also reliably informed that at the time of at least some of the offenses charged against him Doctor Rucker had no connection with your Army. It will hardly be contended, I suppose, that immunity for crimes already committed can be purchased by joining the forces of an invading army.
The correspondence between Lieutenant-Colonel Ludlow and myself seems to indicate that the only hindrance to the immediate and unconditional release of all surgeons is to be found in the detention of Doctor Rucker, and further, if such detention could find its justification in your general orders, even that hindrance would be removed. I therefore bring to your attention the foregoing facts, drawn from the indictments against Doctor Rucker, by which it very clearly appears that he is rightfully held, and therefore Doctor Green wrongfully detained in retaliation. I accordingly renew to you the proposition heretofore made by me that all surgeons now held on both sides, with the exception of Doctor Rucker, be released without delay. I have no objection to extend the proposition to nurses and members of sanitary commissions. I would, however, much prefer that it should embrace all non-combatants. I will be much obliged to you if you give an early specific reply tot he propositions herein contained.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Agent of Exchange.
[AUGUST 17, 1863. --For Banks to Halleck, in relation to parole of Confederate prisoners surrendered at Fort Hudson, see Series I, Vol. XXVI, Part I, p. 55.]
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
New Orleans, August 17, 1863.
Major General R. TAYLOR,
Commanding Confederate Forces South of Red River:
GENERAL: I have the honor to inform you that I have directed the immediate return to duty of all prisoners paroled by you during your recent occupation of the La Fourche country. My reasons for so doing are that the paroles were in violation of the cartel of exchange and were not authorized by agreement between the commanders of the opposing armies. I am likewise prohibited from recognizing their validity by orders from the General-in-Chief of the Army of the United States, which are founded on and agree with the orders issued from Richmond.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,
JUDGE-ADVOCATE-GENERAL'S OFFICE, August 17, 1863.
Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
SIR: The letter of Major General J. M. Schofield, addressed to yourself under date of 17th of July* and referred to this office, has been carefully considered. The object of the communication is to ask from the
*Omitted, a summary of its contents being given in this communication.
14 R R--SERIES II, VOL VI