Yankee in our hands, we should hold him for the purpose of forcing the U. S. authorities into some just rule as to the treatment of non-combatants.
CITY POINT, VA., January 19, 1865.
Lieutenant Colonel J. E. MULFORD, Assistant Agent of Exchange:
The Right Rev. Alfred Lee, D. D., of Delaware; Rev. Bishop E. S. Janes, D. D., of New York, and H. G. Jones, esq., of Philadelphia, are appointed by the U. S. Christian Commission to visit our prisoners held by the C. S. authorities. If these gentlemen are permitted to pass through the lines south on their mission, a like number of gentlemen from the Confederate States will be allowed the privilege of visiting their prisoners in the North. The letter herewith addressed to Judge Ould contains an application for the necessary authority for them to proceed on their mission. You will therefore please forward it at the earliest possible moment, and should the authority asked for be granted, afford these gentlemen every means in your power to facilitate their getting through.
By command of Lieutenant-General Grant:
JNO A. RAWLINS,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES,
January 19, 1865.
Colonel R. OULD, Agent of Exchange:
SIR: Inclosed I send you the names of a number of gentlemen who have been selected by the U. S. Christian Commission to go South for the purpose of visiting such prisons as they may be allowed to visit containing Federal prisoners of war, and to see, for the body of which they are members and for the public generally, their condition and circumstances. Three of these gentlemen are now here awaiting your action. I will state that any privilege you will grant in this matter will be extended to an equal number of gentlemen sent from the South for similar purposes. Should this favor be granted it will probably serve to satisfy the friends of prisoners, both North and South, of the exaggeration of the reports of suffering so rife in both sections.
I would respectfully ask a reply to this at your earliest convenience.
Very respectfully, yours,
U. S. GRANT,
OFFICE COMMISSIONER OF EXCHANGE,
January 19, 1865.
The Honorable SECRETARY OF WAR:
In obedience to the telegram I have the honor to transmit herewith copies of all the correspondence that remains in the office of the Commissioner of Exchange of Prisoners relating to that subject.*
Action having been taken thereon by the Secretary of the Navy, by the Lieutenant-General, by General Hitchcock, and by Colonel Hoffman,
*The inclosures are embraced in list following Townsend to Stanton, January 21, p. 98.