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The Confederate government was the first to ask for an exchange of prisoners, giving as a reason that they could not give them the attention that they ought to have.

President Davis proposed to the Federal government that they should send their own surgeons and medicines to care for the Federal prisoners, with the understanding that the South would send like surgeons and medicines North. The Federal government refused it.

President Davis turned a sergeant and several men loose with the understanding that they would go to Washington and tell Mr. Lincoln of the inability of the Confederate government to care for their prisoners, and to ask for their exchange, but the sergeant and men were sent back to prison to die.

In August, 1864, Judge Robert Ould, agent of exchange, sent a written statement exhibiting the mortality among the prisoners at Andersonville, to the Federal government.

President Davis then offered to turn over to the Federal government without exchange 1,300 sick prisoners at Andersonville in the month of August. The Federal government did not send a vessel to Savannah to receive them until December. In that length of time hundreds of them had died. When the vessel came they not only turned over all the sick they could, but put in many well men, in fact, all that they would receive, in order to get shut of prisoners.

Not only that, but the Federal government at the beginning of the war made all medicines contraband, a thing that only one other civilized government in the world was known to do, and one of the most horrible crimes that any government could be guilty of. Your people knew that there was not a pharmaceutical laboratory in the South, and the only way they could get remedies for the sick was from the herbs in the woods and meadows, and that not only the sick and wounded of the Confederate Army in hospitals would die by thus being deprived of medicines, but the women, children and negroes at home would likewise perish for the lack of medicines, and your own prisoners, as well. Thousands of surgical operations on Confederates and Federal wounded were performed without anesthesia. The blockading of our ports and the making of medicines contraband of war was an everlasting and black crime.

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