HEADQUARTERS DDISTRICT OF THE GULF,
Mobile, February 27, 1865.
Major General G. GRANGER,
Commanding U. S. Forces, Fort Gaines, Ala.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter relative to sending a supply of clothing, under flag of truce, for the U. S. prisoners of war at Cahaba, Ala., and Meridian, Miss. Upon referring the matter to the commander of this department I have been informed that an agreement has been made for the immediate exchange of all prisoners of war of the United States in this department, and its early consummation, it is believed, will take place. If any unforeseen delay should occur, or if under the circumstances you still desire to send the clothing, please be assured that I will take pleasure in receiving and forwarding it in accordance with your expressed wishes.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
DABNEY H. MAURY,
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI,
New Orleans, La., February 27, 1865.
COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS, Washington, D. C.:
SIR: The officers and men of our Navy lately held prisoners in Texas have been delivered to me to be exchanged for Admiral Buchanan and other prisoners of the rebel Navy captured in Mobile Bay. I shall at once deliver those of the latter who remain here, and have to request that Admiral Buchanan may be delivered to his friends, at such point as may be most convenient, with as little delay as possible. Our faith is pledged for his speedy delivery.
Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,
ED. R. S. CANBY,
NEW ORLEANS, February 27, 1865.
Commodore JAMES S. PALMER,
Commanding West Gulf Blockading Squadron:
SIR: I have the honor to report that there still remains at Camp Ford, Tex., twenty-seven naval prisoners who were detained there for punishment by the Confederate commissioner of exchange. I believe that by the provisions of the cartel arranged for their exchange the Confederate agent agreed to deliver all the naval prisoners, which they have not done.
In a conversation with Colonel Szymanski I called his attention to a letter written by General Lee to General Grant in answer to one addressed him by General Butler, which said that free negroes in our service were, when captured, to be treated as prisoners of war. Colonel Szymanski denied ever having seen any such letter, and assured me that if he was furnished with an official copy of it he would at once treat all free negroes now prisoners in the Trans-Mississippi Department as prisoners of war. I therefore respectfully request that the necessary steps may be taken to furnish him the official copy he requests in order that the free negroes captured on the Clifton, Sachem, Morning Light, and ram Queen of the West, and now held to labor, may be treated as prisoners of war. I furnish herewith a partial list of free negroes captured on the above vessels, and have reason to believe that there are still more, besides many contrabans whose names I have been unable to learn.