HEADQUARTERS FORTY-FIFTH VIRGINIA REGIMENT,
Mercer County, Va., February 17, 1862.
General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.
GENERAL: Your attention is called to the fact that in Raleigh, Fayette and the neighboring counties the U. S. forces are carrying off citizens in large numbers as prisoners of war; not only those who sympathize with and are loyal to the Confederacy but also many of the Union men.
I am of the opinion that these men are taken prisoners with a view to their being exchanged for their prisoners of war now in the custody of the Confederate Government. This opinion is strengthened by the late action of the Federal Government in seeking an exchange of prisoners in greater numbers than heretofore.
I deem this subject of sufficient importance to call your attention to the matter in order to guard the Confederate Government from having the men thus taken imposed on them in exchange for prisoners of war taken in arms against the Confederacy.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. E. PETERS,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Forty-fifth Virginia Regiment.
SOURCE: Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series 2, Volume 2, pg. 1420
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