Mr. Ould's declaration with your comments on it that I may know what prisoners paroled or held by us have been exchanged. If the Confederate War Department has published a false declaration, one which is not in accordance with your understanding with Mr. Ould, it is a breach of the cartel which I think requires your immediate notice. The declaration which I saw was in the hands of Mr. Burgett, who claimed that by it he was exchanged. As I remember its bearings it assumes what they have so long been striving to accomplish, viz, that the Government recognizes that citizens may renounce their allegiance to the United States and transfer it to the rebel Confederacy, and if their position is not contradicted they will assert that our silence gives authority to their assumption. Please send me a copy of Mr. Ould's declaration with your corrections.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary-General of Prisoners.
RICHMOND, VA., June 12, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel W. H. LUDLOW, Agent of Exchange:
SIR: I inclose to you the resolution of Congress in relation to retaliation. * I thought you had seen it in the papers transmitted to you otherwise I would have sent it. I take it for granted that the Confederate authorities propose to carry out a resolution solemnly passed by them. I have not asked them whether they intend to do so and I do not think I will ever be so inconsiderate as to make any such inquiry. I have thus frankly given my view as to this matter, and I beg leave to ask you in return whether it is the purpose of your Government to execute its conscription act, and further how many men will be raised under its provision? I feel so deep a personal interest in that subject that I hope I have not transgressed any propriety in propounding the inquiry after the example you have set me.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Agent for Exchange.
CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT,
Richmond, Va., June 12, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel WILLIAM H. LUDLOW, Agent of Exchange:
SIR: You are mistaken in supposing that my "proposition to have the releases from paroles and oaths cover other then parties delivered at City Point" was made after I had published Notice Numbers 5. It was made before that date (May 11) and after a full and deliberate discussion between us. You hesitated at first, but when I assured you it only extended to cases of parties who were allowed to leave you territory and come to us whether by City Point or otherwise, you assented to it in distinct and unequivocal terms. the same provision in principle was incorporated in Exchange Notice Numbers 4, January 13, 1863. You recognized the same principle in numerous exchanges made after that date and before May 11, 1863.
I have now given the notice in good faith. You can stop its application after May 6 if you choose to do so. I cannot agree that you shall nullify the notice already given. All persons embraced in it are
*See Vol. V, this series, p. 940.