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[100] number of prisoners to Generals Polk and Jeff. Thompson and received their own men in return. In the East, General Benjamin Huger, the Confederate commander at Norfolk, and General John E. Wool, U. S. A., made a number of special exchanges. As the number of prisoners grew, much of the time of the commanding officers was required for this business. A large amount of political pressure was brought to bear upon the officials at Washington, urging them to arrange for an exchange, and on December 3, 1861, General Halleck wrote that the prisoners ought to be exchanged, as it was simply a convention, and the fact that they had been exchanged would not prevent their being tried for treason, if desired, after the war.

The Confederate officials, conscious of their deficient resources, were eager to escape the care of prisoners, and welcomed the announcement of General Wool, February 13, 1862, that he had been empowered to arrange a general exchange. General Wool met General Howell Cobb, on February 23d, and an agreement, except upon the point of delivery at the ‘ frontier of their own country,’ was reached for the delivery of all prisoners, the excess to be on parole. At a subsequent meeting, General Wool announced that his instructions had been changed and that he could exchange man for man only. This offer was refused by General Cobb, who charged that the reason for the unwillingness to complete the agreement was the capture of Forts Henry and Donelson, which gave the Federal Government an excess of prisoners which it was unwilling to release on parole.

As the next move on the chess-board, the Confederate Government refused longer to make individual exchanges on the ground that, as political pressure in many cases caused the Federal Government to ask for the exchange of certain individuals, those who had no influential friends would be left in prison. On a letter of General McClellan proposing an exchange, the Confederate Secretary of War, G. W. Randolph,

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