O.R.--SERIES II--VOLUME VIII [S# 121]
UNION AND CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, ETC., RELATING TO PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE FROM JANUARY 1, 1865, TO THE END.--#10
CITY POINT, VA., February 16, 1865.
General R. E. LEE, Commanding C. S. Army:
Inclosed I send you communication from W. N. R. Beall, relating to James Monnehause, with indorsements thereon, and an extract from the Richmond Examiner, dated December 8, 1864, containing statement of the capture of thirty-seven Union citizens and their commitment to Castle Thunder, to be held as hostages for the good treatment and return of Confederate citizens alleged to have been captured by us.(*) Previous to the receipt of the inclosed communication and before my attention was called to the extract from the Richmond Examiner, I directed the release of all persons held by military authority within the Department of Virginia and North Carolina against whom sufficient evidence could not be found to convict them of the offense with which they stand charged, and also such as were imprisoned without proper charges, if any such there were. Similar orders were intended to be given throughout the entire military command of the United States, but before such orders are now given I desire information as to the truth of the statement of the Richmond Examiner, before referred to, and, if true, the names of the persons held by us for whom they were seized and held as hostages, and when and where captured, that their cases may be inquired into and the proper action had as to each. I would respectfully propose the release and exchange of all citizen prisoners now held by military authority, except those under charges of being spies or under conviction for offenses under the laws of war on both sides.
U. S. GRANT,