War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0198 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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Murfreesborough, Tenn., January 20, 1863.

The following extracts from the cartel under which prisoners are exchanged in the existing war with the Southern States are published for the information of this army:

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ARTICLE 4. All prisoners of war to be discharged on parole in ten days after their capture, and the prisoners now held and those hereafter taken to be transported to the points mutually agreed upon at the expense of the capturing party. The surplus prisoners not exchanged shall not be permitted to take up arms again, nor to serve as military police or constabulary force in any fort, garrison or field-work held by either of the respective parties, nor as guards of prisons, depots or stores, nor to discharge any duty usually performed by soldiers until exchanged under the provisions of this cartel.

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ARTICLE 4. All prisoners of war now held on either side and all prisoners hereafter taken shall be sent with all reasonable dispatch to A. M. Aiken's, below Dutch Gap, on the James River, Va., or to Vicksburg, on the Mississippi River, in the State of Mississippi, and there exchanged or paroled until such exchanged can be effected, notice being previously given by each party of the number of prisoners it will send and the time when they will be delivered at those points respectively; and in case the vicissitudes of war shall change the military relations of the places designated in this article to the contending parties so as to render the same inconvenient for the delivery and exchange of prisoners other places bearing as nearly as may be the present local relations of said places to the line of said parties shall be by mutual agreement substituted. But nothing in this article contained shall prevent the commanders of two opposing armies from exchanging prisoners or releasing them on parole from other points mutually agreed on by said commanders.

In pursuance of the terms of the cartel it is ordered that all officers and soldiers captured by this army be immediately paroled and sent to the nearest military post, duplicate descriptive rolls being sent to the provost-marshal-general at these headquarters, whose duty it will be to see that prisoners are promptly forwarded for exchange. No Confederate officers or soldiers captured by this army that may be paroled and set at liberty without proper delivery as provided in the cartel will be claimed as prisoners of war and proper subjects of exchange. No U. S. officers or soldiers so captured, paroled, and set at liberty without proper delivery, as provided in the cartel, will be considered as prisoners of was and proper subjects for exchange, but will be immediately ordered back to duty, such paroles being a violation of the terms of the cartel. An attempt on the part of the capturing party thus to force delivery to their own advantage forfeits their right to hold the prisoners.

By command of Major-General Rosecrans:


Assistant Adjutant-General and Chief of Staff.

WASHINGTON, D. C., January 21, 1863.

Major General E. A. HITCHCOCK.

GENERAL: A party of soldiers dressed as citizens were sent out by the late General Mitchel to destroy railroads in that vicinity. They were captured by the enemy and held as spies and a number of them were executed. Two of them recently escaped and gave reported to me under orders to join their regiment which is serving with General Rosecrans. If they should be captured again would they not be liable again to be held for trial as spies? I think they would but I would prefer to be governed by your better judgment.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel Third Infantry, Commissary-General of Prisoners.