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Doc. 23.-the Mission of A. H. Stephens.

The following is the correspondence relating to the mission of Alexander H. Stephens and Robert Ould at Fortress Monroe:

Fortress Monroe, July 4, 1863, U. S. Steamer Minnesota, two P. M.
Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy:
The following communication is just received from Alexander H. Stephens, who is in the flag of truce boat, anchored above. I shall inform Mr. Stephens that I await your instructions before giving him an answer.

S. H. Lee, Admiral, etc.

confederate States steamer Torpedo, James River, July 4, 1863.
sir: As a military commissioner, I am the bearer of a communication in writing from Jeff Davis, Commander-in-Chief of the land and naval forces of the confederate States, to Abraham Lincoln, Commander-in-Chief of the land and naval forces of the United States. Hon. Robert Ould, confederate States Agent of Exchange, accompanies me as secretary for the purpose of delivering the communication in person and conferring upon the subject to which it relates. I desire to proceed directly to Washington in the steamer Torpedo, commanded by Lieutenant Hunter Davidson of the confederate States navy; no person being on board but the Hon. Mr. Ould, myself, the boat's officers and crew.

Yours most respectfully,

Navy Department, July 4, 1863.
To Acting Rear-Admiral Lee, Hampton Roads:
The request of Alexander H. Stephens is inadmissible. The customary agents and channels are adequate for all needful communication and conference between the United States forces and the insurgents.

Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy.

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Alexander H. Stephens (6)
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