War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0616 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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subsequently to the proclamation of the President, makes no prominent part of the recent correspondence between General Meredith and Mr. Ould, therefore the stand taken by the South on this subject has had nothing to do with the difficulties on the subject of exchanges; but the simple truth is that the recent correspondence grew out of, and had reference exclusively to, other than specific points of controversy, and there was no particular occasion to discuss in that correspondence the proclamation of Mr. Davis and the proceedings of the rebel Congress on that subject.

It will be seen from Colonel Ludlow's letter that the question was fully stated in all its bearings by Colonel Ludlow, and that Mr. Ould was invited, if he had authority, to return to the cartel; that is, he was invaded to abandon the ground taken by Mr. Davis and the rebel Congress. But this he has never done; and to show that the South has definitively taken its stand on this subject, and does not mean to recede from it, the Richmond Enquire of the 2nd instant need only be consulted.

In the issue of that date the Enquirer, on the very question of the treatment of colored troops and their officers, recites a portion of the language of the rebel act of Congress in these words:

The law of the Confederate Congress, approved May 1, 1863, recites: "That, in the judgment of Congress, the proclamations of the President of the United States, dated, respectively, September 22, 1862, and January 1, 1863, and other measures of the Government of the United States and of its authorities, commanders, and forces, designed of tending to emancipate slaves in the Confederate States, or to abduct such slaves, or to incite them to insurrection, or to employ negroes in war against the Confederate States, or to overthrow the institution of African slavery, and bring on a servile war in these States, would, if successful, produce atrocious consequences, and they are inconsistent with the spires which, in modern warfare, prevail among civilized nations. They may, therefore, be properly and lawfully repressed by relation. "

Here we have the law as it now stands unrepealed upon the statute books of the so-called Confederate States of America; and that this expressed the public feeling in the South we need only read the editorial comments in the Enquirer, where we find this language:

This law authorizes the President of the Confederate States to retaliate for every violation of the laws or usages of war on the part of the enemy, and declares the commanding, organizing, or aiding negroes in arms against the Confederate States to be inciting servile insurrection, and those so offending, when captured, are punished with death or in the discretion of the court. The law further punishes with death the inciting a servile insurrection or rebellion; and that all negroes and mulattoes taken in arms against the Confederate States shall, when captured, be delivered to the authorities of the State in which captured, to be dealt with according to the laws of such State.

The language of this law has been construed by the enemy to apply to free negroes of the United States, and we must admit that such construction is not forced, but does come within the terms of the law. But as it is clearly not within the province of the nation to undertake to prescribe the soldiers which another shall use in its armies, we hope this law will be confined, by additional legislation, to such employment by the enemy of slaves of free negroes of the several States of the Confederacy.

He we see that the law, as it stands, applies even to free colored men of the North who may engage in the service of the United States; and the editor takes occasion to suggest a modification of the law so far as they are concerned; but there is not a word against the law in other respects. As the law is applicable to both the slaves and the free colored people of the South who may be found in the army of the Government they are to be dealt with according to the provisions of the law, which is all the more distinctly declared by the proposed exception in favor of the free colored people of the North.

But the editor did not intend to leave the smallest doubt as to the purpose of the South on this question; for, after stating an exception