War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0930 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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of the 7th instant. I hope it will not be long. At present there are insurmountable difficulties. I hope I can declare the exchange in a month.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

RO. OULD,

Agent of Exchange.

RICHMOND, VA., April 20, 1863.

To the HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

I herewith transmit for your information a communication from the Secretary of War in response to your resolution of January 24 in reference to the exchange or release "of persons who taken from civil life have bee transported and confined beyond the limits of the Confederacy. "

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

[Inclosure.]

WAR DEPARTMENT, April 18, 1863.

To the PRESIDENT OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES.

SIR: In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of January 24 last I have the honor to submit the report of the Honorable R. Ould, agent of exchange of prisoners, as to the steps that have been taken to procure the liberation and exchange of prisoners who taken from civil life have been transported and confined beyond the limits of the Confederate States, and whether any and what persons so confined at the instance of the Government have been set at liberty.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War.

[Sub-inclosure.]

RICHMOND, April 14, 1863.

Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON, Secretary of War.

SIR: In the matter of the accompanying resolution of the House of Representatives relating to citizen prisoners I have the honor to make the following report:

The subject of the arrest and detention of civilians has been a matter of controversy between the Federal agent of exchange and myself ever since the establishment of the cartel. I have again and again protested against such arrests as illegal and contrary to the usages of civilized warfare.

At an early stage of the cartel I urged the adoption of the following rule, to wit:

That peaceable non-combatant citizens of both the Confederate and United States who are not connected with any military organization should not be arrested by either the Confederate or U. S. Armies within the territory of the adverse party; that if such a proposition was considered as being too broad let the only exception be in the case of a temporary arrest of parties within army lines where the arresting party has good reason to believe that their presence is dangerous to the safety of the army from the opportunity afforded of giving intelligence to the enemy, that then the arrest should cease as soon as the reason for making it ceased in the withdrawal of the army or for any other cause, and finally that the foregoing proposal should apply to and include such arrests and imprisonments as were then in force.

The proposition was declined. I have urged it frequently since but without success.