previous next

[498] that his government would not consent to pay these expenses, and thereupon General Cobb promptly receded from his demand, and agreed to the terms proposed by the other side. But General Wool, who had said at the beginning of the negotiation, ‘I am clothed with full power for the purpose of arranging for the exchange of prisoners,’ was now under the necessity of stating that ‘his government had changed his instructions.’ And thus the negotiations were abruptly broken off, and the matter left where it was before.1 After these negotiations had begun, the capture of Forts Henry and Donelson had given to the United States a considerable preponderance in the number of prisoners held by them, and they at once returned to their original purpose of unequal treatment.

A suspension of exchange for some months ensued. Finally, as a storm of indignation was beginning to arise among the Northern people at the conduct of their government, it was forced to yield its absurd pretensions, and on July 22, 1862, a cartel for the exchange of prisoners was executed, based on the cartel of 1812 between the United States and Great Britain. In accordance with these terms an exchange commenced, and by the middle of August most of the officers of rank on either side, who had been for any long period in captivity, were released.

On the same day on which the cartel was signed, an order was issued by the Secretary of War, in Washington, under instructions from President Lincoln, empowering the military commanders in Virginia and elsewhere ‘to seize and use any property, real or personal, which may be necessary or convenient for their several commands for supplies or for other military purposes,’ and ‘to keep accounts sufficiently accurate and in detail to show quantities and amounts and from whom it shall come, as a basis upon which compensation can be made in proper cases.’ This was simply a system of plunder, for no compensation would be made to any person unless he could prove his fidelity to the government of the United States.

On the next day Major General Pope, in command of the United States forces near Washington,2 issued a general order directing the murder of our peaceful inhabitants as spies, if found quietly tilling the farms in his rear, even outside of his lines; one of his brigadier generals seized upon innocent and peaceful inhabitants to be held as hostages, to the end that they might be murdered in cold blood if any of his soldiers were killed by some unknown persons, whom he designated as

1 Southern Historical Society Papers, March, 1876.

2 See Chapter XXXIV.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Wool (1)
John Pope (1)
Abraham Lincoln (1)
Howell Cobb (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
March, 1876 AD (1)
July 22nd, 1862 AD (1)
1812 AD (1)
August (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: