right to do so for the purpose of putting men into the field. In another part of your letter I am charged with having stated that I would proceed to make declarations of exchange for the purpose of putting troops into the field whenever I thought proper. Both of these paragraphs are between quotation marks to indicate that I had communicated them. Moreover, they are mentioned as being my "unequivocal declaration. " Upon a faithful examination of my correspondence with you and your predecessor I can find no instance in which such language has been used by me. Will you inform me of the date of any such communication or furnish me with a copy of it? If you cannot, you will certainly deem me justified in denouncing your statement as utterly without foundation in truth.
Upon these premises you have proceeded to throw off sundry sentences more flippant than worthy of notice. As usual, however, you finish the paragraph which contains them with a misstatement in asserting that I "have declared exchanged all Confederate officers and soldiers on parole" within our lines "up to a very recent date. " I have done no such thing. I specially excepted the larger part of the Vicksburg capture.
You then proceed to give what you call "a history of this matter. " That history, like many others, turns out to be a romance. Lieutenant-Colonel Ludlow's declarations of exchange, to which I referred in my letter of October 2, 1863, were not made in response to any invitation from me or in consequence of any previous declarations which I had made. I did not "inaugurate" what you term "a departure from the cartel. " The correspondence of the office very clearly shows that fact.
You are wrong also in your statement that the Vicksburg capture was subsequent to your "coming to duty" at Fortress Monroe. I received official communications from Lieutenant-Colonel Ludlow as late as July 22, 1863 - weeks after the Vicksburg surrender - and none from you until the 25th of the same month.
You charge that the declaration of exchange bearing date September 12, 1863, was made "as if for the express purpose of increasing the force of General Bragg against General Rosecrans. " This is also untrue. The declaration was not published until several days after the 12th, although it bore that date. Not one of the officers or men named in that declaration of exchange was on the battle-field of Chickamauga.
You further say I must have known that I had not delivered to you nor had I valid paroles of your men sufficient to cover the number declared exchanged by me. I knew exactly the contrary and so informed you. On the 11th of September, 1863, in announcing the declaration of exchange I would make on the following day, I wrote to you that I had "in my possession more valid paroles of your officers and men than would be an equivalent for the officer and men" enumerated in the exchange notice. I have made the same statement to you more than once since. I am prepared to prove that it was true each time it was uttered.
You say your declaration of exchange extended to those whom I had delivered. If you mean that it was limited to such you are incorrect, for it declared exchanged all officers and men of the U. S. Army captured and paroled at any time previous to the 1st of September, 1863, and included many thousands of prisoners taken and paroled by our cavalry and other forces in numerous States of the Confederacy never delivered by me. I have already furnished you a memorandum of at least 16,000 of these paroled prisoners.