a very courteous correspondence with Genl Slocum, the Federal Commander at Vicksburg, he has consented to make direct exchanges with me, of which I have already availed myself on three occasions, to the extent of about 75 non Commissioned officers & privates altogether; but he hangss firm on the exchange of officers, pleading his want of authority, and announcing his purpose to send them north. Being very desirous of securing the early return of Major Peyton to his command I have sent down a Yankee transfer to Vicksburg, who will doubtless assist my argument in favor of an immedi-ate exchange.
Genl Lee has habitually manifested an [?] indifference to the protection of this part of our State, ordering its limited force to a mere handful at critical periods, and leaving them with most inadequet forces for its defence. This policy has subjected him
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