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[326]

This is a matter of such grave importance, that I sincerely trust an early and favorable response will be made.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

Ro. Ould, Agent of Exchange.

A copy of this letter was sent on the 7th October to Secretary Stanton.

It seems that these letters were forwarded to General Grant, and he communicated with General Lee on October 19th, 1864, who replied with the following letter on the 19th:

Headquarters army of Northern Va., 19th October, 1864.
Lieutenant-General U. S. Grant, Commanding Armies of the United States:
General,--I have received your letter of the 18th instant accompanying letters from Judge Ould, Commissioner of Exchange of prisoners on the part of the Confederate States, and the Honorable E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War, and Lieutenant-Colonel Mulford, Assistant Commissioner of Exchange of United States. I understand your letter to be an acceptance of the general proposition submitted by Judge Ould for the relief of the prisoners held by both parties, and shall transmit it to him that arrangements may be made for carrying it into effect. The necessary details will be submitted to you through Colonel Mulford for agreement. In order to simplify the matter and to remove, so far as possible, causes of complaint, I suggest that the articles sent by either party should be confined to those necessary for the comfort and health of the prisoners, and that the officer selected from among them to receive and distribute the articles, should be given only such a parole while so engaged, as to afford him the necessary facilities to attend properly to the matter.

I have the honor to be,

Very respectfully your obedient servant,

(Signed)

R. E. Lee, General.

From this date, after an interruption of nearly eight months, deliveries of food and clothing to prisoners on both sides were made, continuing until nearly the close of the war. I deem it proper to repeat

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