Vaughn, in the service of the enemy, touching certain exchanges, and I inclose with it the articles of agreement, to which I call your attention and request you to give such orders and take such measures as will enable General Carter to comply with the agreement by sending to him such prisoners therein referred to as he is bound to deliver to the enemy, excepting in the case of Captain Battle, who is to be retained, at the request of General Carter, until he shall be satisfied in regard to the treatment of Captain Harris.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. A. HITCHCOCK,
Major General of Vols. and Commissioner for Exchange of Prisoners.
P. S.--In order to keep together the papers which relate to this matter, I send with this a copy of my letter of December 23 last to General Carter and his letter in answer of January 5, 1865; the latter received this morning.*
OFFICE ASST. AGENT FOR EXCHANGE OF PRISONERS,
On board Steamer New York, January 14, 1865.
[Major General B. F. BUTLER:]
GENERAL: In compliance with instructions received from you through Brigadier General John W. Turner, dated December 29, 1864, concerning the issue of blankets to Federal prisoners at Richmond, I have the honor to make the following report:
On the evening of December 31, 1864, I received ten bales of blankets (100 in each bale), and was at once notified by Colonel Ould and Major Turner that I could commence to issue them on the following morning. They also informed me that I could select two officers to assist me. I accordingly selected Chaplain Emerson, of the Seventh New Hampshire Infantry, and Assistant Surgeon Pierce, of the First New Hampshire Cavalry, for that purpose. I am also happy to say that during a portion of the time this consignment was issued I was assisted by Surgeon Strawbridge, medical director of the Eighteenth Army Corps, and to these officers I am greatly indebted for their aid.
On Sunday, the 1st of January, 1865, we commenced to issue the blankets, and surely it was a welcome New Year's present to our suffering soldiers. After inspecting the different prisons we came to the conclusion that those prisoners who were confined in what is known as the Pemberton Building were the most destitute, although every soldier who was here confined was sadly in need of blankets and clothing. There were nearly 3,000 prisoners in Richmond, and very few were in possession of blankets. In the Pemberton Building there are six large rooms in which our prisoners are confined. The three rooms in the northwest corner of this building were found to be the most open, and the prisoners here confined were the most exposed. We have issued one blanket to each enlisted man, there being 579 men confined in these rooms. We also found that up to this time there were but thirty-one blankets for all of these men. On Monday, the 2nd of January, we completed the distribution of the blankets to these prisoners confined in the south rooms. Not having a sufficient supply on hand, and wishing to make all as comfortable as possible, I took the responsibility to
*For inclosures to this communication see Vol. VII, this series, pp. 1175, 1208, 1263, and p. 25, ante.