returned to the enemy as prisoners of war. The general order
then in force, in its 131st paragraph, declared that “if the government does not approve of the parole, the paroled officer must return into captivity.”
Yet the court found that the government was free to place those officers on duty without having been exchanged, and gave as its reason that I had been notified that such paroles would not be recognized.
But the court forgot to state that along with that notification came another, that “the paroled officer must return into captivity,” and that the United States Government could not “at the same time disown his (the officer's) engagement, and refuse his return as a prisoner.”
While I am dealing with incidents, I will give another.
On March 9th, 1863, that terrible soldier, General Robert Schenck
, issued a General Order No. 15
, requiring all officers and men who who had been captured and released on parole in his department, and particularly in the Shenandoah Valley, but who had not been declared exchanged, to return to duty on penalty of being considered deserters.
The general order
of the United States
then in force was No. 49, to the provisions of which I have already referred.
At the time of Schenck
's order and afterward, the Federal
agent was charging against me and receiving credit for captures and paroles similar to those thus repudiated.
It is due to Colonel Ludlow
, Agent of Exchange
at the time, to say that when this matter was brought to his attention, he declared that Schenck
's action was without proper authority, and that I should have credit for such as reported for duty under the order.
But it is just as true that I was never informed of any who did return, nor was I given any credit on that account.
It is hardly necessary for me to state that I utterly refused to agree to any arrangement by which a general order
of the United States War Department should be construed as being in force before it was issued, or that paroles given in May or June should be determined by an order made in the following July.
I thought I had conceded enough when I agreed to reverse a practice followed by both sides since the beginning of the war without objection, and abide by the orders made by the adversary, according to their date.
As soon as I discovered the purpose of the Federal
agent in respect to the paroles held by me, I notified him that so long as he refused to recognize the validity of the paroles held by the Confederate
authorities, and especially the paroles given in Tennessee
shortly after the adoption of the cartel and before the date of the general orders, that he need not send any officers with the expectation of receiving as equivalents only those who were in