portion of the prisoners captured and paroled by General Grant, referring to them, however, by corps, regiment, &c., not furnishing any list by which the number he proposed thus to free from parole could be definitely ascertained.
When his declaration was made no list was furnished, and, as in his notice to General Meredith, the declaration extender to corps, divisions, brigades, &c. On consulting the reports made by General Grant, where the division, &c., were designated and the strength of each respectively given, it was ascertained that Mr. Ould had actually declared exchanged, and free from their parole, more than he had any proper claim for, in the ratio of 3 for 2, or one-third more than he was entitled to.
Mr. Ould had, however, invited General Meredith to make a corresponding declaration of equivalents, which would have been according to the cartel if Mr. Ould had not in his declaration exceeded them number of paroled prisoners who had been delivered property under the cartel. This gave the right to General Meredith to make a declaration of exchange, which was accordingly made and published, but Mr. Ould was informed of his irregularity, and a demand was made upon him for the delivery of Colonel Streight, &c., as absolutely due to us.
Mr. Ould denied the right of General Meredith to make this demand, and insisted that we owed him, though to us this was inconceivable upon the facts known to us, and Mr. Ould was called upon for explanations. At length, after making further declarations of exchange on the part of Mr. Ould, he furnished what purported to be a tabular statement of what he called "valid paroles" amounting to over 18,000, which, on the face of it carried indisputable evidence of the fact that it had been the deliberate work of guerilla parties, acting over districts of the country for the most part occupied by peaceable citizens, who were put under some kind of oath to keep the peace; and these we were expected to count as soldiers captured in war, according to the laws of war.
This tabular statement we refused to consider as a valid paper, and there the subject remains for the present.
The paroling of several thousand men at Mobile by General Banks, captured principally at Port Hudson, has been made an occasion for raising a question, which Mr. Ould, agent for exchange from Richmond, after making the question, has taken upon himself to decide without any authority whatever. Mr. Ould is simply an agent for the exchange of prisoners under an agreed-upon cartel, signed by General Dix and General Hill, acting by authority. Mr. Ould has no powers under the cartel but such as are named in the cartel itself for the execution of its provisions.
The cartel provided two places for the delivery of prisoners of war- City Point, on James River, and Vicksburg, on the Mississippi; but contemplated other places when the exigencies of war might make it necessary.
The capture of Vicksburg by the U. S. troops made the exigency contemplated by the cartel. General Banks, subsequently to the capture of Vicksburg, received several thousand prisoners at Port Hudson, unconditionally surrendered, which were, to use the language of the cartel, "reduced to possession. " What was he to do with them? They were completely in his possession, and he could have shipped them to the North either by the river Mississippi, or by sea, by way of New Orleans. He could not deliver them at Vicksburg for the reason just stated. In this state of things he made an agreement with the rebel commander to deliver them at Mobile on parole, and that