War of the Rebellion: Serial 121 Page 0070 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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appointed agents for the purpose of carrying into effect the design of this appropriation, most respectfully ask, through you, permission to proceed to the United States on the object of our mission. Having obtained permission from the Confederate Government to ship cotton to the amount of this appropriation, we are instructed by the Governor of Alabama to ask permission to pass it through the blockade. We would further state that it would be agreeable to the Governor of Alabama if a vessel of the United States should be permitted to carry this cotton to the port of New York, to be there sold and the proceeds applied to the purchase of blankets, clothing, and such other things as may be needed for the comfort of prisoners from that State. We beg leave to suggest Mobile Bay as the point from which this cotton may be shipped. We deem it proper to state that our mission is confined strictly to the object stated. It embraces nothing of a military or political nature, and if permitted to carry out the design of our State we will cheerfully submit to such rules, regulations, and paroles as are usual in such cases. We well know that a gallant soldier must feel for those brave men who by the fortunes of war are held as prisoners, exposed to the rigors of a climate to which they are not accustomed, the severities of which are augmented by the privations necessarily attendant upon their condition. We ask this favor with confidence, assured that your sympathies with the unfortunate brave will lead you to do all in your power to promote the benevolent design instructed to us by the State of Alabama.

We have the honor to be, most respectfully, your obedient servants,



Agents of the State of Alabama.

RICHMOND, VA., January 14, 1865.

Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT:

SIR: Your communication of the 12th instant has been received.

There seems to be some extraordinary mistake somewhere about the cotton to be shipped from Mobile. I have already acquainted you with the substance of the telegraph from Mobile of the date of the 25th of December last. I have now before me a letter from the agent of the Confederate States having charge of the matter, dated Mobile, December 23, 1864, from which I extract the following paragraph, to wit:

The cotton has been furnished and is already on board the lighter, awaiting reply from the Federal commander to a communication from General Maury notifying him that it is ready to be delivered.

This you perceive is utterly inconsistent with General Canby's telegraph of the 16th ultimo. I hope that we shall soon arrive at the truth of the matter.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


Agent of Exchange.

WASHINGTON, D. C., January 14, 1865.

Brigadier General H. W. WESSELLS,

Commissary-General of Prisoners:

SIR: I send herewith a letter, dated Knoxville, Tenn., December 10, 1864, from Brigadier General S. P. Carter, provost-marshal-general of East Tennessee, in reference to an agreement between himself and General