutenant-General Taylor, commanding this department, and under which a number of exchanges, both special and general, have been made. I am still willing to continue that arrangement; also to meet the expressed wishes of Major-General Rousseau in regard to Colonel Grass, by sending him on his parole of honor (a copy of which is herewith inclosed)* to effect an exchange for Colonel Rucker. My adjutant-general, Major Strange, is fully authorized to arrange for any further exchange of prisoners, man for man, rank for rank. And believing it to be the duty of every government to relieve their faithful soldiers, whether sick, wounded, or in prison, I shall,so long as permitted to do so, hold myself in readiness to exchange, as far as in my power to do so, all Federal prisoners falling into my hands for those of my own command first, and then for any others belonging to the C. S. Army in the hands of the enemy. Quite a number of your men recently captured are without sufficient clothing, shoes, and blankets. Should you desire to supply them with any articles necessary to their comfort, I will see that they are safely transmitted and issued to those of your army who most need them.
Assuring you of my desire, as far as practicable, to mitigate human suffering and lessen the privations of the soldiers,#
I am, general, very respectfully, &c.,
N. B. FORREST,
Statement of grade and equivalents of prisoners delivered to Major James R. Curell, C. S. agent of exchange in Mobile Bay, Ala., from the garrison of Fort Gaines, January 6, 1865.
Rank. Number. Equivalent Total.
Colonel 1 15 15
Major 1 8 8
Captains 8 6 48
Lieutenants 27 4 108
Non-commissioned officers 87 2 174
Privates 473 1 473
Total --- --- 826
HDQRS. U. S. FORCES, JOHNSON'S ISLAND AND SANDUSKY,
Johnson's Island, Ohio, January 6, 1865.
Colonel CHARLES W. HILL, Commanding Post:
The following table shows the average number of prisoners of war present at this post during the time herein mentioned:
May 8 to 31, 1864, 23 days........................ 2,109
June, 1864, 30 days............................... 2,200
July 1 to 12, 1864, 30 days....................... 2,488
* * * * *
August 13 to 30, 1864, 18 days.................... 2,543
September, 1864, 30 days.......................... 2,628
#See Dana to Forrest, January 12, 1865, Series I, Vol. XLVIII, Part I, p. 498.