HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
Washington, February 19, 1865.
Major-General GILLMORE, Hilton Head, S. C.:
GENERAL: The Secretary of War directs that all rebel prisoners of war in your hands who wish to be exchanged be sent to Lieutenant-General Grant, at City Point. Those who do not wish to be exchanged and desire to take the oath of allegiance under the President's proclamation may be sent to New York, the officer sent in charge to telegraph here on his arrival for instructions.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. HALLECK,
Major-General and Chief of Staff.
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, February 19, 1865.
My telegram of yesterday directing prisoners to be forwarded was by order of Lieutenant-General Grant, and is superior to orders issued by Major-General Sheridan.
Commissary-General of Prisoners.
FORT WARREN, February 19, 1865.
Lieutenant Colonel J. E. MULFORD,
Agent of Exchange, Fortress Monroe, Va.:
COLONEL: The undersigned, prisoners of war, would respectfully submit to you the following statement:
We are officers of the late C. S. steamer Alabama, which vessel was destroyed by the U. S. ship Kearsarge off Cherbourg on the 19th of June last. The Alabama being sunk, we were taken to the Kearsarge, and by that vessel carried into the port of Cherbourg and were there allowed by Captain Winslow to remain on shore on the condition that we would return to the Kearsarge whenever ordered to do so. At the end of two weeks we were ordered aboard, and, the steamer being ready for sea, proceeded to Dover, England. Here we were allowed to leave the ship, subject to the same conditions as at Cherbourg. We remained on shore six weeks, when we were again ordered on board, and the Kearsarge proceeded to sea on a cruise. She went to various parts of the Atlantic Ocean, and at length arrived in the United States on the 7th of November. We were at once sent to Fort Warren, which place we reached on the 10th of November, and at which place we still are. Our object in making this statement is to show that at the time a general naval exchange took place in last October we were prisoners of war and were not included in that exchange for the reason that we were not in the United States. Had we, instead of being held on board of a ship, been confined in one of the military prisons of the United States we presume we would have received the benefit of that exchange. In view of this we would respectfully ask to be paroled here, with orders to report to you, we bearing our own expenses. We