War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0481 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

Search Civil War Official Records



Chattanooga, November 30, 1863.

Respectfully referred to D. G. Reed, major, Provisional Army, C. S., through commanding officer Johnson's Island, with copy of General Orders, Numbers 16, of 1863, from headquarters Department of the Cumberland.

Major Reed may think himself fortunate in getting to as well as he did, with the very slight punishment of which he complaints (even if his statements are true), instead of receiving that which he and the rest of the "choice collection gathered in" at Anderson's Cross-Roads so richly deserve.

By order of Major-General Thomas:


Brigadier-General and Assistant Adjutant-General.


Fort Monroe, Va., November 7, 1863.

Honorable ROBERT OULD, Agent of Exchange, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: In your communication of October 27, you state "that General Orders, Nos. 49 and 100, were not sent to you at the same time. " I forward you herewith a copy of Lieutenant-Colonel Ludlow's letter, inclosing to you the two orders mentioned, and bearing date May 22, 1863. +

These two orders announced general rules based on the usages of war, which, in the absence of any specific agreement between belligerents, should govern in paroling prisoners of war; but in this case a cartel had already been agreed upon, and no order of either party could set aside any of its provisions. For instance, a commander, on being captured, might under some circumstances give a parole for himself and his command without violating General Orders, Numbers 100 (which includes General Orders, Numbers 49); but unless the paroling was done at City Point, or other named place, it would be in violation of the cartel, and the paroles must therefore be set aside as invalid. No exception could be taken to this course by the party granting the parole, because the validity of the parole depends on a strict compliance with the provisions of the cartel; and when any other course is followed than that pointed out by that instrument, any claim based upon it must fail. Paragraph 130 of Order 100, which prescribes the duties which a paroled soldier may perform, is also to some extent set aside by the cartel, which restricts these duties to a much more limited field than the order. Paragraph 131 is also made inoperative by the cartel, because it could only apply to paroles not given at the points designated for delivery; all such paroles are by the cartel made invalid, and the paroling party could therefore have no pretext for claiming their recognition. If such acclaim could be admitted, the effect at Gettysburg would have been to give to General Lee the privilege of placing his prisoners in our hands, to be delivered to him at our own charge at City Point, which is so manifestly absurd that even you cannot claim it. General Orders, Numbers 207, was intended simply to


*On McCook's report of November 7, 1863, published in Series I, Vol. XXX, Part II, p. 819.

+See Vol. V, this series, p. 690.