War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0297 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

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It is plain that General Lee was notified by the authorities at Richmond of his exchange, which, according to the cartel, releases him of his parole, but notice of such release should have been sent to our commissioner at Washington. It might be well to refer this letter to the Adjutant-General with the inquiry if the notice has been received. I do think if the notice has been received. I do think if the Dix-Hill cartel is ever remodeled it should require notice to be given the agent of the adverse party and his assent obtained before the prisoner of war is released of his parole and allowed to resume his hostile character. As the case now stands the Confederate Government can release all their prisoners of war and we could not punish them, but would merely have new cause of grievance against the Southern Confederacy.

I do not presume that Davis would commit so gross a breach of honor, but I believe when we impose a parole not to serve against us until exchange, our Government should not only have notice of the exchange, but should assent to it before it goes into effect. For, otherwise, in case of one taking a prisoner recognized as having been released on parole, how could we arraign him for a breach of his parole? What evidence should we demand that he has been exchanged? I think no evidence could be entertained except our consent by ourselves or proper agent and that we have received his equivalent.

I am, &c.,

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, September 17, 1863.

Colonel WILLIAM HOFFMAN, Commissary-General of Prisoners:

COLONEL: The Secretary of War directs that you report without delay how many prisoners there may be in paroled camps. He further directs that such prisoners be armed and equipped immediately.

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

JAMES A. HARDIE,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,

Washington, D. C., September 17, 1863.

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: Pursuant to your instructions of yesterday, I have the honor to submit the following report of the paroled prisoners of war present and absent from the several parole camps. The whole number of troops paroled and who are subject to exchange, though some have been mustered out of service, amounts to-

Officers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149

Enlisted men. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19,158

------

Total. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19,307

Of these there were present at the parole

camps on the 1st instant-

Officers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90

Enlisted men. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11,909

-------

Total. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11,999

There were absent in August about-

Officers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160

Enlisted men. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,143

Desertions reported. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,902