War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0582 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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should always be upon the boat when such deliveries are to be made, with a proper supply of such food as prisoners in their condition require, and ample accommodations for cooking. The boat should be prepared to deliver them at Annapolis and notice should be given to Colonel Waite, commanding in that the city, of the time of their arrival, so that everything may be prepared for their reception in the general hospital or the hospital at Camp Parole. Submit to this office a requisition for all articles that may be required to insure that our returning prisoners on the flag-of-truce boat may be made as comfortable as possible.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary-General of Prisoners.


Richmond, November 26, 1863.


President Confederate States of America:

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report: *

* * * * *

The subject of the exchange of prisoners of war has excited much attention and has a painful interest to our people and our brave soldiers whom the fortunes of war have thrown into the hands of our enemies. It was the desire of this Government from and early period of the war to agree upon a fair and equitable system of exchanges. The large preponderance of prisoners being on our side negotiations were opened and had been nearly consummated, the terms having been agreed upon in accordance with the views of his Government as expressed by the commissioner of the United States, and under his assurance of satisfactory settlement a large number of prisoners held by us were delivered up. Some series reverses, however, just then befalling us, and large numbers of prisoners being taken by the enemy, they refused to consummate the agreement and broke off the negotiation. Their loss in prisoners in subsequent military operations, especially in their disastrous defeats around this city, again giving us the preponderance, a cartel of exchange was agreed on and executed. Various effects to obtain unfair advantages by quibbling as to its terms and operation were made and its provisions violated by the enemy, by the cartel was recognized as being in force and exchanges continued to be made. Our reverses in July again gave them, as they claim, a preponderance in the number of prisoners, since which time they have openly disregarded its obligations, and have now upon false and flimsy pretext declared it to be inoperative. All exchanges have now ceased, with little apparent prospect of renewal. The exchange of prisoners was desired on our part for the sake of humanity, to prevent, in accordance with the usages of war among civilized nations, individual suffering as far as practicable, and all the obligations imposed on us as to the treatment of prisoners and exchange by such usages and the cartel of exchange have been fulfilled on our part with entire and scrupulous good faith, while the course of or enemies has been by and a disregard of their engagements and the dictates of humanity.


*For portion here omitted see Series IV.