HEADQUARTERS OFFICE OF EXCHANGE,
New orleans, January 30, 1865.
Major JAMES R. CURELL, Assistant Agent of Exchange:
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 13th instant, and in compliance with the request therein contained to forward the inclosed permission for three young children of Mrs. john D. Cobb to come within our lines.
I have also the honor to inform you that I am advised of the readiness of our Government to exchange Admiral Buchanan,with his comrades, of which I have also advised Major Szymanski. Nothing remains, therefore, to delay the consummation of our exchange of naval prisoners beyond the time required to bring ours from Texas. As soon as they are received I will deliver yours in Mobile Bay and at the same time will exchange for the officers and men delivered on parole at Baton Rouge by Lieutenant- Colonel Watts on the 31st of December.
I am, major, &c.,
CHAS. C. DWIGHT.
Statement of Private Joseph Howard, Company F, One hundred and tenth Regiment U. S . Colored Infantry.
I was taken prisoner at the surrender of Athens, Ala., September 24, 1864. We were marched to Mobile, Ala, stopping at various places on the route. We were twelve days going to Mobile. After we were captured the rebels robbed us of everything we had that they could use. They searched our pockets, took our clothing, and even cut the buttons off of what little clothing they allowed us to retain. After arriving at Mobile, we were placed at work on the fortifications there, and impressed colored men who were at work when we arrived were released, we taking their places. We were kept at hard labor and inhumanly treated. If we lagged or faltered or misunderstood an order we were whipped and abused, some of our own men being detailed to whip the others. They gave as a reason for such harsh treatment that we knew very ewell what they wanted us to do, but that we feigned ignorance; that if we were with the Yankees we could do all they wanted, &c. For the slightest causes we were subjected to lash. We were very poorly provided for with food, our rations being corn- meal and mule meat, and occasionally some poor beef.
On the 7th of December I stole a skiff and went down Mobile River to the bay and was taken on board of one of our gun- boats. Was taken to Fort Morgan on the gun- boat and reported to the commanding officer, who, after hearing my story, furnished me a pass and transportation to New Orleans. From there I was sent to Cairo; thence to Louisville, and from there here.
JOSEPH (his x mark) HOWARD.
Sworn to before me this 30th day of January, 1865.
JOHN H. COCHRANE,
Major 101st U. S. Colored Infantry,
Assistant to Commissioner Organizing U. S . Colored Troops.
NATCHEZ, MISS., February 18, 1865.
Respectfully referred to the Adjutant- General at Washington, D. C.