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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 30. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Treatment and exchange of prisoners. (search)
were anxious to make an arrangement for the exchange of prisoners, and indeed that the war should be conducted in all of its features on the highest and most humane plane known to civilized nations. To that end Mr. Davis wrote Mr. Lincoln on July 6th, 1861, as follows: It is the desire of this Government so to conduct the war now existing as to mitigate its horrors as far as may be possible; and with this intent, its treatment of the prisoners captured by its forces has been marked by the gtimes, exhibits great fairness; at other times, manifest unfairness, but always displays shrewdness and ability. There is abundant evidence in these records to show that the true reason why Mr. Lincoln did not reply to Mr. Davis' letter of July 6th, 1861, hereinbefore quoted, was that he and the other authorities at Washington did not intend from the beginning to conduct the war, in any of its features, according to the recognized principles of civilized warfare, although they had adopted the