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[95] Lieutenant-Colonel Julian Harrison, of the Virginia cavalry, who was selected to bear it on account of the interest attaching to the subject, and its importance.

Sir:
I am instructed by the Secretary of War of the Confederate States to propose to you to enter into arrangements for a general exchange of prisoners of war, on terms in accordance with the usages of civilized warfare.

This proposition is intended to be general-to embrace not merely the prisoners of war taken by armies near the Potomac, but to apply to those captured by all the forces of either belligerent.

The terms of exchange, which seem to me appropriate, are those which have been established in modern war-equal exchange of those having similar rank; equivalent values when there is not equality of rank.

In the hope that your answer will be favorable, and that we may thus together take at least one step to diminish the sufferings produced by the war, I am, etc.


As this proposition was not entertained nor the letter noticed, the matter is introduced here only to show how early in the war the Confederate Government attempted to lessen the sufferings of prisoners of war by shortening their terms of confinement, and how little of that spirit was exhibited by the Federal Administration.

When the Department of East Tennessee was constituted, Major-General E. Kirby Smith was selected

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