War of the Rebellion: Serial 121 Page 0290 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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CITY POINT, VA., February 22, 1865.

General R. E. LEE,

Commanding Armies of the Confederate States:

Your communication of this date, relating to the refusal of Major-General Schofield to receive Federal prisoners sent to Wilmington for exchange, is received, and in answer thereto I have to state that General Schofield was on the 20th instant informed and directed as follows: That the Confederate authorities would deliver a large number of our prisoners to us near Wilmington during the present and ensuing weeks, and that if our agent of exchange was not there to receive them and send them to Annapolis. At the date of his refusal to receive them, concerning which you write, it is not probable these instructions had reached him, but unless something unusual happened to the vessel that carried them, they have reached him by this time. These instructions will be repeated. I have therefore to request that the prisoners be kept in the vicinity of Wilmington, for nothing on our side shall prevent their being received in accordance with my agreement with Judge Ould.




In the Field, February 22, 1865.


SIR: I beg leave to call your attention again to the condition of the Federal prisoners in my hands, and to urge upon you in the name of humanity to consent to their delivery. Unexpectedly accumulated here in large numbers, under the agreement of both Governments, they have been subjected to great suffering and considerable mortality by the delay. The assistant agent of exchange of the Confederate Government is near at hand with copies of the agreement and instructions, ready to proceed to the execution of the duty. A further postponement will be attended with still greater suffering, which the Confederate Government cannot prevent.

I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,



WASHINGTON, D. C., February 22, 1865.

Brigadier General R. S. GRANGER,

Commanding District of Northern Alabama, Decatur, Ala.:

GENERAL: In reply to your letter of the 10th instant requesting that the prisoners of war belonging to General Roddey's command, now in our hands, may be forwarded to Decatur for exchange, I have the honor to inform you that those prisoners are distributed at the several camps in the West, and it will be impossible to collect them together without an examination of all the rolls in this office of the prisoners held in those camps, which it is at this time impossible to make. Before such an examination could be made all or most of the prisoners searched for would probably have been delivered for exchange at City Point, Va.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


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