War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0220 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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RICHMOND, August 20, 1863.

Brigadier General S. A. MEREDITH, Agent of Exchange:

SIR: Your communication of the 14th instant respecting Mr. Daniel Gerhart has been received. You say he was taken prisoner at Winchester while attending a son dangerously ill and inquire whether anything can be done to expedite his release. Undoubtedly something can be done. Release our non-combatants whom you have in prison and Mr. Gerhart is instantly free. I hope there is enough strength in Mr. Gerhart's case, he being "a wealthy citizen of Ohio," to accomplish what justice and mercy have asked in vain for more than a year.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

RO. OULD,

Agent of Exchange.

CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT,

Richmond, August 20, 1863.

Brigadier General S. A. MEREDITH, Agent of Exchange:

SIR: The request of Mrs. C. Wilson cannot be granted. The courier who brought your letter asking that the lady should be allowed to have an interview with a traitor and a spy also brought the refusal of your authorities to permit the bereaved widow of a gallant officer to visit the North for the purpose of recovering his remains. How can you ask the one and deny the other?

I assure you again that there is no fair and reciprocal rule which may be proposed for mitigating the horrors of this war or for alleviating the distresses that grow out of it that will not be cheerfully adopted by the Confederate authorities. Such regulations, however, must be reciprocal. I beg leave, therefore, respectfully, in the beginning to state what may save us some correspondence: It is utterly useless for you to make a request as to any matters which you are not willing to grant in similar circumstances.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

RO. OULD,

Agent of Exchange.

RICHMOND, August 20, 1863.

Brigadier General S. A. MEREDITH, Agent of Exchange:

SIR: I inclose to you a statement* made by a truthful and honorable gentleman, whose name, for reasons which will suggest themselves to you, I withhold. It contains a narrative of such brutality that I am forced to bring it to your attention in order that due inquiry may be made, and those who have so outraged humanity, even where it presents itself in the form of an enemy, may be brought to justice.

This is no statement of deeds done in the wildwoods, away from civilization, but a carefully detailed narrative of the horrible practices perpetrated upon the persons of our poor soldiers in the neighborhood of your capital and at your known camps and places of confinement.

I am sure if any statement of similar atrocities, coming from anything like so respectable a source, were made to me I would use every effort to bring it to the test of truth. In the name, therefore, of a common

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*Not found.

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