ample arrangements were made for their accomodation and comfort; that an effort would have been made on Sunday morning for the relief of such prisoners as might be at Varina but for the encouragement given by Captain Gifford that we wold be able to go down on Monday morning; that on Sunday night such effort was begun by telegraph to General Lee and followed up on Monday morning by sending Doctor Brock to confer with Colonel Mulford; that an arrangement was made on Monday by which the prisoners could come up on Tuesday, and further, that by no possibility could the priosners have been brought up earlier than Tuesday, because, though my tleegreaph to General Lee was received by him Sunday night, Doctor Brock could not procure an interview before Monday afternoon at 3 o'clock; that after the delivery on Tuesday, when the state of the river was worse than ever, and earnest but ineffectual efort was made on Wednesday morning to transport by land th esick and wounded; that any such transportation in the present situation of military lines and roads with the means in our power was durig the whole time utterly impracticable; that the sick and wounded coud only be brought by water; that form Saturday, the 25th of February, to Thursday, the 2nd of March, it was impossible to use the steam-boat or other river transportation owing to the freshet, but that i spite of all these difficulties all the arrivals at Varing, both well and sick, more than six thousand in number, reached Richmond during the six days ending March 3.
It is perhaps proper that I should also state that during this whole time I was deprived of the valuable aid of my assistant, Captain Hatch, and of some members of the Ambulance Corps, all of whom were engaged in the delivery of Federal prisoners near Wilmington.
I am happy to inform the committee that I have now made a permanent arrangement by which all the prisoners are to be quartered in the lower part of the town during the first night of their arrival.
In consequence of the conflict about the subject-matter of this paper, I wold prefer, if agreeable to the committee, to support this statement by oath.
I beg leave further to state that I was not informed of the arrival of any prisoners at Varina on Saturday, the 25th, until MOnday night, and then only by Doctor Brock, and that I did not receive the letter of Colonel Baxter Smith until several hours after his arrival in Richmond.
OFFICE U. S. AGENT FOR EXCHANGE OF PRISONERS,
Fort Monroe, Va., March 4, 1865.
Brigadier General W. HOFFMAN,
Commissary-General of Prisoners, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to inform you that I have this day arranged and agreed with Honorable R. Ould, agent, &c., for an exchange of the following enumerated deliveries of prisoners, viz: All U. S. officers and men, prisoners of war, delivered at Savannah and Charleston during the months November and December, 1864, and all U. S. officers and men, prisoners of war (not heretofore declared exchanged), who have been delivered in James River, |Va., previous to March 10, 1865. Mr. Ould's exchange notice is same as above except the last paragraph, in which he will only include deliveries in James River to March 1, 1865. I insisted upon making this point of difference in time, for the reason that I have since that the 1st instant delivered to Mr. Ould some 4,500 prisoners, including about 400 officers, all of whom would be
23 R R-SERIES II, VOL VIII