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[110] organized deserted almost in a mass. The officer of the guard one morning found three muskets leaning against a tree, left there by sentinels who had deserted.

Since so few of the released Federal prisoners were willing to reenlist, while the majority of the Confederates by this time were in the ranks ‘for the whole war,’ it is perhaps natural that doubts of the wisdom of further exchange should become convictions in the minds of some of the Northern leaders. Meanwhile, General Benjamin F. Butler had begun his military government in New Orleans, and William B. Mumford, a citizen, had been hanged for pulling down the United States flag. The Confederacy charged that this was done before the city had been formally occupied by Federal troops. On December 23, 1862, President Davis issued a proclamation denouncing General Butler as ‘a felon deserving of capital punishment,’ and the commissioned officers serving under him ‘robbers and criminals,’ not entitled to be considered as soldiers engaged in honorable warfare and deserving of execution.

Negro troops also had been enrolled in the Union army, and President Lincoln had issued his preliminary proclamation of emancipation. In answer, President Davis decreed that all negro slaves captured in arms and their white officers should not be treated as prisoners of war but should be delivered to the States to be punished according to their laws. If carried out, these officers would be put to death on the charge of inciting negro insurrection.

Secretary Stanton, December 28, 1862, answered by suspending the exchange of commissioned officers, but the exchange of enlisted men went on as usual, though marked by much mutual recrimination between Colonel Ludlow and Colonel Ould. Special exchanges were sometimes effected, although Colonel Ould attempted to prevent all such. President Davis' proclamation was practically endorsed by the Confederate Congress, and on May 25, 1863, General Halleck ordered all exchanges stopped.

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