them by any evidence in the statement itself. A few are said to have been "receipted for" at Baton Rouge, January 22, 1863, and February 14, 1863, which may be verified; and some evidence may come to light confirming the alleged captures by Generals Lee, Bragg, and possibly some others; but, on the whole, the statement is unsatisfactory, and in its present form is regarded as without credit and not entitled to consideration.
The statement does not show in any one instance by whom the prisoners were received, or to whom, or even where, they were delivered, leaving it to be presumed that they were for the most part paroled on the instant of capture, without authority under the cartel, in not being "reduced to actual possession," contrary to both the laws of war, as set forth in Order Numbers 100, of 1863, and the provisions of the cartel. Order Numbers 100 merely publishes the laws of war, and the cartel is entirely in harmony with it.
The orders on this subject subsequently issued, and to which Mr. Ould appeals, were expressly designed to give effect to those laws and to the cartel, and were in no manner intended to abrogate, and neither do they abrogate or modify, the one or the other. If the enemy wishes in good faith to carry out the order she refers to, the proper course would be to issue similar orders and for alike purpose, in which case there might be some hope of a compliance with both the cartel and the laws of war.
Mr. Ould's effort to have recognized certain paroles as valid which have been informally and improperly made, embracing, so far as we can know from his statements, many citizens in Kentucky, Tennessee, and elsewhere (no particular place being named in some instances), by appealing to Northern orders is a mere perversion of the clear and manifest design of those orders- that design being, as already stated, to enforce, and not nullify, the laws of war. We appeal to those orders, and intend to be governed by them, and if the enemy would assume them, and be governed by them also, all difficulties on the subject of paroles would cease. By Mr. Ould's mode of application or misapplication of those orders, he would use them to destroy and not to enforce the laws of war.
The laws of war are first in order, imposing obligations upon belligerents, and they continue to be obligatory upon both parties, unless modified by a special agreement under a cartel, which, when agreed upon, becomes the highest authority in all specified cases included in the cartel, leaving the laws of war in full operation in all cases not provided for in the cartel - a cartel being analogous to a treaty of commerce between nations, which may modify the natural laws of trade or commerce, binding both parties to the treaty.
The orders of a general in the field, or of a general-in-chief of one of the belligerents, are only operative within the field of the general's command, and can have no effect to modify either the laws of war or the provisions of a particular cartel. Such orders are purely disciplinary in the army where issued, and can neither bind an enemy nor can an enemy appeal to them to justify his departure from or violation of either a particular cartel or the laws of war. A departure from such an order within the army, subject to the authority issuing the order, might subject the offender to punishment within his own army, but could not be appealed to make a parole valid which by the laws of war or by provisions of a particular cartel would be disowned as not valid.
While we set forth these principles as binding, we deny emphatically that the orders appealed to by Mr. Ould sanction his departure