War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0538 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

secure the release of all of them. When that was rejected you have been permitted to send, without stint or limitation, all kinds of supplies to them.

General Hitchcock requests that the prisoners now in our hands be returned to your lines. This is not accompanied with any proposition to release our prisoners now in your hands. So far from that being the case, he promises "to continue to supply food and clothing as heretofore" to such. General Hitchcock need not have urged you to "lose not time in communicating" his letter. No degree of haste would have secured the assent of the Confederate authorities to a proposition so flagrantly unequal. We are ready to relieve your Government from the burden of supplying "food and clothing as heretofore" to our people in your hands, and if they are sent to us yours shall be returned to you, the excess on one side or the other to be on parole.

I hope you will urge upon General Hitchcock the acceptance of this proposition as due to the most solemn consideration in the face of the "civilized world. " We are content that the "civilized world" should draw its own conclusions when it contracts the two offers.

I will thank you to forward this communication to General Hitchcock, or inform him that the Confederate authorities decline to accept his proposition.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

RO. OULD,

Agent of Exchange.

CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT,

Richmond, November 18, 1863.

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

SIR: I herewith return to you the indorsement of Governor Letcher upon your communication of the 15th instant relating to Shuman, Ludwig, and Crawford. I also inclose to you a copy of the trial and conviction of the two first named and a letter from the superintendent of the penitentiary. If you will inform me in what State Anderson Crawford was convicted I will send you a similar copy of the proceedings in his case.

So many recent and novel interpretations of the "laws of war" have been delivered that I am at a loss to know from the tenor of your letter whether it is intended by your authorities to contest the right of the Commonwealth of Virginia to punish persons within her jurisdiction for felonies. If, however, your own general orders are to have any effect, I suppose paragraph 59 of General Orders, Numbers 100, settles the question. I have very frankly and at an early day responded to your inquiries. I hope I am not asking too much when I request that any 'special orders" which may be issued in these cases may be prompt communicated to me.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

RO. OULD,

Agent of Exchange.

[Inclosure Numbers 1.]

OFFICE COMMISSIONER FOR EXCHANGE,

Fortress Monroe, Va., November 15, 1863.

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

SIR: I have information which will be relied and acted upon as authentic, unless formally and without reserve denied, that Joseph