The Exchange of prisoners.
I know it is a very difficult matter for one who was. an active participant in any of the affairs of our late war, to divest himself of prejudice or partisanship in giving an account or history of the same.
Perhaps I am as liable as most men to these disturbing influences; but I hope not to the extent of causing me to distort and, still less, to falsify the facts of the case.
While in this communication I have presented the matter of the exchange of prisoners.
and the troubles attendant thereon, from a Confederate standpoint, I have yet sought to be accurate.
I trust I have not been unfair.
I think I can safely say that I can support everything herein stated as a fact by abundant testimony, Federal as well as Confederate.
As to the conclusions, which I have drawn from these facts, I submit them to the impartial judgment of your readers, hoping that the lapse of years has been sufficient to enable them to be in that frame of mind.
Previous to July, 1862, no formal or permanent cartel of exchange had been adopted by the belligerent parties to our great civil war. Before that time it is true that there had been many captures by either side; but the prisoners had either been exchanged man for man or officer for officer of equal grade, or had been released on parole by the respective governments, or by commanders in the field.
On the 22d of July, 1862, a cartel of exchange was drawn up and signed by General John A. Dix
and General D. I. Hill
, representing the respective belligerents.
By its terms, “all prisoners of war were to be discharged on parole in ten days after their ”