War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0537 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

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Richmond, November 18, 1863.

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

SIR: In your communication of November 7, 1863, you inclose a copy of a letter bearing date May 22, 1863, purporting to have been written by Lieutenant-Colonel Ludlow and addressed to me. *

I reiterate what I have before said, that General Orders, Numbers 100, when it was delivered to me, was not accompanied by any written communication. You are aware that Lieutenant-Colonel Ludlow was at City Point on the 23rd of May. It is unquestionably true that he wrote the aforesaid letter on the 22nd at Fortress Monroe. It is just as true that a he brought it with him to City Point. My own personal recollection is perfectly distinct that at the conclusion of our interview at City Point he took the pamphlet containing General Orders, Numbers 100, from a package, the seal of which he broke at the time, and delivered said order into my hands, with the remark that its provisions in the future would govern the operations of the U. S. forces. Why he retained the letter I do not know. The fact, however, is exactly as I have stated it and fully explains why a copy of the letter was in Lieutenant-Colonel Ludlow's letter book.

I do not want to be understood for one moment as imputing any fraud or improper conduct in what Lieutenant-Colonel Ludlow did in the premises. He undoubtedly thought the remark he made at the time of the delivery dispensed with the necessity of giving me the letter.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


Agent of Exchange.


Richmond, November 18, 1863.

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

SIR: The letter of General Hitchcock has been received. +

Until the Confederate authorities appeal to be relieved "from the obligation to treat prisoners of war according to the laws of civilized warfare," or offer as "an explanation or excuse" for insufficient food that supplies have not been forwarded by your Government, it is entirely unnecessary to discuss what will be the views of your authorities in either contingency.

Statements most infamously false have recently been made and circulated at the North by persons whose calling should have imposed a respect for truth; which their own personal honor seems to have failed to secure. Our regulations require that prisoners shall receive the same rations as soldiers in the field. Such your prisoners have received and will continue to receive. Do you ask more? If so, what do you demand? We recognize in the fullest for our obligation to treat your prisoners with humanity and to serve them with the same food in quantity and quality as is given to our own soldiers. If the supply is scanty, you have only to blame the system of warfare you have waged against us. There is nothing in the action of the Confederate Government which gives any sort of countenance tot he charge of cruelty or inhumanity to your prisoners. In the first place we have importuned you to agree to a fair and honest proposition, which would


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

+See November 13, p. 515.