The correspondence on the exchange question.
--The New York Herald
contains the following notice of the correspondence which has recently taken place on the question of exchange of prisoners:
It appears from official documents that the commission of Gen. Hitchcock
of December 16th, authorized him to confer with Gen. Butler
and designate him as an agent to procure the exchange of soldiers and officers, upon terms not conflicting with the position of the department relative to colored soldiers, nor surrendering men without just equivalent, man for man, officer for officer.--Subsequently he was directed to exchange first those who had been longest confined, and to waive for the time the consideration of the question of parte and excess of prisoners in our hands.
He was allowed also to exchange colored men in civil employment captured by our forces.
On the 25th of December, Gen. Butter
sent forward by Assistant Commissioner Mutford
, five hundred and two prisoners from Point Lookout
, asking in exchange for a similar number, and leaving in abeyance all existing differences, with assistances that their prisoners in our hands were well cared for, and suggestions looking to the immediate exchange of convalescent or disabled prisoners.
In communications of the same date he asked for the exchange of Alfred F. Bingle
, of the Sanitary Commission, confined in Castle Thunder; the whereabouts and condition of Lt. F. H. Mason
and private John Wollam
, of Ohio
regiments, and inquiries into the proposition covering the cases of the officers and crews of the steamers Emily
, captured by the rebels last May.
reiterates in a note to Major Mulford
a willingness to exchange all prisoners, the excess on either side to be on parole.
He says:‘"This is the provision of the cartel, and we can accept nothing else.
Unless this is the distinct understanding, no equivalent will be delivered to you for any Confederate officers or soldiers whom you may hereafter bring to City Point
In the hope that such is the understanding, I have directed that a greater number than the total of your delivery shall be sent to you.’
In another communication Gen. Hitchcock
is reminded that by the Presidential proclamation Gen Hutier
is under the ban of cutaway, and that while his Government cannot prescribe what agents the United States
shall employ, self-respect requires that the Confederate Government refuse to treat with a person so obnoxious, and that Gen. Butler
's agency cannot therefore be recognized or his person protected by a flag of truce.
returned the note, and said in reply, "No right of declaration of outlawry by those authorities of any officer or soldier of the United States
can be admitted, or for a moment regarded, by the authorities of the United States
, as it certainly will not be by the persons upon whom such intimidation is attempted." He informs Robert Ould
that unless his Cup of truce is respected, all further communication of flag of truce between those authorities and cars must cease.
On the 12th of January Gen. Butler
writes again, asking for an exchange of the lists of prisoners and of deaths, and proposing the making up monthly lists.