|Now here was a fine opportunity for the authorities
at Washington to stop the cartel and charge the "Rebels" with bad faith.
They would doubtless have done so had we not held the excess of prisoners;
but they simply indulged in a little high rhetoric, continued the cartel,
and caused Pope to cease his high-handed outrages. And so the cartel continued
until July, 1863 - the Federal authorities frequently violating its provisions,
and the Confederates carrying them out to the letter.
The Report of Judge Ould, our Commissioner of Exchange, of December, 1863, and the accompanying documents, fully sustain this allegation, and we regret that our space will not allow us to give these documents in full.
We give the preliminary report, which indicates the points made:
COMMISSIONER OULD'S REPORT.
CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT,
Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON, Secretary of War:
1. Papers from one to twelve, inclusive, relate the arrest and detention of non-combatants. The Federal authorities have persistently refused to observe any reciprocal rule as to such parties. Their military commanders seem to have been permitted to make arrests of non-combatants without regard to their age, sex or situation. After arrest, they have been thrown into prison and there indefinitely retained, in most cases, without charges. I have persistently contended that the whole subject of their capture of non-combatants, should be determined by rule, and not by arbitrary practice. This reasonable proposal, not receiving the assent of the enemy, the Confederate authorities have been forced, in some instances, to retain Federal non-combatants as a measure of retaliation.
2. Papers from thirteen to sixteen, inclusive, relate to the retention of exchanged and unexchanged officers and men. There are officers and men now in Federal prisons, who have been there ever since the adoption of the cartel. I have brought to the attention of the United States authorities again and again the names of some of the parties who were confined in violation of the exchange agreements. In some cases, after long delay, the parties were released. Others, however, are still languishing in confinement.
3. Papers from seventeen to forty, inclusive, relate to the general orders of the enemy and their connection with declarations of exchange. So anxious has the Confederate Government been to remove all obstacles to a general exchange of prisoners, that when the computation and adjustment of paroles was made a subject of difficulty by the enemy, we promptly agreed to deter- mine the whole matter in accordance with the general orders, issued at Washington. This very liberal proposition has not been accepted by the Federal authorities, I have, however, by virtue of the provisions of the cartel, proceeded to make declarations of exchange, upon the basis of those general orders. In those declarations of exchange, I have not exceeded the valid paroles, which are on file in my office. The reply of the Federal agent to my letter of October 31st, 1863, was so personally offensive, that I was compelled to return it to him without any answer.
4. Papers from forty-one to forty-seven, inclusive, relate to the confinement of General John H. Morgan and his officers in the penitentiary, at Columbus, Ohio. Though the Federal agent on the 30th of July, 1863, notified me that General John H. Morgan and his officers would be placed in close confinement, he informed me two months afterwards, that "the United States authorities had nothing to do with the treatment that General Morgan and his command received when imprisoned at Columbus."
5. Papers from forty-eight to fifty-seven, inclusive, relate to the detention of surgeons. Before the date of the cartel, surgeons were unconditionally released after capture. That rule was first adopted by the Confederate commanders, and was subsequently followed by the Federals. Some time ago, one Rucker was indicted by a grand jury in Virginia, for several felonies. Although Rucker was never a surgeon in the Federal service, the enemy held Surgeon Green of the Confederate navy, in retaliation. This caused retaliation on our part, in return, and surgeons were afterwards held in captivity on both sides. In this instance, the Federal authorities proved that they were ready to sacrifice their own medical officers in an in an endeavor to secure the release of a felon in no way connected with their medical service. Rucker having recently escaped from jail, the surgeons on both sides have been released.
6. Papers from fifty-eight to sixty-three, inclusive, relate to persons captured upon our rivers and the high seas. By agreement made with the Federal Agent of Exchange, all such who were captured before December 10th, 1862, were declared exchanged. In spite of that agreement, some of our pilots and sea captains were kept in confinement. The correspondence will fully show the refusal of the Federal authorities to adopt any fair and reciprocal rule, as to the further exchange of such persons.
7. Papers numbered sixty-four and sixty-five, show the pretensions of the enemy as to such persons as have been tried under the laws of a sovereign State for offences against the same.
8. Papers from sixty-six to seventy-two, inclusive, embrace all the correspondence in which General E. A. Hitchcock has borne a part. It seems there are two commissioners of exchange on the part of the Federal Government. How far the authority of each extends, or how far one is subordinate to the other, has not as yet clearly appeared. The future may, perhaps, explain that they may be put to separate uses. The last letter of General Hitchcock, bearing date November 23d, 1863, I returned, with the following endorsement, to wit: "Protesting that the statement of facts contained in this paper is incorrect, I return it to its author as unfit to be either written or received."
