War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0833 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

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service that may be lawfully required of them, is published for their information and benefit:

CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT,

Richmond, December 18, 1863.

Lieutenant- General POLK, Commanding Department of Mississippi:

GENERAL: Your letter of the 24th ultimo was duly received and referred to Major Ould the 7th instant.

The Department has uniformly decided that the formation of a camp of paroled prisoners, the requirement of those prisoners to submit to military control in camp, and the employment of them for the purpose of organization, discipline, and instruction, did not violate the obligation of the parole or the terms of the cartel between the Confederate States and the Untied States. The letter of Major ould is inclosed, so that you may see his views. *

With much respect, your obedient servant,

J. A. CAMPBELL,

Assistant Secretary of War.

"RICHMOND, VA., December 16, 1863.

"Honorable J. A. CAMPBELL, Assistant Secretary of War:

"SIR: In compliance with your indorsement on the accompanying paper, I have the honor to make the following report;

"I think it is very clear that the Government, in ordering paroled men into a paroled camp and returning them there until they are exchanged, does nothing in any way inconsistent with the provisions of the cartel or the obligations of a military parole. Therefore, it has been the constant practice on both sides, immediately upon the delivery of paroled men, to put them into a paroled camp. The Federals have had as many as 10,000 men at one time in their paroled camp at Annapolis. These men were delivered to the Federal authorities at City Point and thence carried to Annapolis and there kept until exchanged. Our authorities never at any time entertained the idea that such a course was any violation of either cartel or parole. upon the delivery of our paroled men at City point hey were immediately transferred thence to a paroled camp either at Petersburg or Richmond. I think it equally clear that it is no violation for the cartel or parole to require the paroled men to guard their own stores and camp, or do police duty generally in such camps. In no just sense can they be said to be 'taking up arms' or 'serving as mil language of the cartel is 'serving as military police or constabulary force in any fort, garrison, or field- work held by either of the respective parties. ' A paroled camp is in neither category. The other phrase, 'nor as guards of prisons, depots, or stores,' is not inconsistent with the view here taken. A paroled camp is not a 'prison' and the 'depots and sortes' referred to are those which supply troops actually in the field.

"Accordingly, I am quite confident that the practice on both sides, from the beginning, has been to employ the paroled prisoners themselves as the guard and police force of their camps.

"Respectfully, your obedient servant,

"RO. OULD,

"Agent of Exchange"

From the foregoing it is clear-

First. That each Government has the right to establish camps at which to assemble their paroled prisoners, and that in the exercise of that right they have assembled their prisoners at Annapolis and Petersburg, or Richmond, respectively.

Second. That while these prisoners may not be required "to take up arms against the enemy," or 'serve as a military police or constabulary force to any fort, garrison, or field- work held by either of the respective parties," nor "act as guards of prisons, depots, or stores" belonging to the general army actually in the field; yet they may be required "to submit to military control in the camp," and may be employed "for the purpose of organization, discipline, and instruction without violating the obligations of the parole or terms of the cartel between the Confederate States and the United States. "

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*For full text of these letters, see pp. 717, 710, respectively.

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53 R R- SERIES II, VOL VI