War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0071 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

Search Civil War Official Records

The officers of the transport will say the same thing. I say further, what is not material to the matter, that no one of them knew any such thing was contemplated.

I prefer, however, to adjust this whole matter when we meet. If I cannot satisfy you that these twenty-four men were justified in escaping without violence I will give you equivalents. What do you mean by putting officers on parole? Is a parole not a contract? Is it not an obligation on one part that no act of hostility will be committed, and on the other that confinement shall cease? Can parole and imprisonment go together? When you imprison do you not revoke paroles? Most of these twenty-four men were told by the paroling officers that the paroles would be at an end when reached Fortress Monroe, and that the only reason why they were asked to give a parole was that they might go without guard to that point. If I understand the matter a parole is an obligation not to bear arms if released. It is a contract. A prisoner has the right to reject it. If your doctrine is true all ought to reject it. What equivalent did you give to these officers for that parole after they reached Fortress Monroe? Up to that time they had little or no guard. Their imprisonment was nominal. When they reached Fortress Monroe you made it actual. You put them in places well deserving the name of dungeons, eighteen in a room fifteen feet square, with an armed sentinel always at the door. I again ask you what equivalent did you give them for their parole? Did you not absolve them by your own act? Webster when he was paroled was released; he had an equivalent for his obligation. I am, however, so anxious to of justice according to your own ideas in this matter that I am disposed to abandon my own views if you do not concur in them. Yet if you demand an equivalent for these officers and receive it I must insist that you shall state in writing what you mean by a parole and what is its force. I deem it but fair that such a statement shall be mae as will show that these men were not justified in availing themselves of an opportunity to escape from your confinement when it could be done, especially without violence, actual or implied on their part.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

RO. OULD,

Agent of Exchange.

CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT,

Richmond, July 1, 1863.

Lieutenant Colonel WILLIAM H. LUDLOW, Agent of Exchange:

SIR: The clear understanding between us as to civilians was that all who had been paroled or put under any bonds or who had taken any oath of allegiance were released from condition of parole bond and oath where such civilians were delivered to their own people. to such as were released and delivered. Such is the fair and proper interpretation of paragraph 8 of notice 5.

It would perhaps have been better for me to have added the word "delivered" after "released. " I did not do so because persons who were sent into our lines might not consider themselves as being delivered. I have however, assured all persons that it only embraces such persons as were delivered to me or my agents, or such as were sent into our lines. If you continue to take exception to the phraseology I will correct it in my next notice.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

RO. OULD,

Agent of Exchange.