It required six months' hard labor for me to succeed in effecting the prisoners' exchanges or releases of our citizens held by the Confederates.
I would recommend that you send here no more Confederate citizens until I can inform you of some prospect of obtaining equivalents for them.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. H. LUDLOW,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Agent for Exchange.
P. S. - I send also copies of correspondence* in relation to threatened retaliation on officers, which has also received the approval of the Secretary of War.
CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT,
Richmond, Va., June 24, 1863.
Honorable ROBERT OULD, Agent of Exchange:
SIR: In considering the Order Numbers 100, of 1863, U. S. War Department, entitled "Instructions for the government of armies in the field," the inquiry is suggested whether it was communicated to you with any purpose of obtaining a reply from you as to the merits of the order or your assent to its provisions. It sometimes happens with nations engaged in war that besides the usual agreements relative to the exchange of prisoners, flags of truce, passports, and intercourse between armies in the field, general conventions are made for regulating the principles on which the war is to be conducted; the treatment that persons and property found in the territory which is the seat of the war shall experience, and how the evils of the war may be mitigated by the adoption of a positive code.
the writers on international law mention such conventions as entirely legitimate; but this order seems to repudiate such a purpose by asserting that "no conventional restriction of the modes adopted to injure the enemy is any linger admitted. " Order Numbers 100 is a confused, unassorted, and undiscriminating compilation from the opinion of the publicists of the last two centuries, some of which are obsolete, others repudiated; and a military commander under this code may pursue a line of conduct in accordance with principles of justice, faith, and honor, or he may justify conduct correspondent with the warfare of the barbarous hordes who overran the Roman Empire, or who, in the Middle Ages, devastated the continent of Asia and menaced the civilization of Europe. there is no course left us but to designate the class of principles that meet our approbation and to distinguish those that will provoke retaliation. the Confederate States agree "that it is incumbent upon all who are in situations to administer martial law that they should be strictly guided by the principles of justice, honor, and humanity-virtues adorning a soldier even more than other men, for the very reason that he possesses the power of his arms against the unarmed-and that the law of war disclaims all cruelty and bad faith concerning engagements concluded with the enemy during the war, all extortions, all transactions for individual gain, all acts of private revenge, or connivance at such acts. " they agree "that as civilization has advanced so has likewise steadily advanced, especially in war on land, the distinction between the private individual belonging to a hostile country
*See Ould to Ludlow, May 22, and Ludlow to Ould, May 25, vol. V, this series, pp. 690 and 702, respectively.