War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0248 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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to say he has not a copy of the cartel at hand, but his impression is it requires prisoners should be paroled and sent to Vicksburg, or City Point for exchanges. As the commanders of two contending armies, he suggests some arrangement be entered into between General Banks and yourself by which an understanding may exist between you in regard to prisoners captured by either army.

In regard to the two officers, Captain Allen and Lieutenant Page, referred to in the communication of General Banks, I have to inform you that those officers are not in irons, but are on the same footing as the other Federal officers who have been sent to Texas.

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


Assistant Adjutant-General.


New Orleans, September 2, 1863.

Major-General TAYLOR,

Commanding Confederate Forces, Western Louisiana:

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of August 23, in reference to the release of prisoners of war from the parole given by them in consequence of the violation of the cartel of exchange. In order that you may understand fully the ground of my action in this case, I inclose to you copies of the general orders from the Adjutant-General's Office at Washington, all my own general orders relating to this subject, and a letter from the Commissary-General of Prisoners in regard to the prisoners of war captured at Gettysburg. These documents will explain fully the ground upon which my decision must rest.

You will readily see that you cannot apply to the paroled prisoners of Vicksburg and Port Hudson the same decision upon the same grounds. The prisoners of war captured at Port Hudson are paroled upon a distinct arrangement made between Major-General Gardner and myself, and all the papers relating to the parole were agreed to and signed by the respective commanders of the two armies. To show that the Government of the United States did not expect the Confederate Government to regard a parole given in contravention of the cartel of exchange, I may say that specific inquiry was made of me whether the parole of prisoners of war was made with the consent of Major-General Gardner, upon the supposition that if it was not so made the parole would not be regarded by the Confederate Government and the prisoners would be immediately placed in the army.

The prisoners of war referred to in your letter were not delivered at either of the points agreed on in the cartel of July, 1862, nor to any officer of the United States duly authorized to receive them, nor were they so delivered at a point mutually agreed upon between or by the consent, expressed or implied, of the commanders of the opposing armies. Their parole, being thus unauthorized, was declared void, in accordance with instructions from the War Department; in accordance with the notice given to the authorities of the United States by the C. S. commissioner of exchange, and in accordance with the action of General Lee after the battle of Gettysburg in returning to duty, upon the same ground, prisoners paroled by General Meade in the same manner and under similar circumstances. The prisoners taken by the United States were regularly paroled in accordance with the terms of the cartel, by special and written agreements between the