to be sent to this city for exchange by extract VIII, IX, and X, of Special Orders, Numbers 49, Office of Commissary-General of Prisoners, Washington, D. C., December 30, 1864, and which orders were apparently intended to cover all the prisoners in Northern stations captured at Helena, Ark., July 4, 1863, those captured by the forces of Major-General Steele in Department of Arkansas prior to July 28, 1864, and those remaining of the Fort Butler apture of June 23, 1863, only the following have been received here:
On the 19th day of January last there arrived here from Johnson's Island, Ohio, 169 commissioned officers, of whom 56 were of the Helena capture and the remainder, 113, captured at various points in the Department of Arkansas.
On the 29th day of January arrived from Rock Island, Ill., 275 enlisted men, of whom only 4 privates were captured at Helena, the remainder at other points in Arkansas.
On the 13th of March (yesterday) arrived from Johnson's Island, Ohio, 16 commissioned officers, of whom 8 were captured at various points in Arkansas, the remaining 8 being those officers captured at Fort Butler, Donaldsonville, La., in June, 1863. There must therefore be still remaining at the North nearly the whole number of the enlisted men who were captured at Helena, Ark., July 4, 1864. This whole number was understood to be originally about 800.
I have also a list of rebel prisoners, enlisted men, numbering 226, who were held by Major-General Steele at Little Rock, Ark., on the 15th day of July, 1864, and were subsequently sent to some Northern station, none of whose names names appear on the lists of those thus far sent hither to be exchanged. Adding this number to the supposed number of the enlisted men of the Helena capture, and there must still remain at some Northern sattion at least 1,000 prisoners, whose exchange has been agreed upon with the rebel authorities in the Trans-Mississippi Department, and whom it was the intention of the Commissary-General of Prisoners to send to us to be exchanged.
All the prisoners thus far sent to us from the North have already been delivered with the exception of the 16 officers who arrived yesterday, and the balance of deliveries is now against us to the extent of the equivalent for 480 privates. There are also now remaining in Texas about 1,400 Union prisoners whose exchange may be effected at any time when we may have equivalent to deliver for them.
We have been in daily expectation of the arrival here of the Helena and other Arkansas prisoners whose transfer to this city was understood to be contemplated in the orders above mentioned of the Commissary-General of Prisoners, but as nothing has to this time been heard of them, it seems probable their detention at the North is due to some error or oversight.
I beg also to call your attention to the fact that the captures of the rebel generals Marmaduke and Cabell and their commands were made in the Trans-Mississippi Department, and to inquire whether a sufficient number of these prisoners may not be forwarded to us with those of the Helena capture, &c., to enable us to cancel the indebtedness now existing against us and to exchange for all our remaining prisoners in Texas.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CHAS. C. DWIGHT,
Colonel and Agent for Exchange, Mil. Div. of West Mississippi.