previous next
[185] General Forrest, with a largely superior force, and his retreat being cut off, he was compelled to make the best terms he could with his enemy. General Forrest gave him as liberal terms of surrender as he could expect. It was stipulated that Colonel Streight and his officers and men were to be paroled and passed into the Federal lines at as early a period as practicable. General Forrest furnished Colonel Streight with a copy of the terms of surrender, and him and each of his officers with a copy of his parole, and they were sent to Richmond to await a flag-of-truce boat to convey them into the Federal lines. When they arrived at Richmond, Colonel Streight and all his commissioned officers were confined in Libby prison, while the enlisted men belonging to his command were forwarded into the Federal lines; but Colonel Streight's copy of the terms of surrender, and the duplicate paroles of himself and officers, were taken from them, and they were informed that President Davis had decided that they should not be conveyed within the Federal lines, according to the terms of their surrender, but that they would be returned to Alabama upon a requisition from Governor Shorter, to be tried by the courts of that State upon a charge of abducting slaves (a few negroes had been found as camp followers of Streight's army, at the time of his surrender). Here was a violation of the cartel by Jeff Davis himself. He ignored the action of one of his military commanders, who, in the exercise of his power, had committed himself to a line of conduct that Davis, as his superior, should have seen was executed in good faith.

Colonel Streight and his officers were, accordingly, retained in Libby to await the pleasure of the President of the Southern Confederacy to return them to the State of Alabama, there to be tried for negro stealing. This was the merest child's play; for, although negroes were found with Streight's army, President Davis and Governor Shorter both knew that it would be impossible to fasten the crime of negro stealing upon Colonel Streight, or any of his officers. They knew that Federal army officers were not bound to return runaway slaves; but the whole matter was trumped up for the purpose of punishing a gallant commander and his brave officers for having the courage to raid two hundred miles into the enemy's country. Here was a direct violation of the cartel. But he was guilty of other violations of it. In the winter of 1863, he issued an order forbidding the exchange of any officers belonging to the command of General Milroy, who then occupied Winchester, Virginia, with a considerable force. This he did without any just cause, for neither General Milroy, nor any of his officers, had violated the laws of civilized warfare.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
A. D. Streight (8)
Forrest (3)
Jefferson Davis (3)
Shorter (2)
Milroy (2)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1863 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: