Copy, DNA WR RG 108, HQA, Letters Received, P 459, Box 73. On October 11, 1864, Grant forwarded Lincoln's letter with the enclosures to General Benjamin F. Butler, turning ``the whole matter over to you to conduct.'' (OR, II, VII, 965). Welles' Diary under dates of October 4 and 5 records at length the difficulty between the Navy and War departments, concluding as follows: ``The President came to see me pretty early this morning in relation to the exchange of prisoners. It had troubled him through the night. . . . The President said he wanted the subject to be got along with harmoniously, that they were greatly ruffled at the War Department, and if I had no objection he would go and see Seward, tell him the facts, get him to come over, and bring the Secretary of War . . . to a consultation. . . .
``In less than an hour the President returned with Seward. We went briefly over the question. . . . After discussing the subject, went, by request of the President, with him to the War Department. General Hitchcock and General Halleck came in soon. Stanton was ill-mannered, as usual, where things did not please him. . . . The President said that the correspondence was a past transaction,---that we need not disturb that matter; the Navy arrangement must go forward, and the Navy have its men. He wrote and read a brief letter to General Grant proposing to turn over the prisoners we had sent to him. . . . Hitchcock . . . began a speech . . . intimating that the War Department should have exclusive control of the cartel. . . . I told him I was perfectly willing . . . if they would not obstruct the exchange but get back our men. All assented to the President's letter. Stanton and Seward preferred it should be addressed to General Butler. . . . But the President preferred addressing the General-in-Chief, and I commended his preference. We telegraphed Capt. Melancthon Smith, to turn the prisoners over to General Grant to be disposed of. . . .''
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