Correspondence concerning Twenty-First Michigan Infantry prisoner Exchange.

Colonel R. H. Lee is now a prisoner of war in Washington. He was severely wounded in the battle of Kernstown in 1862. This wound and a chronic dysentery of several years standing has very greatly impaired his health, never strong, and he now writes that the air and confinement of his prison are making serious inroads on his strength. There is, in fact, every reason to fear that he cannot outlive a protracted confinement. It is earnestly hoped these facts may, in the opinion of the President, be sufficient special exchanges, and that the necessary instructions may be given the commissioner of exchange to that effect.

[First indorsement.]

NOVEMBER 11, 1863.

SECRETARY OF WAR:

The special character of this case would indicate the propriety of making it exceptional, and if we have an officer of the enemy whose health has suffered in like manner the proposition might be made and would seem to be most likely to succeed, as it assimilates itself to an exchange of wounded and does not promise to increase our efficiency immediately.

JEFF'N DAVIS.

[Second indorsement.]

NOVEMBER 11, 1863.

Colonel OULD:

I shall readily assent to a fair exchange if by that means this valuable officer can be released from his confinement. The officer proffered for a special exchange should be assimilated in rank and condition if a case of the kind likely to be acceptable to the enemy can be found among the prisoners held by us.

J. A. SEDDON,

Secretary.

[Third indorsement.]

NOVEMBER 13, 1863.

Respectfully returned to the Honorable Secretary of War. I have made the offer indicated in the indorsement.

RO. OULD,

Agent of Exchange.

[Fourth indorsement.]

Federal prisoners who may be offered for Colonel Lee:

1. Colonel William H. Powell, Second West Virginia Cavalry, captured at Wytheville, Va., July 18, 1863. Is a native of Tennessee and a citizen of Ohio. Has lost an eye and was wounded in the shoulder.

2. Colonel William B. McCreery, Twenty-first Michigan. Wounded at Chickamauga 20th of September. Is now nearly well of his wounds, but is permanently disabled, probably.

ct.

 

CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT,

Richmond, November 13, 1863.

Brigadier-General MEREDITH, Agent of Exchange:

SIR: Colonel R. H. Lee is now, or was a short time since, a prisoner of war in Washington in 1862. This wound and a chronic dysentery of several years standing has very greatly impaired his health. He cannot outlive a protracted confinement. He has not been in active military service for a long time and never can be again. At the time of his capture he was a member of a permanent military court. I propose to exchange him for any wounded officer of yours of the same rank in our hands. We have a wounded colonel of yours, Colonel W. B. McCreery, Twenty-first Michigan, who was wounded at Chickamauga. He is doing very well and nearly recovered from his wounds. If there is any other colonel in our hands who even approaches the condition of Colonel Lee, you can select him. This application is made purely on the score of humanity. *

Respectfully,&c.,

RO. OULD,

Agent of Exchange.

[First indorsement.]

OFFICE COMMISSIONER OF EXCHANGE,

Fort Monroe, Va., November 13, 1863.

Respectfully referred to Colonel William Hoffman, Commissary-General of Prisoners.

S. A. MEREDITH,

Brigadier-General of Commissioner for Exchange.

[Second indorsement.]

OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,

November 24, 1863.

Respectfully referred to the Secretary of War.

W. HOFFMAN,

Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary-General of Prisoners.

[Third indorsement.]

WASHINGTON, November 28, 1863.

Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON:

I respectfully recommend that Colonel Lee be offered in exchange for Colonel Powell.

E. A. HITCHCOCK,

Major-General of Volunteers, Commissioner, &c.

 

 

 

 

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