Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia,
October 3, 1864
Lieut. Gen. U. S. Grant,
Commanding Armies of the United States:
General: In my proposition of the 1st instant to exchange the prisoners of war belonging to the armies operating in Virginia I intended to include all captured soldiers of the United States of whatever nation and color under my control. Deserters from our service and negroes belonging to our citizens are not considered subjects of exchange and were not included in my proposition. If there are any such among those stated by you to have been captured around Richmond they cannot be returned.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R E Lee