Another reason given by General Hitchcock
for the failure on the part of the Federal
authorities to deliver prisoners according to the terms of the cartel, was that I had unduly and improperly declared to be exchanged Confederate soldiers who had been released on parole, but not exchanged.
Nothing could be more untrue.
In the first place, the difficulty in the way of delivery and exchange of prisoners had occurred long before any alleged obnoxious notice of exchange on my part had ever appeared.
The ground taken by the Federal
authorities in relation to paroles, and under which deliveries would only be made where equivalents of officers and men in actual confinement would be furnished, was long anterior to any declaration of exchange on my part to which exception was ever taken.
and others had certain purposes in view, and he and they used my notes of exchange just as they employed the Federal
They also were made to be retroactive, and were held up as the proximate cause of occurrences which happened long before their birth.
It would be a curious matter to trace the history of the notices of exchange which each side issued during the progress of the war. I wish I had the space to do so. I can only notice one calumny of many in this connection.
, in his before-mentioned report, charges that I made a declaration of exchange with a view to the coming battles of Chickamauga
, and that many of the prisoners paroled by General Grant
and General Banks
, at Vicksburg
and Port Hudson
, participated in said battles without having been duly exchanged.
It would be difficult to crowd more untruths in one sentence.
The declaration of exchange to which General Hitchcock
refers, was fairly, honestly and properly made.
The cartel, by its express terms, gave me authority to make it. I had, in my possession at the time, more valid paroles of Federal officers and men than were an equivalent for the exchange which I then declared.
Moreover, between that declaration of exchange and the preceding one, I had delivered at City Point
, then the agreed point of delivery, some ten or twelve thousand Federal prisoners.
The declaration was not only expressly authorized by the cartel, but was in the strictest accordance with the common practice of the Federal Agent of Exchange
Besides, not one of the officers or men declared to be exchanged at that time was in the battles to which General Hitchcock
refers; though if they had been, they would have been there rightfully.
It has been frequently stated as an excuse for the refusal of the