War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0226 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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1863, not in conformity with the stipulations of the cartel, shall be regarded as null and void, a declaration to this effect to be published to both armies.

S. A. MEREDITH,

Brigadier-General and Commissioner for Exchange.

This was declined, and the following was offered by Mr. Ould:

CITY POINT, VA., August 24, 1863.

I propose that all paroles on both sides heretofore given shall be determined by the general orders issued by the War Department of the United States, to wit, Numbers 49, Numbers 100, and Numbers 207 of this year, according to their respective dates, and in conformity with paragraph 131 of General Orders, Numbers 100, as long as said paragraph was in force. If this proposition is not acceptable I propose that the practice heretofore adopted respecting paroles and exchanges be continued. In other words, I propose that the whole question of paroles be determined by the general orders of the United States, according to their dates, or that it be decided by former practice.

RO. OULD,

Agent of Exchange.

In reply to my demand for the release of Colonel Streight and his command I was informed that they were in Richmond held as other prisoners of war, and will be exchanged when exchanges of officers are resumed. In relation to Doctor Rucker, Mr. Ould referred me to his letter of August 16, which I have the honor to forward herewith. *

To my demand "that all officers commanding negro troops, and negro troops themselves, should be treated as other prisoners of war, and be exchanged as such," Mr. Ould declined acceding, remarking that they (the rebels) would "die in the last ditch" before giving up the right to send slaves back to slavery as property recaptured, but that they were willing to make exceptions in the case of free blacks. He could not exactly tell me how his authorities intended to distinguish between the two (free and slave), but presumed that evidence as to the fact of freedom would be taken into consideration. As their laws put slave and free upon the same footing no comment is necessary.

An informal proposition was made to the following effect: "To exchange officer for officer of the same grade, except such as are in command of negro troops; " which was declined.

Mr. Ould expresses a willingness to release all chaplains, provided that one Septimus Cameron, who, he stated, had been in prison for a year, should be released, or indicted for any offense he may have committed. On my inquiring about and urging the release of the members of the Sanitary Commission, I was informed that they would be set free on making a statement in writing that they had at any time been of assistance to rebel soldiers. General Neal Dow has been handed over to the Governor of Alabama. Lieutenant-Colonel Powell is in Libby Prison, Richmond. I have notified the rebel authorities in relation to the two above-named officers, as directed in yours of the 18th ultimo [instant].

The rebel authorities wish to continue exchanging non-commissioned officers and privates as usual, returning as many as we send.

I have given you, I believe, the substance of all that took place, according to your suggestion. I avoided much discussion. No agreement as to exchanges was arrived at.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. A. MEREDITH,

Brigadier-General and Commissioner for Exchange.

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*See p. 208.

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