OFFICE U. S. AGENT FOR EXCHANGE OF PRISONERS,
Richmond, Va., August 21, 1865.
Colonel T. S. BOWERS,
Asst. Adjt. General, Armies of the United States, Washington, D. C.:
COLONEL: I have the honor to inclose herein, for your information, copy of my letter to Major-General Hitchcock, written in compliance with a request made by him for suggestions in the matter of prisoners' claims for funds taken from them by the rebels, and I also inclose a copy of his letter acknowledge receipt of the same, &c.
I would further inform you that I have completed my examination of the rebel records having reference to these claims, and am now making out a report to be submitted to you embracing names of the prisoners and the amounts in kind due each, as shown by the Confederetar prison official's books and papers in our possession. This report will include all credits to prisoners of war of which there is any official record of having been taken from or turned over with them at Libby Prison. It will also include about $6,000 in U. S. Treasury notes, which had been forwarded from Salisbury and Andersonville in March last with a list of the owners.
The aggregate footings of credits as shown are: $857.70 coin; $44,904.59 U. S. Treasury notes; $4,180.75 State banks; $715 checks and drafts; pound 139 bills of exchange; and the whole amount of funds recovered from the enemy thus far amounts to $372.70 coin; $28.671 U. S. Treasury notes; $5,909.75 State bank notes on Northern and Southern banks, corporations, &c., much of which is worthless; $715 check and drafts; pound 139 bills of exchange, and a quantity of Confederate money, neither the amounts nor the credits for which have been observed in my statements.
From the above I have paid (under instructions received with the first funds turned over to me "to pay such claims as were verified by the records, &c.") $32.50 in coin, $2,520 U. S. Treasury notes, $236.75 on State banks, and have returned to proper parties nearly all the bills, drafts, and checks, for all of which I have vouchers in my possession. These amounts are also to be deducted from the aggregate of credits due prisoners noted herein.
It was at first supposed, from such information as we were able to obtain, that the records of the prison quartermaster were destroyed, and only a partial list of the names of those to whom the money belonged, amounting to about $15,000, could be recovered, while the funds amounted to $23,000, and it was under this impression that the funds recovered would exceed the official record of credits that I was directed to pay such claims as I could satisfy myself were just. As soon, however, as I learned of the existence of other records of this property I discontinued the furher payment of claims until I could make a full statement and receive instructions in regard to the payment of said claims.
In addition to the foregoing I have in my possession about $4,000, U. S. Treasury notes, belonging to Confederates whom we held as prisoners, many of whom are dead, others having been paroled and sent South before receiving these remittances.
I have also several hundred packages belonging to both Union and rebel prisoners, which we are daily making disposition of under instructions
46 R R-SERIES II, VOL VIII.