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Chapter 49:

  • Exchange of prisoners
  • -- the issue for which we fought -- position of the United States government -- letters of marque granted by us -- officers and crew first prisoners of the enemy -- act of Congress relating to prisoners -- exchanges, how made -- answer of General Grant -- request of United States Congress -- commissioners sent -- exchange arranged -- order to pillage issued -- General Pope's order -- letter of General Lee relative to barbarities -- answer of General Halleck -- case of Mumford -- effect of threatened retaliation -- mission of Vice-President Stephens -- excess of prisoners -- paroled men -- proposition made by us -- another arrangement -- stopped by General Grant -- his words, ‘put the matter Offensively’ -- exchange of slaves -- proposition of Lee to Grant -- reply of Grant -- his dispatch to General Butler -- another proposition made by us -- proposition relative to sick and wounded -- the worst cases asked for to be photographed -- proposition as to medicines -- a final effort -- Deputation of prisoners sent to Washington -- a failure -- correspondence between Ould and Butler -- order of Grant -- report of Butler -- responsibility of Grant for Andersonville -- barbarities of the United States government -- treatment of our men in Northern prisons -- Deaths on each side.

Perhaps there was no question in the treatment of which the true character and intentions of the government of the United States was so clearly exposed as in the exchange of prisoners. That we should dare to resort to arms for the preservation of our rights, and ‘to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity,’ was regarded by our enemies as most improbable. Their aspirations for dominion and sovereignty, through the government of the Union, had become so deep-seated and apparently real as to cause that government, at its first step, to assume the haughtiness and imperiousness of an absolute sovereign. ‘I appeal to all loyal citizens to favor, facilitate, and aid this effort,’ said President Lincoln, in the first proclamation, calling for seventy-five thousand men. The term ‘loyal’ has no signification except as applied to the sovereign of an empire or kingdom. In a republic the people are the sovereign, and the term ‘loyal’ or its opposite,

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