all his questions, but I have not time to do so satisfactorily; and, for reasons which I am sure you both will appreciate, I have a great repugnance to being brought before the public in any manner. Sufficient information has been officially published, I think, to show that whatever sufferings the Federal prisoners at the South underwent, were incident to their position as prisoners, and produced by the destitute condition of the country, arising from the operations of war. The laws of the Confederate Congress and the orders of the War Department directed that the rations furnished prisoners of war should be the same in quantity and quality as those furnished enlisted men in the army of the Confederacy, and that the hospitals for prisoners should be placed on the same footing as other Confederate States hospitals in all respects. It was the desire of the Confederate authorities to effect a continuous and speedy exchange of prisoners of war: for it was their true policy to do so, as their retention was not only a calamity to them, but a heavy expenditure of their scanty means of subsistence, and a privation of the services of a veteran army. Mr. Fisher or Bishop Wilmer has confounded my offers for the exchange of prisoners with those made by Mr. Ould, the Commissioner of the Confederate States. It was he that offered, when all hopes of effecting the exchange had ceased, to deliver all the Federal sick and wounded, to the amount of fifteen thousand, without an equivalent, provided transportation was furnished. Previously to this, I think, I offered to General Grant to send into his lines all the prisoners within my department, which then embraced Virginia and North Carolina, provided he would return me man for man; and when I informed the Confederate authorities of my proposition, I was told that, if it was accepted, they would place all the prisoners at the South at my disposal. I offered subsequently, I think, to the committee of the United States Sanitary Commission, who visited Petersburg for the purpose of ameliorating the condition of their prisoners, to do the same. But my proposition was not accepted. Dr. Joseph Jones has recently published a pamphlet termed ' Researches upon Spurious Vaccination,' etc., issued from the University Medical Press", Nashville, Tenn., in 'which he treats of certain diseases of the Federal prisoners at Andersonville and their causes, wnich I think would be interesting to you as a medical man, and would furnish Mr. Fisher with some of the information he desires. And now I wish you to understand that what I have written is for your personal information and not for publication, and to send as an expression of thanks to Mr. Fisher for his kind efforts to relieve the sufferings of the Southern people.
"I am very much obliged to you for the prayers you offered for us in the days of trouble. Those days are still prolonged, and we earnestly look for aid to our merciful God. Should I have any use for the file of papers you kindly offer me, I will let you know.
"All my family unite with me in kind regards to your wife and children. And I am, very truly, your cousin,(Signed)
"R. E. LEE."