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 several Southerners advised that prisoners in South Carolina and Georgia, or a part of them, be released on parole, even without equivalents. It was suggested that all opposed to the administration be sent home in time to vote, and also that all whose time had expired be released. The Confederacy would thus be relieved of the burden of their support. Secretary Seddon evidently considered the matter seriously, for he writes, ‘It presents a great embarrassment, but I see no remedy which is not worse than the evil,’ and did not issue the order. This endorsement was made upon a letter from a citizen of South Carolina, dated September 21, 1864, and forwarded to Secretary Seddon with the tacit approval at least, of Governor Bonham. Previously, on September 9th, Alexander H. Stephens had suggested the release of the Andersonville prisoners, to General Howell Cobb, who was responsible for the suggestion already mentioned that those opposed to the administration be sent home. The burden upon the South became overwhelming. Colonel Ould offered to deliver the sick and wounded at Savannah, without equivalent. Transportation was sent late in November, and there and at Charleston, where the delivery was completed after the railroad leading to Savannah was cut, about thirteen thousand men were released. More than three thousand Confederates were delivered at the same time. Another proposition for exchange was made on January 24, 1865, and as it was then certain that the action could have little influence on the final result, exchanges were begun and continued with little interruption to the end, though much confusion was caused by the refusal of subordinates who had not been informed of the arrangements to receive the prisoners. In February, for example, General Schofield's orders from General Grant were delayed, and for several days he declined to receive, much to the dismay of the Confederate commander, a large number of prisoners ordered to Wilmington from Salisbury and Florence.
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