War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0861 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -CONFEDERATE.

Search Civil War Official Records

after to take any paroles. The only sure course left is to hold at least until an explanation is had.

Article 4 is a penalty for the violation of the branch of the preceding article.

In article 5 it is difficult to understand what General Halleck means by "wholesale paroling. " The first [second] says "none but commissioned officers can give the paroles for themselves or their commands, &c. " The sixth provides that "no non-commissioned officers or private can give his parole except through an officer. " Article 1 [2] forbids any but a commissioned officer from giving paroles for himself or his men and article 6 seems to allow a non-commissioned officer or private to give his paroled through an officer.

This discrepancy is complicated by the fifth article which declares that "for the officer the pledging of his parole is an individual act and no wholesale paroling by an officer for a number of inferiors in rank is permitted or valid. " Are there provisions consistent?

Article 6 makes the whole matter still more confused. What is meant by "giving a parole through an officer?" Is it that the officer is to approve it and sign that approval? If so how can lists of paroled prisoners who are about to be sent of be made at the Libby Prison? If it was not for the last clause of the sixth article it might be well supposed that all the provisions of the general order related to paroles given at the time of capture. That clause, however, speaks of "long confinement. " It only allows a private to give his individual parole after he has 'suffered long confinement without the possibility of being paroled through an officer. " What is long confinement? According to this clause if he has been at the Lybby a short time and no officer is there in confinement he cannot be paroled; moreover is he not according to article 1 compelled to remain a long time in prison until one of his own officers happens to be captured?

Article 7 declares that no prisoner of war can be forced by the hostile Government to pledge his parole, &c. The cartel [article 4] says "all prisoners of war shall be discharged on parole in ten after their capture. " If the soldier under the injunction of his Government refuse his parole how can we discharge him on parole?

Articles 8, 10, 11 and 12 require no other comment than that the cartel and not the common law of war establishes the terms of the parole and gives the consent of both Governments to those terms.

Article 9 is in clear violation of the cartel. Article 4 of the cartel says:

The surplus not exchange shall not be permitted to take up arms against nor 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 exchange.

Although I was only required by your indorsement to report wherein I thought the general order violated the cartel yet I deemed it my duty to make special mention of the foregoing matters in order that I might receive your instructions respecting the same. Had I no better bring the subject to the attention of the Federal agent of exchange, protesting against so much of the general order as is in violation of the cartel and asking explanations of that which is doubtful, ambiguous or contradictory?

With great respect, your obedient servant,


Agent of Exchange.