War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0334 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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charge against us as to them. The number of privates delivered was 5,881 instead of 8,014. In paroles General Meredith gives me credit for only 19,409 men. From the time of the last declaration of exchange to September 1 I have delivered at City Point alone 18,610 men, all of whom are on parole. I have other paroles amounting to at least 16,000. So that instead of being entitled to a credit of only 19,409, I have due to me 34,610. Allowing, therefore, that Meredith's Vicksburg computation is correct, he would owe me upon the notice which he has published 7,500 instead of my owing him 10,024 as he claims.

Meredith, not content with the falsehoods already referred to, utters several others.

First. He says I did not give him notice of the sixth section of my exchange notice, which declared all persons delivered at City Point before July 25, 1863, exchanged. On the 1st day of August, 1863, I gave him notice that I had declared such an exchange and he took no exception to it.

Second. He says I furnished him with no lists. This is also false as to the deliveries at City Point; as to the Vicksburg lists they were already in his possession and not in mine.

Third. The statement about my agreement with Colonel Ludlow is false, and Meredith was so informed by me on 1st of August, 1863. I saw a similar statement in the Army and Navy Gazette and immediately wrote to Meredith that the statement was untrue.

You are aware that on the 23rd of August last I proposed to the Federal agent to arrange all our disputes about paroles on the principles of the general orders issued at Washington, or to adhere to our former practice. Neither one of these propositions has been accepted. I can neither get an acceptance nor refusal, though I have frequently pressed for one or the other. In view of that fact I published the declaration of exchange of September 12, 1863. You see what action has been taken upon that by the Federal authorities. I am entirely willing, if it meets with your approbation, to make a declaration th that of the Federal agent, exchanging all Confederate officers and men who were captured and paroled at any time previous to the 1st of September, 1863. I believe I would be justified before God and man in such a proceeding. Whilst the paroles held by them exceed ours to a considerable extent, their conduct has been so nefarious, their refusal to adjust the paroles on both sides so persistent and their recent declaration so flagrantly outrageous that I believe I would be authorized to public a declaration of exchange of all officers and men captured and paroled at any time before September 1, 1863. Such a declaration would not necessarily prevent a future adjustment of paroles. Perhaps it would facilitate it. When out indebtedness was ascertained it would establish a debt which we would honor. The Federals themselves have on more than one occasion, with no provocation, made an overdraw. If I made such a declaration I would accompany it with an expression of willingness to account for any deficiency in the number of paroles held by us when that deficiency was fairly and properly established. It might well be accompanied with a regret that their course had been such as to force the proceeding upon us. If this reconsideration does not meet your favor I propose at least that the parties captured at Port Hudson be immediately released from the obligation of their parole. The enemy has already discharged their own officers and men paroled at Gettysburg. They did it nearly two months ago. I do not think the Federal authorities recognize the Port Hudson paroles as valid. I have seen and heard enough to satisfy me that they do not so regard