War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0120 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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I forward by this mail three lists of Federal troops captured and paroled in March and April. As soon as General Grant's reports received at the War Department I will give you the particulars as to numbers, &c. The prisoners of war are still held at Fort Delaware by order of the Secretary of War. We have, I think, only 12,000 to 15,000 men to be exchanged and we hold near 50,000 of the enemy.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary-General of Prisoners.


Fort Monroe, July 15, 1863.

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to inclose to you a copy of letter to Mr. Ould. As the correspondence between Davis and Stephens, published in the inclosed* paper, contains gross misstatements, would it not be well to have my letter to Mr. Ould published as a corrective?

A copy of the communication and protest of the 14th June referred to was sent to you.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant-Colonel and Agent for Exchange of Prisoners.



Fort Monroe, July 15, 1863.

Honorable ROBERT OULD,

Agent for Exchange of Prisoners:

SIR: In the letter of July 8 of the Honorable Alexander H. Stephens to Hon Jefferson Davis, giving a report of his mission, appears the following statement:

The reasons assigned for the refusal by the United States Secretary of War, to wit, that "the customary agents and channels are considered adequate for all needful military communication and conferences," to one acquainted with the facts, seems not only unsatisfactory, but very singular and unaccountable; for it is certainly known to him that these very agents to whom he evidently alludes, heretofore agreed upon in a former conference in reference to the exchange of prisoners (one of the subjects embraced in your letter to me), are now and have been for some time distinctly at issue on several important points. The existing cartel, owing to these disagreements, is virtually suspended so far as the exchange of officers on either side is concerned.

As in this statement Mr. Stephen appears to be unacquainted with the facts, may I ask you will inform him that exchanges of prisoners of war and the settlement of the intricate and troublesome questions connected therewith were being proceeded with successfully by us until the issue of the proclamation of the Honorable Jefferson Davis on the 23rd of December last, which, in gross violation of the cartel, reserved for execution certain of our captured officers and men.

Will you also please inform Mr. Stephens that in your and my anxious desire to alleviate the horrors of war, the proclamation after a little delay was ignored and exchanges of officers were resumed?


*Paper not found, but see Davis to Stephens, July 2, and Stephens to Davis, July 8, pp. 74, 94.