I am pleased to see that Admiral Buchanan has been delivered at Richmond for his equivalent. I would request that you bring with you the receipts of the Confederate agent of exchange at Mobile for the C. S. naval prisoners and the men of Fort Gaines capture, recently delivered, so that we may make a final settlement of deliveries made in order that I may properly report them at Richmond and declare those already received to be exchanged.
I have the honor to request that you will no omit to bring to our next meeting articles of clothing, &c., for the U. S. prisoners, in lieu of those which were lost in transitu to Camp Ford, Tex., and for which I am prepared to reimburse you.
With assurance of high esteem and consideration, I am your very obedient servant,
Assistant Agent of Exchange, Trans-Mississippi Department.
RICHMOND, March 25, 1865.
Honorable J. C. BRECKINRDIGE, Secretary of War:
SIR: I have the honor to inclose a copy of a letter which I have written to Brigadier General John E. Mulford, assistant U. S. agent of exchange*.
I have conversed with the nine officers referred to (Major De Witt C. Douglass, Captain Thomas W. Elliott, Captain Frank B. Gurely, Captain Thomas B. Jordan, Captain William H. Moore, Captain C. E. Peacher, Captain A. W. Ray, Lieutenant Robert Y. Briges, and Lieutenant S. W. Cooley), and the confirm the statements made in the letter. They allege that the only charge against the condemned was that they were guerillas or were recruiting within what the Federals called their lines. In most of the cases the former was the charge. No notification of proceedings against them was ever given by the Federal authorities. In fact, the enemy seems to have moved as secretly as possible. I think it very doubtful whether General Mulford will be authorized to make any answer to my communication. I have taken the liberty of informing you of these matters at this time that such steps be taken as you deem proper, either now or after a reasonable time has been given for a reply.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Agent of Exchange.
HEADQUARTERS, March 25, 1865.
Honorable J. C. BRECKINRIDGE, Secretary of War:
I do not recommend that the paroled prisoners be declared exchanged until properly agreed upon by commissioners on both sides.
R. E. LEE.
RICHMOND, March 25, 1865.
General R. E. LEE,
Headquarters Armies Confederate States of America:
GENERAL: The communication of L. R. Mason, relating to the treatment of Colonel Mosby's men, forwarded by you, has been received.
* See March 22, p. 421.