War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0017 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

Search Civil War Official Records

intended to apply to cases of parties who had been allowed to pass through our lines whether by City Point or otherwise. * Please ask the General-in-Chief whether it will be proper to permit and accede to this interpretation of the notice. If so, I will compel Mr. Ould to so publish it in the Confederate papers in correction or explanation of his notice. There are many cases of our own citizens who have been captured and compelled to give some parole to the Confederates, and who have since giving it been sent through into our lines at other places than City Point, and who hold themselves obligated by it. I have several such cases before me now. there seems to me no principle involved in it liable to objection on our part and perhaps the number of cases on each side are about equal.

Yours, very respectfully,

WM. H. LUDLOW,

Lieutenant-Colonel and Agent for Exchange of Prisoners.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA,

Fort Monroe, June 14, 1863.

Honorable ROBERT OULD, Agent for Exchange of Prisoners:

SIR: I assure you that you have not transgressed any propriety in your questions as to the purpose of the United States Government to execute its conscription act and as to the number of men who will be raised under its provisions. I have the honor to inform you in rely that the conscription act is now being executed and that a sufficient number of men will be raised under its provisions to bring this war to a speedy and successful conclusion.

My object in requesting from you a copy of the act of the Confederate Congress and information as to intentions to execute it was to know officially what disposition under the act was proposed to be made of officers and men captured in arms and who had been duly mustered into the service of the United States, and also that the issues thereby presented could be fully understood and promptly met.

Sections 4, 5, 6, and 7 of this act propose a gross and inexcusable breach of the cartel both in letter and spirit. Upon reference to the cartel you will find no mention whatever of what was to be the color of prisoners of war. It was unnecessary to make any such mention, for before the establishment of this cartel and before one single negro or mulatto was mustered into the U. S. service you had them organized in arms in Louisiana. You had Indians and half-breed negroes and Indians organized in arms under Albert Pike, in Arkansas. Subsequently negroes were captured on the battle-field at Antieta and delivered as prisoners of war at Aiken's Landing to the Confederate authorities, and receipted for and counted in exchange. And more recently the Confederate legislature of Tennessee have passed an act forcing into their military service (I quote literally) all male free persons of color between the ages of fifteen and fifty, or such number as may be necessary, who may be sound in body and capable of actual service; and they further enacted that in the event a sufficient number of free persons of color to meet the wants of the State shall not tender their services, then the Governor is empowered through the sheriffs of different counties to impress such persons until the required number is obtained.

---------------

*See June 12, beginning "You are mistaken," p. 11.

---------------

2 R R--SERIES II, VOL VI