The last communication of General Grant gives reason to believe that a full and complete exchange of all prisoners will speedily be made. It also appears from his statement that weekly supplies are furnished to our prisoners and distributed by officers of our own selection. His letter is subjoined as follows:
HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES,
Washington, D. C., January 21, 1865.
Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
SIR: I have authorized Colonel Mulford, agent of exchange, to renew negotiations for the exchange of all prisoners now held by either party. The first interview between our agent and Colonel Ould, rebel agent, has already been had. No doubt but that an arrangement will be entered into. Indeed, on the strength of that interview an exchange--limited one--is now going on near Richmond.
U. S. GRANT,
We are sending supplies to our prisoners at least weekly. They are received by officers of our own selection (released Federal prisoners), who distribute them as directed.
U. S. G.
Supplies furnished by friends of prisoners are also forwarded for distribution in the same manner. The nature of the supplies authorized to be furnished by individuals is specified in the annexed order of the Department.*
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Washington, January 21, 1865.
Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
SIR: In compliance with your instructions I have the honor to submit herewith copies of communications in reference to the exchange of prisoners of war, called for by resolution of the House of Representatives, dated December 21, 1864.+
The copies embrace correspondence between Lieutenant-General Grant, General-in-Chief; Major-General Butler, commanding Department of Virginia and North Carolina; Major-General Halleck, chief of staff; Major-General Hitchcock, commissioner, and Lieutenant-Colonel Ludlow, agent for exchange of prisoners, with General R. E. Lee, and Mr. Robert Ould, the commissioner of the rebel government; between Major-General Banks, commanding Department of the Gulf, and the rebel Generals R. Taylor and Green, in Louisiana; between Major-General Foster, commanding Department of the South, and the rebel General S. Jones, at Charleston; also communications on the subject of exchanges, with Major-Generals Canby, at New Orleans, Buell and Burbridge, in Kentucky, Curtis, in Missouri, Rosecrans, in Tennessee, Schenck, at Baltimore, and William T. Sherman, at Atlanta.
The correspondence extends over a period of time from June, 1862.
I am, sir, with great respect, your most obedient servant,
E. D. TOWNSEND,
*See Vol. VII, this series, p. 1198.
+The papers submitted herewith, and which appear in chronological order in this publication, are enumerated in the following list prepared in the War Records Office. The documents, as herein printed, are true copies of the originals (or official copies thereof) on file in the War Department, and are published irrespective of their publication in Executive Document Numbers 32, House of Representatives, Thirty-eighth Congress, second session.