FORT MONROE, VA., June 6, 1865.
GENERAL: Shall I furnish Jeff. Davis writing materials to answer Mr. O'Conor's letter, received this a. m.?
NELSON A. MILES,
Brevet Major-General of Volunteers.
WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,
June 6, 1865.
Bvt. Major General N. A. MILES, U. S. Volunteers,
Commanding, Fort Monroe, Va.:
The Secretary of War was says you may furnish writing materials to Mr. Davis sufficient for the specific purpose of accepting or declining Mr. O'Conor's offer.
E. D. TOWNSEND,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF FLORIDA, FOURTH SEPARATE BRIGADE, DEPT. OF THE SOUTH,
Jacksonville, Fla., June 6, 1865.
Major General E. A. HITCHCOCK,
Com. for the Exchange of Prisoners, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of 20th ultimo asking information relative to a report published in the newspapers to the effect that the rebel authorities had abandoned a body of Union soldiers who had been held as prisoners of war while conducting them within our lines, some of whom had succeeded in reaching this post.
I desire to state in reply that soon after I assumed command of this district, which was in the latter part of April, I received a communication from Major General Sam. Jones, at that time commanding the rebel forces in this State, saying that he wished to deliver a number of our prisoners at this point, but I declined to receive them without being authorized to do so. The substance of his letter I at once sent to the major-general commanding the department and asked for instructions, requesting the suitable arrangements might be made for transporting them North, and to supply them in the meantime with clothing and supplies, medical attendance, &c., the supply being limited at this post. Before the receipt of instructions and the supplies asked for arrived I was informed by General Jones that he was unable to care for the prisoners, between 3,000 and 4,000 in number, and that he was somewhat fearful that they would not longer submit to control, and fearful that some might lose their lives, and urged that they be received and in the meantime started them for Lake City, bringing them to Baldwin, a distance of twenty miles, to within a few miles of my lines, when the escort left them on their way.
I received the prisoners and had them properly cared for, the necessary supplies, clothing, &c., arriving about the same time. The prisoners were in a miserable condition and a number of them died after they arrived here. The survivors have all been forwarded North since