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The exchange of prisoners between belligerents is made in accordance with agreements, entered into for that purpose, called cartels. The making of such agreements is purely voluntary, and cannot be constrained by subjecting prisoners to special hardships. . . . The binding force of cartels, like that of all other agreements between belligerents, rests upon the good faith of the contracting parties. If the terms of a cartel are violated by one belligerent they cease to be obligatory upon the other. George B. Davis, in Outlines of international law.

Though prisoners taken in Texas, Missouri, Virginia, and elsewhere had been paroled early in the war, their exchange was not completed until much later. The first instance of formal exchange, apparently, is that in Missouri, when four officers of General G. J. Pillow's command met four of the command of Colonel W. H. L. Wallace, and exchanged six privates, three on each side.

The Federal Government was anxious to avoid in any way a recognition of the Confederate government , and therefore whatever exchanges followed these for several months were made by the commanding officers on both sides, unofficially, though with the knowledge and tacit consent of the Government at Washington. The first person who officially realized the fact that the whole question of prisoners and prisons was likely to be important was QuartermasterGen-eral M. C. Meigs, U. S. A., who, on July 12, 1861, nine days before the first battle of Bull Run, wrote Secretary of War Cameron advising the appointment of a commissarygen-eral of prisoners.

In the West, Generals Halleck and Grant turned over a

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