overthrow of their own institutions, as well as of our own. The events of the war have sufficiently shown that our object has been to bring into a conclusion, without impairing or weakening the institutions or principles that have come to us from our ancestors. We have not prosecuted war as an instrument of massacre or confusion, but in the maintenance of rights which were achieved fro us by the expenditure of blood and treasure, and for which our fathers endured suffering and privations.
We have always been ready to frame conventions to mitigate its calamities, and to render a speedy and permanent peace attainable. We shall not depart from this course unless fairly justified by the great law of self-preservation, produced by a fatal necessity, created by the odious measures of our adversary.
JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT,
Richmond, June 24, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON, Secretary of War:
SIR: I have the honor to you three papers,* marked A, B, and C, respectively. Paper A is the Federal agent's inquiry respecting the recent law in relation to negro troops and their white officers. Paper marked B is my reply and C is his rejoinder. One of the alleged facts stated in the rejoinder is positively false. I refer to the statement that"negroes were delivered as prisoners of war at Aiken's Landing and receipted for and counted in exchange. " it is within my own knowledge that the averment is untrue. Some body servants of officers were received there but not as prisoners of war" or "counted in exchange. " I am not fully informed as to the other allegations made by the Federal agent. I will be happy to receive any instructions from you in relation to the whole subject matter before I answer the communication.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Agent of Exchange.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Big Spring Branch, June 25, 1863.
Brigadier General R. S. GRANGER, Nashville, Tenn.:
GENERAL: The general commanding directs me in reply to your letter in reference to Major Jones, C. S. Army, to say that permission was gives him to go south on his parole of honor with a view to effecting his exchange on account o reports which have reached the general commanding of his humanity to our wounded prisoners after the affair of Thompson's Station. Since this permission was granted general orders have been issued from the War Department prohibiting exchanges of officers on account of a similar measure adopted by the Confederate authorities denying exchanges to officers in their hands.
*See Ludlow to Ould, June 3, Vol. V, this series, p. 737; Ould to Ludlow, June 12, and Ludlow to Ould, June 4, pp. 11, 17, ante.