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[384] by the North or South. If its history is to be written, however, it is better for it to be based upon facts than fiction.

‘It is a well-known fact,’ said Dr. White,

that the Confederate authorities used every means in their power to secure the exchange of prisoners, but it was the policy of the United States Government to prevent it, as is well shown by a letter of General Grant to General Butler, dated August the 18th, 1864, in which he said:

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.

‘This policy,’ continued the Doctor, ‘not only kept our men out of the field, but threw upon our impoverished commissariat the feeding of a large number of prisoners.’

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