• The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia

The Lee Family Digital Archive is the largest online source for primary source materials concerning the Lee family of Virginia. It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online. We are always looking for new letters, diaries, and books to add to our website. Do you have a rare item that you would like to donate or share with us? If so, please contact our editor, Colin Woodward, at  (804) 493-1940, about how you can contribute to this historic project.



Headquarters Armies of the United States,

October 18, 1864


General R. E. Lee, Commanding Army of Northern Virginia:

General: The accompanying are copies of letters addressed by Judge R. Ould, commissioner for the exchange of prisoners of war, to Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War, and to Lieut. Col. J. E. Mulford, assistant commissioner of exchange. I have been authorized by the Secretary of War to make such arrangements as can be agreed upon for the mutual relief of prisoners held by the two parties. In the propositions submitted by Judge Ould I see no one thing to object to. I shall be perfectly willing to receive at any place held by Federal troops all clothing or delicacies sent for the use of prisoners in our hands, provided the same privilege is extended for supplying the wants of those held by the Confederate authorities. No objection will be urged to receiving supplies for like distribution at any of our Northern ports direct from Europe, or to allowing purchases in Northern cities for the same purpose. I would suggest, however, as a means of satisfying each party that all goods sent reach their proper destination, that a commissioned officer of each party, to be selected from among the prisoners of war, be paroled, to remain within the lines of the party now holding them, whose duty it shall be to receive and receipt for all articles sent for distribution, and who shall see that they are distributed according to the wishes of those sending.

Looking entirely to the alleviation of the sufferings of those held in captivity I will not interpose any obstacle to any plan that may be proposed which gives equal privileges to both belligerents.

Your obedient servant,

U.S. Grant,





Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 2, Volume 7, pp. 1008-1009

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 August 25

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