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[711] intercourse between the commanders of the two armies under flags of truce very frequent. In these interviews the question of the exchange of prisoners was always made the subject of discussion. Finally, after the great conflicts of which the borders of the Chickahominy were the theatre, the Federal government determined to discard all the scruples which had hitherto prevented it from treating officially with the Confederates, and agreed to appoint a commissioner empowered to conclude a convention or cartel of exchange with any representative of the enemy's army designated for that purpose. The Federal general Dix and the Confederate D. H. Hill met at Haxall's Landing, at the headquarters of the army of the Potomac, and signed the cartel of July 22d, which was approved in Washington as well as in Richmond.

This convention, which was prompted by the strongest feelings of humanity, mitigated for some time the horrors of war; but it was unfortunately of short duration, and could not withstand the violence of passion, which was increasing as the struggle continued. We will indicate in a few words the object aimed at by this convention, and the principles it embodied. A list of equivalent grades was first drawn up, representing the value of each grade in the exchanges, from the non-commissioned officer, counting for two privates, to the general, who was estimated as equal to forty-six. Federal or Confederate army ranks being alone recognized, to the exclusion of the local militia, it was agreed that the exchanges should only apply to military men, in order to avoid mixing up political questions with this operation, and to prevent belligerents from appropriating to themselves the money of combatants left on the field of battle in the hands of the enemy; the militia and civic persons could, however, be exchanged for each other. All prisoners taken on either side were to be released on parole within ten days after their capture, and taken to the points specified by the convention for their exchange, at the expense of the power detaining them. These prisoners, having thus been mutually surrendered, were considered as exchanged — that is to say, free from all obligations-excepting those who were found to be in excess of the number possessed by the other party. Each of the two belligerents, in surrendering a certain number of unpledged

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