War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0316 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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Reduced to enlisted men. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29,433

Of the Federal troops on parole, there are-

Officers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76

Enlisted men. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19,083

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Aggregate. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19,159

Reduced to enlisted men. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19,409

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Which gives a balance in our favor of. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10,024

I now claim this balance which is due us, and I demand that you return to their paroles all officers and men for whom you have paroled no equivalents, or that you release an equal number from the prisons in Richmond.

Your declaration was wholly unwarranted under the cartel, and it might, with great propriety, be set aside. In it you failed to announce to me the sixth section, as published in the Richmond Enquirer of the 10th instant, which covers 72 officers and 8,014 enlisted men. You did not, according to the terms of the cartel, furnish me with any "list," or even give me the number of men, by which I could declare equivalents, nor did you give me any time to prepare my announcement. I here deem it incumbent upon me to state that I consider you course in this matter a deliberate breach of good faith on the part of the authorities under whom you act. The fifth article of the cartel (General Orders, Numbers 142, 1862) would have authorized you to discharge prisoners of the Federal forces, furnishing a "list" of them, and then you could have discharged an equal number of your own officers and men "from parole. " The cartel not only contemplates a "mutual" exchange of "lists" (article 5), but expressly declares (article 4) that no exchange is to be considered complete until the officer or soldier exchanged for has been actually restored to the lines to which he belongs.

As to the paroles given at Gettysburg and elsewhere, you made an agreement with my predecessor, Lieutenant-Colonel Ludlow, to take effect from May 22, 1863, that all paroles given not in accordance with the cartel should be considered null and void. How, then, can you claim as valid the Gettysburg paroles?

If you have any rolls or lists of any men whom you may have paroled that I have not given you credit for, or if there should be any errors in my account, I will be happy to rectify the same.

You declared exchanged, before my predecessor was relieved, certain officers captured at Vicksburg, in which declaration he refused to unite. There are but two officers, I believe (General Stevenson and Bowen), who are covered by our declaration of the 12th instant. If the other officers named have not been returned to their paroles, s requested by Lieutenant-Colonel Ludlow, you are indebted to us for their equivalents. The chief ground of the objection to that declaration is, that at that time there were no equivalents of the same grade in our possession (the only condition which would have warranted your making the declaration), and if we consented to it we would be obliged to offset them by officers of inferior rank.

In making up the number of Federal troops to be exchanged I have included all those mustered out of the service, all discharged, deserted, and deceased.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. A. MEREDITH,

Brigadier-General and Commissioner for Exchange.