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[30] we shall be duly exchanged for other prisoners of war, or until we shall be released by the President of the Confederate States. In consideration of this oath, it is understood that we are free to go wherever we may see fit.


On the 9th of May, Lieutenant-Colonel I. V. D. Reeve, who was on his way to the coast from the forts in New Mexico, surrendered ten officers and two hundred and seventy men at San Lucas Spring, near San Antonio. Meanwhile, President Lincoln had issued his proclamation threatening to treat privateers as pirates. Therefore, Colonel Van Dorn restricted the limits of these men to Bexar County, Texas, and the officers to the Confederate States, though the officers were later limited to the State of Texas. Because of the death of his daughter, Colonel Van Dorn gave Lieutenant-Colonel Reeve the privilege of going North.

On May 10th, a brigade of Missouri State Militia at Camp Jackson, near St. Louis, Missouri, was taken by Captain Nathaniel Lyon, U. S. A., and the officers and men were paroled not to serve again during the war. Several hundred prisoners were taken by General George B. McClellan at Rich Mountain, Virginia, in July, and all were paroled, except two who had previously served in the United States army. These the War Department ordered General McClellan to retain. Then, on July 21, 1861, came the battle of Bull Run, or Manassas, when the Confederates took more than a thousand prisoners. The war was on in earnest.

The Federal government was inclined to refuse to recognize the validity of the Texas paroles, and was only prevented from such action by the firmness of the officers themselves. Secretary of War Cameron, for example, ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Reeve to disregard his parole or else leave the army by resignation or dismissal. Colonel Reeve appealed to President Lincoln, who overruled the secretary. Other paroled officers were ordered to duty before exchange, but all declined.

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