which I send you herewith. He says there are 9,000 en route, including those already arrived. He don't claim anything under my contract, but claims under General Grant's arrangement that the residue to be held by the captors is in their favor. He says he expects to hear every day of the delivery of prisoners to balance this lot, when he is willing to let these go. He says the camps at Andersonville and Cahaba are broken up and no rations there, and the suffering that will attend the turning of them back will be without a parallel. There being a gap between the Cahaba and Andersonville lots of about a week, we can hear from you in time to stop all that are now the other side of Jackson. It is my opinion, general, that at least one-fourth of them will die and be killed if they are turned back. They won't let them know they are to be turned back till they get force enough to shoot all who try to escape. The public service cannot suffer by keeping them here a few days. I send this by an officer, and also Captain William's letter, and await your decision.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
M. L. SMITH,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers.
JOINT RESOLUTION of request to the Secretary of War to secure the release of certain unarmed citizens of his Commonwealth from rebel imprisonment.
Whereas, during the battle of Gettysburg certain unarmed citizens of this Commonwealth were captured by the rebel forces, taken to Richmond, and afterward sent to Salisbury, where they yet remain in close confinement in rebel prisons: Therefore,
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in General Assembly met, That the Secretary of War be respectfully requested to use his utmost official exertions to secure the release of J. Crawford Gwinn, Alexander Harper, George Codori, William Harper, Samuel Sitzer, George Patterson, George Ardent, and Emanuel Trostle, and such other civilians, citizens of Pennsylvania, as may now be in the hands of the rebels authorities, from rebel imprisonment and have them returned to their respective homes in Pennsylvania.
A. G. OLMSTEAD,
Speaker of the House of Representatives.
WM. J. TUNELL,
Speaker of the Senate.
Approved the 23rd day of March, A. D. 1865.
A. G. CURTIN.
TALLAHASSEE. [March] 23, 1865. (Via Columbia.)
Honorable J. C. BRECKINRIDGE:
General Scammon, commanding U. S. forces at Jacksonville, Fla., agrees to receive and receipt for prisoners of war paroled for exchange. Would it not be well to hurry forward those at Andersonville to Jacksonville as rapidly as possible? I have telegraphed Pillow.