To Ethan A. Hitchcock 
The writer of this, who appeals for his brother, is our minister to Ecuador, and whom, if at all compatible, I would like to have obliged by a special exchange of his brother. A. LINCOLN.
 OR, II, VIII, 30. Lincoln's endorsement is on a letter from Frederick Hassaurek, September 17, 1864, enclosing a letter from his half-brother, Lieutenant Leopold Markbreit, originally of the Twenty-eighth Ohio Volunteers and acting assistant adjutant general on General William W. Averell's staff when captured. Markbreit wrote from Libby Prison, July 10, 1864: ``My situation could not be worse. I have become so weak and broken down from close confinement and want of food that I can hardly walk. Our daily ration consists of one-half pound of corn bread, one-half pound of boiled beans, and about two or three ounces of bacon. . . . I cannot say how long we shall be able to live on such rations. . . .'' This same letter from Markbreit is printed elsewhere in the Official Records with the following endorsement by Charles A. Dana, October 10, 1864: ``Respectfully referred to the Commissary-General of Prisoners, with directions to subject the officer held as hostage for the within-named prisoner to the same treatment.'' (OR, II, VII, 457). Not until January 5 was an exchange effected, on which date General Grant telegraphed Stanton, ``Will you please say to the President that Lieutenant Markbreit has been released from prison and is now on his way North.'' (OR, II, VIII, 811).