War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0591 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

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Without looking any further I appeal to this as a full justification of the Federal Commander-in-Chief in suspending the operations of that portion of article 4 of the cartel which requires "all prisoners of war to be discharged on parole in ten days after capture," it being manifest that the authorities South could not parole prisoners according to the cartel and carry out their declared purpose of delivering the officers over to State authorities to be tried as criminals under State laws.

Whatever may have been the reason why the declared purpose of Mr. Davis has not been extensively carried into effect, the fact of the existence of that purpose, sanctioned as we know it to have been, is a sufficient reason on our part for not delivering prisoners on parole, particularly as there is every reason to believe that the purpose of Mr. Davis has only been arrested by the fact that by the fortune of war we had in our hands more prisoners than were held in the South.

In addition to the above the treatment of colored troops, which make an integral portion of the Federal Army, when captured in the South, is too well known to permit us for one moment to suppose, in the present state of things, that there is any design in the South to treat that class of troops according to the laws of war as applicable to other troops of the Federal Army, and until the Southern authorities make some distinct declaration of a purpose to treat colored troops and their officers in the employment of the United States Government in all respects according to the laws of war as applicable to other troops we cannot recede from the position taken by the Commander-in-Chief above referred to.

The wisdom and the necessity of existing orders on this subject will sufficiently defend the measure, in view of the threats and the practices of the South which only need to be known to justify the measure.

It is very well known that Colonel Ludlow made these subjects the frequent topic of conversation with Mr. Ould without producing any impression on Mr. Ould tending to the point of inducing a declaration by authority from the South that all officers of the Federal Army, as well as enlisted men, shall receive when captured the treatment due to prisoners of war, with the express declaration that colored troops, both officers and men, shall receive similar treatment.

You will please communicate these view to Mr. Ould, with a request that he will lay them before his Government.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. A. HITCHCOCK,

Major-General and Commissioner for Exchange.

(Copy furnished by Meredith to Ould.)

OFFICE COMMISSIONER FOR EXCHANGE,

Fortress Monroe, Va., November 28, 1863.

Colonel WILLIAM HOFFMAN,

Commissary-General of Prisoners, Washington, D. S.:

COLONEL: I have the honor to forward herewith copy of Mr. Ould's declaration of exchange of July 13, 1863. *

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. A. MEREDITH,

Brigadier-General and Commissioner for Exchange.

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*See p. 113.

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