With this brief notice of the correspondence, I respectfully submit it as my report.
RO. OULD, Agent of Exchange.
We can only cull a letter or two from this correspondence, which we hope some day to publish in full as a triumphant vindication of the course of our authorities:
LIEUTENANT-COLONEL LUDLOW TO MR. OULD.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA, SEVENTH ARMY CORPS, FORT MONROE, VIRGINIA, April 8, 1863.
Hon. ROBERT OULD, Agent for Exchange of Prisoners:
I simply ask that you say, by authority, that such proclamation is revoked. The spirit of that proclamation was the infliction of personal indignities upon our officers, and as long as it remains unrepealed, it can be at any moment put in force by your authorities. What assurance have we that it will not be?
I earnestly desire a return to the cartel in all matters pertaining to officers, and until such be the case, and uniformity of rule be thereby established, our exchanges of officers must be special. Some of our officers, paroled at Vicksburg, were subsequently placed in close confinement, and are now so held. If, hereafter, we parole any of your officers, such paroles will be offset against any which you may possess. At present the exchanges will be confined to such equivalents as are held in confinement on either side.
I hope you will soon be able to remove all difficulties about officers by the revocation I have mentioned.
By reference to the map, you will see that Fort Delaware is en route to Fort Monroe. It is used as a depot for the collecting of prisoners, sent from other places for shipment here, and is, from its peculiar position, "well adapted for convenience for exchange."
If any mistake be found in the account of men paroled by Lieutenant-Colonel Richards, at Oxford, Mississippi, on the 22d of December, 1862, it can be rectified when we meet.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. H. LUDLOW,
MR. OULD TO LIEUTENANT-COLONEL LUDLOW.
RICHMOND, April 11th, 1863.
Lieutenant-Colonel WILLIAM H. LUDLOW, Agent of Exchange:
I am very much surprised at your refusal to deliver officers for those of your own who have been captured, paroled, and released by us since the date of the proclamation and message of President Davis. That refusal is not only a flagrant breach of the cartel, but can be supported by no rule of reciprocity or equity. It is utterly useless to argue any such matter. I assure you that not one officer of any grade will be delivered to you until you change your purpose in that respect.
You have charged us with breaking the cartel. With what sort of justice can that allegation be supported, when you delivered only a few days ago over ninety officers, most of whom had been forced to languish and suffer in prisons for months before we were compelled by that and other reasons to issue the retaliatory order of which you complain? Those ninety-odd are not one-half of those whom you unjustly hold in prison. One the other hand, I defy you to name the case of one who is confined by us, whom our agreement has declared exchanged. Is it your idea that we are to be bound by every strictness of the cartel, while you are at liberty to violate it for months, and that, too, not only in a few instances, but in hundreds? You know that our refusal to parole officers, was a matter exclusively of retaliation. It was based only upon your refusal to observe the requirements of the cartel. All that you had to do to remove the obnoxious measure of retaliation, was to observe the provisions of the cartel and redress the wrongs which had been perpetrated.
Your last resolution, if persisted in, settles the matter. You need not send any offices to City Point with the expectation of getting an equivalent in officers, so long as you refuse to deliver any for those whom we have released on parole in Tennessee and Kentucky. If captivity, privation, and misery are to be the fate of officers on both sides hereafter, let God judge between us. I have struggled in this matter, as if it had been a matter of life and death to me. I am heartsick at the termination, but I have no self reproaches.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Judge Ould thus closes his correspondence with Colonel Ludlow:
MR. OULD TO LIEUTENANT-COLONEL LUDLOW.
CONFEDERATE STATE OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT,
Colonel WILLIAM H. LUDLOW, Agent of Exchange:
Again and again have I importuned you to tell me of one officer or man now held in confinement by us, who was declared exchanged. You have, to those appeals, furnished one - Spencer Kellog. For him I have searched in vain. On the other hand, I appeal to your own records for the cases where your reports have shown that our officers and men have been held for long months and even years in violation of the cartel and our agreements. The last phase of the enormity, however, exceeds all others. Although you have many thousands of our soldiers now in confinement in your prisons, and especially in that horrible hold of death, Fort Delaware, you have not, for several weeks, sent us any prisoners. During those weeks you have dispatched Captain Mulford with the steamer New York to City Point, three or four times, without any prisoners. For the first two or three times some sort of an excuse was attempted. None is given at this present arrival. I do not mean to be offensive when I say that effrontery could not give one. I ask you with no purpose of disrespect, what can you think of this covert attempt to secure the delivery of all your prisoners in our hands, without the release of those of our who are languishing in hopeless misery in your prisons and dungeons?
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
FEDERAL ORDERS REVOKING PAROLES