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[128] their own Governments, and that they shall have full liberty at any and all times, through the agents of exchange, to make reports not only of their own acts, but of any matters relating to the welfare of prisoners.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

Robert Ould, Agent of Exchange.

To this communication no reply of any kind was ever made. I need not state how much suffering would have been prevented if this offer had been met in the spirit in which it was dictated. In addition, the world would have had truthful accounts of the treatment of prisoners on both sides by officers of character, and thus much of that misrepresentation which has flooded the country would never have been poured forth. The jury-box in the case of Wirz would have had different witnesses, with a different story. It will be borne in mind that nearly all of the suffering endured by Federal prisoners happened after January, 1864. The acceptance of the proposition made by me, on behalf of the Confederate Government, would not only have furnished to the sick medicines and physicians, but to the well an abundance of food and clothing from the ample stores of the United States.

The good faith of the Confederate Government in making this offer cannot be successfully questioned; for food and clothing (without the surgeons) were sent in 1865, and were allowed to be distributed by Federal officers to Federal prisoners.

Why could not the more humane proposal of January, 1864, have been accepted?

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