War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0136 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

NEW YORK, July 22, 1863.

Colonel WM. HOFFMAN, Commissary-General of Prisoners:

COLONEL: I inclose to you a copy of communication just received by me. * Political prisoners have been almost daily received at Fort Monroe who have been sent there by order of General Schenck to be sent through the lines. Mr. John Glenn, the party named, is one of these.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. H. LUDLOW,

Lieutenant-Colonel and Agent for Exchange of Prisoners.

NEW YORK, July 22, 1863.

Honorable ROBERT OULD, Agent for Exchange of Prisoners:

SIR: Your communication of the 17th instant has been forwarded to me here.

There is no authority in the cartel for your proposed declaration of exchange of your officers captured at Vicksburg in the manner you indicate.

The cartel provides for exchanges of equal rank until such are exhausted and then for equivalents. In consequence of the very much larger number of your officers and men we hold on parole and in confinement you can give no equivalents for the general officers you desire to have exchanged. You cannot for a moment assume that you can select a general officer and declare his equivalents in those of inferior rank when we hold the paroles of your officers of the same rank as the latter. But even supposing this arrangement was permitted by the cartel I do not see how you could avail yourself of it at this time.

You will recollect that since the proclamation of the Honorable Jefferson Davis of December last, and more especially since the passage of the act of your Congress in reference to our captured officers, both of which were in violation of the cartel, and have caused in the one case a temporary and in the other a continued suspension of exchanges of officers under the cartel, that all such exchanges have been subjects of special agreement between us.

To avoid the complications and annoyances of these special agreements I have again and again urged you to a return to the cartel, but up to the present moment in vain. On the contrary, you retain in close confinement large numbers of our officers for whom I have made a demand and tendered equivalents.

Until you consent to a return to the terms prescribed by the cartel for exchanges of officers I shall not consent to any exchanges of them, except on special agreements. I repeat to you that I decline to unite in your proposed declaration of exchange of officers captured at Vicksburg, and if recaptured they will be dealt with as violators of ugh you not, in justice to these officers, to notify them of the exact condition of their case and thus enable them to avoid being placed in a false position?

If you are authorized to deliver our officers now held in close confinement, and to a return to the cartel in exchanges of all officers and men, all the complicated questions which have arisen within the last few months can be promptly disposed of. To such a return, in the name of humanity, I again invite you. I am now only waiting the

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

*See Ould to Ludlow, July 19, p. 130.

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