War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0339 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

Search Civil War Official Records

RICHMOND, October 2, 1863.

Brigadier General S. A. MEREDITH, Agent of Exchange:

SIR: I am very glad that Lieutenants Baker, Pumphrey, Crutcher, and Thorne have at last been released. There are many other officers yet behind precisely in their situation. I have frequently given a list of them to your predecessor. I will furnish you one if you desire it. You say the above named have been detained by some "unaccountable mistake. " Each of their names, with the places of confinement, has been more than once presented to the Federal agent. Lieutenant Baker was at Fortress Monroe, the headquarters of the agent of exchange, for months. It is indeed "unaccountable. "

I will make inquiry as to John W. Wolsey. Brengle did not belong to the Sanitary Commission. He was arrested upon his return from a difficult and hazardous military enterprise for which he was especially employed and paid. If you can bring him within the rule established as to members of the Sanitary Commission I will release him. Charles W. Webster is at Castle Thunder. He is a citizen abiding in captivity until you release the non-combatants arrested on our soil and carried off to your prisons.

I will make inquiry into the case of Henry D. Barnett.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

RO. OULD,

Agent of Exchange.

RICHMOND, October 2, 1863.

Brigadier General S. A. MEREDITH, Agent of Exchange:

SIR: Your communication of the 24th ultimo, declaring that "all officers and men of the U. S. Army captured and paroled at any time previous to the 1st of September, 1863, are duly exchanged," has been received.

You are aware that when I met you on the 24th of August last at City Point I made to you the following proposal, to wit:

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, so 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 dates, or that it be decided by former practice.

You have neither accepted nor declined either branch of that proposal, although I have, both in personal interview and by letter, solicited you to do one or the other. On the same day you submitted to me your proposition, which, unlike mine, was prepared beforehand, and which is as follows:

I propose, on behalf of the Government of the United States, that all paroles given by officers and men between the 23rd of May, 1863, and the 3rd day of July, 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 in both armies.

That proposition I immediately declined. I then and there gave you my reasons. In the first place, I informed you that the Confederate authorities had never at any time, and did not then, ask that paroles "not in conformity with the stipulations of the cartel" should be regarded as valid. I further told you that an agreement to regard "as null and void" paroles between certain dates, which were "not