War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0769 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

Search Civil War Official Records

CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT,

Richmond, Va., December 27, 1863.

Major JOHN E. MULFORD, Assistant Agent of Exchange:

SIR: I have received your letter announcing your arrival with Confederate prisoners. I have this day forwarded to you an equal or greater number of Federal prisoners.

I received with your letter several communication from Major-General Butler. In no one of them is it stated that the United States Government is willing to resume the cartel and deliver all of our prisoners now in captivity, the excess on either side to be on parole. I have, more than once, expressed the entire willingness of the Confederate Government to deliver the Federal prisoners now in our hands, provided the U. S. authorities will deliver the Confederate prisoners in their hands. This is the provision of the cartel and we can accept nothing less. Unless this is the distinct understanding, no equivalent will be delivered to you for any Confederate officers and soldiers whom you may hereafter bring to City Point. In the hope that such is the understanding I have directed that a number greater than the total of your delivery shall be sent to you.

In not event can we consent that the general release of prisoners so distinctly required by the cartel shall be evaded by partial deliveries. Accepting the present delivery as a step toward a general exchange on the principles of the cartel, I trust I may be permitted the hope that deliveries on the basis above indicated will be continued until all the troops in confinement on both sides are released.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

RO. OULD,

Agent of Exchange.

FORT MONROE, VA., December 28, 1863.

(Received 11. 40 p. m.)

Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

Flag-of-truce boat in with 520 returned prisoners. Further exchange stopped after sharp debate in rebel cabinet. Major Mulford will bring dispatches by noon to-morrow. No news of interest from Charleston or the West.

B. F. BUTLER,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS EIGHTEENTH ARMY CORPS,

DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA,

Fort Monroe, December 28, 1863.

Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

SIR: Acting on the instructions sent me from the Department I forwarded to City Point 505 prisoners, officers and soldiers, accompanied by a letter proposing an exchange of all the prisoners actually held in custody, holding in abeyance all other questions relating to the subject between this Government and the rebel authorities, upon belief that a fair, honorable, and just proposition of exchange of prisoners actually in custody would be accepted, leaving other questions of difference to be adjusted by other negotiations. With this view I was careful that nothing should appear in my note which could be made either a cause or pretext for offense.

49 R R-SERIES II, VOL. VI.