So long as the cartel for the exchagne of prisoners was respected in the South it was faithfully observed by the Govnerment,a nd there is no doubt that its faithful executin would have been contineued by the Govnerment until the end of the war,unless properly revoked by competent authority, if the rebel authorities had not most distinctly violated its terms,undercircumstnaces, indeed, of great aggravation. The first indicaiton on the part of the rebels of a disposition to disregard the cartel became public thrugh a message by jefferson Davis to the rebel Congress, in which, after alluding to the proclamation ov the President announcing emancipation, he makes use of the following language:
I shall, unless in your wisdom you deem some otehr cours more expedient, delvier to the several State authorities all commissined officers of the United States that may herafter by aaptured by our forces in any of the States embraced in the proclamation, that they may be dealt with in accordance with the laws of those States providing for the punishment of criminals engaged ine xciting servile insurrection.
This announcement of Mr. Davis was mad eJanuary 12, 1863, and received the modified approval of the rebel Congress, as shown in the following sectins of an act approved May 1, 1863, to wit:
SEC. 4. That every white person,being a commissined officer, or acting as such, who, during the present war, shall command negroes or mulattoes in arms agaisnt the COnfederate States, or who shll arm, trian, organize, or prepare negroesz or mulattoes for military service agaisnt the CofnederateStates, or who shallvoluntarily adi negroes or mulattoes in any miltiary enterprise, attack, or conflict in suh sevice,sahll be deemed as inciting servile insurrection,and shall, if captured, be put to death, or be otherwise punished att he discretion of the court.
SEC. 5. Every person,being a commissined officer or acting as suh in the service of the enemy, who shall during the presetn war excite, attempt to excite, or cause tyo be excited,a servile insurrection, or who shallincite, or cause to be incited,a slave to rebel, shall, if czptured, be pput to deth, or be otherwixse punished at the discretion of the court.
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SEC. 7. All negroes and mulattoes who shall be engaged inwar or be taken in arms against the Confederate States, shall give aid or comfort to the enemies of the Confederate States, sahll, when captured inteh Confederate States, be delivered to the authorities of the State or States in which they shall be captured, to be dealt with according to the present or future laws of such State or States.
When the message jsut referred to became known to the President, he saw at once the necessity of meeting it, and gave insturcitons to retain such regbel officers as might be captured, in order to be in a position to check the rebel Govnerment and restraint the execution of its avowed purpose, in violation of the cartel.
This proceeding, initiated by the rebel Government in violation of the cartel,ultimated in the cessation of exchanges, which, as the history of the matter show, became unavoidable, and was entirely due to the rebel Government.
Coincident with the proceedings with regard to the exchange of prisoners of war, the rebels inaugurated a system of seizing unoffending citizens of the United States and subjecting them to maltreatment, in various ways, in order to effect a particular object, which became apparent when a demand was made for their release. For this purpose quite a number of citizens of Pensylvania were carried into captivity by General Lee when he penetrated into that State in 1863.
When a demand was made for the release of this class of prisoners it was met by a most positive declaration that no citizen prisoner in rebel hands should be released unless the Govnernment would enter into an agreement with the rebel authorities not to arrest any one on account of his opinions or on account of his sympathy with the rebel cause; and this declaration was repeated again and again by the