War of the Rebellion: Serial 121 Page 0237 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

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OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,

Washington, D. C., February 16, 1865.

Colonel C. W. HILL,

Commanding Johnson's Island, Sandusky, Ohio:

Prepare parole-rolls for exchange of all prisoners of war who wish to be exchanged in parties of 100, in proportion to grades. Generals will not be included. Those who have been longest in confinement will be first exchanged. Reply.

W. HOFFMAN,

Commissary-General of Prisoners.

HEADQUARTERS DEPOT PRISONERS OF WAR,

Elmira, N. Y., February 16, 1865.

Bvt. Brigadier General WILLIAM HOFFMAN,

Commissary-General of Prisoners:

GENERAL: Your telegram of this date directing rolls to be prepared of all who desire to be exchanged and to report the number who do not desire to be exchanged is received. The number who do not wish to be exchanged will depend very much upon the treatment those who refuse are to receive after the exchange is perfected. If they could have assurances of release or greater liberty than is now extended to them I think one-half of this camp would refuse to be exchanged, but if they are to choose between being exchanged or confinement in prison for an indefinite period, I think very few will decline to be exchanged. Under the impression that there is no prospect of an early release many who have made application to take the oath now desire to be exchanged. This I have refused to allow, believing that a man should stand by his application. Am I right? If the Government is desirous that prisoners should refuse to be exchanged an influence could be started in camp which I have no doubt would induce many to refuse an exchange.

Lieutenant-Colonel Price, a rebel officer, now here, will not himself be exchanged, and although I cannot speak with equal confidence as to Major Printup, I think he will also refuse; at least he has no confidence in the success of the rebellion and is in favor of peace and reunion. If it is deemed advisable I am confident that one or both of these officers could be used to advantage in this camp to prevent exchange.

I advise nothing; I simply make these suggestions for your consideration.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

B. F. TRACY,

Colonel, Commanding Depot Prisoners of War.

[Indorsement.]

OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,

Washington, D. C., February 20, 1865.

The within papers are respectfully submitted for the information of Major General H. W. Halleck, Chief of Staff, and for such action as may be deemed expedient.

Unless otherwise ordered Colonel Tracy will be instructed to detain no prisoners of war who desire to be exchanged.

W. HOFFMAN,

Bvt. Brigadier General, U. S. Army, Commissary-General of Prisoners.