RICHMOND, January 19, 1865.
Lieutenant Colonel JOHN E. MULFORD, Assistant Agent of Exchange:
SIR: I beg leave to call your attention to the accompanying letter which I addressed to you on the 25th of November last.* It relates to subjects of considerable importance, and I will be obliged to you for a distinct reply.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Agent of Exchange.
Surg. John H. Hunter, inclosing letter to Secretary of War, asking for instructions relative to paroles.
JANUARY 19, 1865.
Returned to the Surgeon-General.
In no aspect of the cases are these paroles to be respected. First. By agreement, surgeons are to be unconditionally released. Second. If the parole was regular and proper in every respect, recapture makes it null and void. How any military person could doubt this is amazing. Third. The Federal theory, based upon their General Orders, Numbers 207, 1863, is that prisoners are to be kept in possession and delivered by flag of truce at some point previously agreed upon by competent contracting parties. If, through choice or necessity, paroled parties are released in any other way the parole is null and void. The parole exacted by General Stoneman has been declared by his own Government illegal and void. Fourth. It would be useless to send these surgeons North, as they would be immediately sent back. They have something more serious to attend to than such 'shuttlecock and battledore." They can go to duty immediately without any sacrifice of honor.
Agent of Exchange.]
WASHINGTON, D. C., January 20, 1865.
Brigadier General H. W. WESSELLS,
Commissary-General of Prisoners:
SIR: You will please send to Fort Monroe for the disposal of Lieutenant-Colonel Mulford, in pursuance of certain arrangements effected by him with the rebel authorities, the following-named officers, prisoners of war at Johnson's Island, viz: Colonel Penn, of Louisiana; Colonel Powell, Fifth Texas; Colonel A. W. Harman, Twelfth Virginia Cavalry; Colonel Malcomb D. Graham; Major R. McCann; Captain John Tayloe; Captain Robert H. Davis; Captain Whitfield, First Alabama; Captain J. R. Hutter, Eleventh Virginia Infantry; Captain Charles B. Trevilian; Lieutenant J. D. Van Benthuysen; Lieutenant Charles Norvell, Twelfth Virginia Cavalry; Captain Claiborne Snead, Third Georgia; Captain J. Dudley Whitehead, Third Virginia; Captain W. B. Seawell, Twelfth Louisiana Battalion Artillery; Lieutenant William J. Stanford, Forty-sixth Alabama.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. A. HITCHCOCK,
Major General of Vols. and Commissioner for Exchange of Prisoners.
*See Vol. VII, this series, p. 1159.