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But let us return to the progress of negotiations. In a dispatch from General Grant to General Butler, dated City Point, August 18, 1864, the former says:

On the subject of exchange, however, I differ from General Hitchcock. It is hard on our men held in Southern prisons not to exchange them, but it is humanity to those left in the ranks to fight our battles. Every man released on parole, or otherwise, becomes an active soldier against us at once, either directly or indirectly. If we commence a system of exchange, which liberates all prisoners taken, we will have to fight on until the whole South is exterminated. If we hold those caught, they amount to no more than dead men. At this particular time to release all rebel prisoners North would insure Sherman's defeat, and would compromise our safety here.

We now proposed to the government of the United States to exchange the prisoners respectively held, officer for officer and man for man. We had previously declined this proposal, and insisted on the terms of the cartel, which required the delivery of the excess on either side on parole. At the same time we sent a statement of the mortality prevailing among the prisoners at Andersonville.

As no answer had been received relative to this proposal, a communication was sent, on August 22, 1864, to Major General E. A. Hitchcock, United States Commissioner of exchange, containing the same proposal which had been before delivered to the assistant commissioner, and a request was made for its acceptance.

No answer was received to either of these letters, and on August 31st the assistant commissioner stated that he had no communication on the subject from the United States government, and that he was not authorized to make an answer.

This offer, which would have released every soldier of the United States confined in our prisons, was not even noticed. Indeed, the United States government had, at that time, a large excess of prisoners, and the effect of the proposal, if carried out, would have been to release all the prisoners belonging to it, while a large number of ours would have remained in prison awaiting the chances of the capture of their equivalents.

Thus, having ascertained that exchanges could not be made, either on the basis of the cartel, or officer for officer and man for man, we offered to the United States government their sick and wounded without requiring any equivalents. On these terms, we agreed to deliver from ten to fifteen thousand at the mouth of the Savannah River; we further added that, if the number for which transportation might be sent could not be readily made up from sick and wounded, the difference should

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