War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0341 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

Search Civil War Official Records

captures at Mount Sterling on the 22nd and 23rd of March, 1863; also the officers and men of the Indianola. The exact numbers I have not on hand, but they foot up some hundreds less than the balance due. I will furnish you with the exact numbers as soon as received.

The same boat that conveyed that communication brought another, written subsequently, but dated the same day, as follows:

I have declared exchanged the Fifty-first Regiment Indiana Volunteers, Seventy-third Regiment Indiana Volunteers, and Third Regiment Ohio Volunteers. These number each less than 300 men, and compose a part of Streight's brigade. I will add to the above declaration the Eightieth Illinois Volunteers and fifty-eight men of the First Tennessee Cavalry.

The enlisted men alone designated in either one of the communications exceed the "balance" due to Lieutenant-Colonel Ludlow. The excess in both communications was 2,290, without taking into account "the captures at Mount Sterling on the 22nd and 23rd of March, 1863. "

You will observe that Lieutenant-Colonel Ludlow in these two communications did not furnish me with "any list, or even give me the number of men, by which I could declare equivalents, nor did he give me any time to prepare my announcement. " I quote from your letter of the 24th of September to me. Not only was that the case, but he made a wholesale exchange of the Mount Sterling capture by a simple reference to it as being made on the 22nd and 23rd of March, 1863, without any designation of corps, division, brigade, regiment, or company. Further than that I have never to this day been furnished with a list of those captured at Mount Sterling, or even with the aggregate number.

Such, then, were the circumstances and such the precedents under which I declared the exchanges of September 12, 1863. I have purposely gone into minute and faithful detail in consequence of the extraordinary character of your letter of the 24th of September. You state that you consider my course to be a deliberate breach of good faith on the part of the authorities under whom I act. In a bungling sort of way you have used language which cass an offensive aspersion both upon myself and the Government I represent. If there had not been subject of very grave important to both people referred to in other portions of your communication I would have treated it with the silent contempt it deserved and returned it to you without comment. For the first time in the correspondence of the agents of exchange has any such discourtesy occurred. I regret it very much. Hereafter I have had occasion to complain of the action of your Government, but it has always been done with decorum. I have never written a word personally offensive to the Federal agent of exchange or insulted his Government with a charge of "deliberate breach of good faith. " It is a matter of very little moment to me what may be your opinion of "my course. " There are some people connected with this war who, either from ignorance or passion, seem to have no clear ideas on any subject. The opinion of succeed in the language of courtesy, is but of little avail, by if expressed with intemperance only "exalts their folly. " There has been no breach of faith on the part of the Confederate States, "deliberate" or otherwise. You were importuned to agree to some fair principle by which paroles could be adjusted and computed. After patient waiting, after failure on your part to respond affirmatively or negatively, the Confederate Government, through its agent of exchange, did what was demanded by courtesy and justified both by former practice and the provisions of the cartel.

I now proceed to notice the misstatements of your letter. I will not call them "deliberate," although you had the means of correcting them