RICHMOND, April 11, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel WILLIAM H. LUDLOW, Agent of Exchange.
SIR: Your letters of the 8th instant have been received. I am very much surprised at your refusal to deliver officers for those of your own have been captured, paroled and released by us since the date of the proclamation and message of President Davis. That refusal is not only a flagrant breach of the cartel but can be supported by no rule of reciprocity or equity. It is utterly useless to argue any such matter. I assure you that not one officer of any grade will be delivered to you until you change your purpose in that respect.
You have charged us with breaking the cartel. With what sort of justice can that allegation be supported when you delivered only a few days ago suffer in prison for months before we were compelled by that and other reasons to issue the retaliatory order of which you complain? Those ninety odd are not one-half of those whom you unjustly hold in prison. On the other hand I defy you to name the case of one who is confined by us whom our Government has declared exchanged. Is it your idea that we are at liberty to violate it for months and that too not only in a few instance but in hundreds? You know that our refusal to parole officers was a matter exclusively of retaliation. It was based only upon your refusal to observe the requirements of the cartel. All that you had do to remove the obnoxious measure of retaliation was to observe the provisions of the cartel and redress the wrongs which had been perpetrated.
Your last resolution if persisted in settles the matter. You need not send any officers to City Point with the expectation of getting an equivalent in officers so long as you refuse to deliver any for those whom we have released on parole in Tennessee and Kentucky.
If captivity, privation and misery are to be the fate of officers on both side hereafter let God judge between us. I have struggled in this matter as if it had been a matter of life and death to me. I am heartsick at the termination but I have no self reproaches.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Agent of Exchange.
CAMBRIDGEPORT, MASS., April 11, 1863.
Honorable ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
HONORED SIR: I cannot bring my mind into a state to apologize for addressing you on a subject calculated to arouse the deepest feelings of the human should. I have before me in my office a weeping mother, a Christian woman, whose oldest son has been sold as a slave in Houston, Tex., having been captured in the city of Galveston with the Forty-second Regiment. He is a noble boy, born in Boston. His mother is a member of the First Baptist Church in this city of which I also am a member. He was a Sabbath scholar in the school connected with our church. This boy was earning about $8 per month in one of the houses connected with Harvard College. He gave it all to his mother, who is so white that she is not suspected as having any negro blood in her vents. She is well educated and in every respect a perfect lady. Her agony is intense, heartrending, and yet subdued by that Christian fortitude that sustains her in her thoughts and emotions of despair as she broods over her loss and the sufferings of her son, born in freedom, but which the might of thirty millions of men cannot because they