War of the Rebellion: Serial 121 Page 0166 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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RICHMOND, February 1, 1865.

Lieutenant- General GRANT:

GENERAL: We had the honor to forward to you on the 14th of January, by flag- of- truce boat, an application for permission to proceed to the United States fort he purpose of supplying the wants of prisoners from the State of Alabama. The closing of that mode of communication by the ice in the river has induced our Government to grant us permission to communicate with you by another channel. We inclose a copy (substantially) of our former letter, and as it is a matter of the highest interest to the Government and people of our State, most resentfully ask that we may be permitted to confer with you in person in regard to it. If such an interview should be deemed by your inconsistent with the interests of your Government or inconvenient to your- self, we would be pleased to receive your decision on our application of the 14th ultimo.

We have the honor to be, most respectfully, your obedient servants,

M. LEHMAN,

I. T. TICHENOR,

Agents of the State of Alabama.

[Inclosure.]

RICHMOND, January, 1865.

General GRANT, Commanding U. S. Army:

SIR; We have the honor to announce to you that the Legislature of the State of Alabama has appropriated $500,000 for the relief of the prisoners from that State held by the United States. The undersigned having been appointed by the Governor to carry out the object of this appropriation, most respectfully ask through you permission to proceed to the United States for this purpose. Having obtained permission from the Confederate Government to carry out cotton to the amount for this appropriation, we are instructed by the Governor of Alabama to ask permission to ship this cotton through the blockade for the purpose of supplying the prisoners from that State with blankets, clothing, and such other things as may be necessary for their comfort. We beg leave to suggest Mobile Bay as the point from which this cotton may be shipped. We would further state that it would be agreeable to the Governor of Alabama if a vessel belonging to the United States, or citizens thereof, should be permitted to carry this cotton from Mobile Bay to the port of New York; to be sold there for the purpose already indicated. We deem it proper to say that our mission is confined strictly to the object stated in this communication; it embraces nothing of a military or political nature. If permitted to carry out the object of our mission we will cheerfully submit to such rules, regulations, and paroles as are usual in such cases. We well know that a gallant soldier must feel for the condition of those brave men who by the fortunes of war are held as prisoners; exposed to the rigors of a climate to which they are not accustomed, the serverities of which are augmented by the privations necessarily attendant upon their condition. We make this request with confidence, assured that your sympathies of the unfortunate brave will lead you to do all in your power to promote the benevolent design intrusted to us by the State of Alabama.

We have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servants,

M. LEHMAN.

I. T. TICHENOR.