OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,
Washington, D. C., July 24, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel W. H. LUDLOW,
Agent for Exchange of Prisoners, West Point, N. Y.:
COLONEL: I have received this morning your three letters of the 22nd instant. I have also been furnished this morning with a copy of the order of the Secretary of War which directs Brigadier-General Meredith to relieve you in the duties of agent for exchange of prisoners of war, which makes it unnecessary that I should trouble you with anything relating to the status in which we have been heretofore associated. Permit me to express here my sincere regret that our official relations, which have been so agreeable, are now to be terminated.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary-General of Prisoners.
CHARLESTON, S. C., July 24, 1863.
Adjutant and Inspector-General, Richmond, Va.:
I sent prisoners captured 18th instant to Columbia to be kept there. General Winder orders Colonel Preston to send them to Richmond. I wish particularly to keep them subject to my orders.
G. T. BEAUREGARD.
HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
Washington, July 25, 1863.
Major-General BANKS, New Orleans:
GENERAL: Your communication of the 10th instant is received. * It is very much to be regretted that the prisoners taken at Port Hudson were paroled. It is feared that the enemy will not regard such paroles, on the ground that they were not in accordance with the cartel. They gave notice in May last that prisoners of war must be delivered and paroled as provided in the seventh article of the cartel, and that any parole given in violation of those provisions would be considered as null and void. Should these prisoners be returned to the ranks without exchange, would we be justified in punishing them for violation of parole? I fear not, for an illegal parole is null and void. All prisoners captured from Lee's army and improperly paroled were immediately returned to duty and we could make no complaints. Your particular attention is called to the cartel, which, being a special agreement between the belligerents, must be strictly observed by both parties. It will be seen that prisoners are not to be paroled until delivered at the points specified in the cartel or agreed upon by the commanding generals of the opposing armies. Had you made an agreement with General Gardner before his surrender in regard to the delivery and paroling it would have come within the conditions of the cartel. But a prisoner of war cannot enter into any agreement with his captor which will bind his Government. I do not understand, however, that there was any agreement of this kind with General Gardner either before or after his
*See Series I, Vol. XXVI, Part I, p. 55.