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[104] act as agent in the East, while the Confederate Government appointed Colonel Robert Ould, Assistant Secretary of War, and previously United States attorney for the District of Columbia, who served in that capacity to the end of the war. Under the supervision of these men and with the aid of General John A. Dix, the prisoners in the East were exchanged. Prisoners in the West were sent to Vicksburg, where the first exchanges were conducted by Major N. G. Watts, C. S. A., and Captain H. M. Lazelle, U. S. A.

The Confederates maintained that they held, for the greater part of the time before the cartel was signed, several times as many prisoners as were held in the North. The excess was considerable until the capture of Forts Henry and Donelson, and the difficulty of feeding and guarding these prisoners was one of the reasons for their anxiety to arrange a plan of exchange. As early as June 17, 1862, the quartermaster-general of the Confederacy wrote that it was almost impossible to feed the prisoners at Lynchburg, and that he deemed it his duty to state that ‘the difficulty of maintaining prisoners is most serious, and that the growing deficiency in the resources of the Confederacy . . . will render the speedy exchange of prisoners of war or their disposition otherwise absolutely necessary.’

After exchanges were well under way, General Thomas returned to Washington and a volunteer officer, Lieutenant-Colonel William H. Ludlow, was appointed agent for exchange. General E. A. Hitchcock was appointed commissioner for exchange, with headquarters in Washington.

Almost immediately there were difficulties in the application of the cartel. Nine days after it was signed, President Davis wrote to General Lee, on July 31st, saying, ‘Scarcely had that cartel been signed when the military authorities of the United States commenced to practise changing the character of the war. from such as becomes civilized nations into a campaign of indiscriminate robbery and murder.’

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