Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 01.djvu/324
Southern Historical Society Papers.
as at the resumption of the cartel, which would have saved to the Republic at least twelve or fifteen thousand heroic lives. That they were not saved is due alone to Mr. Edwin M. Stanton's peculiar policy and dogged obstinacy; and, as I have remarked before, he is unquestionably the digger of the unnamed graves that crowd the vicinity of every southern prison with historic and never-to-be-forgotten horrors.
"Once for all, let me declare that I have never found fault with any one because I was detained in prison, for I am well aware that that was a matter in which no one but myself, and possibly a few personal friends, would feel any interest; that my sole motive for impeaching the Secretary of War was that the people of the loyal North might know to whom they were indebted for the cold-blooded and needless sacrifice of their fathers and brothers, their husbands and their sons.
"Junius Henri Browne."
General Butler also produced upon another occasion the following telegram, which ought to be conclusive on this question:
"City Point, August 18th, 1864.
"To General Butler—I am satisfied that the chief object of your interview, besides having the proper sanction, meets with my entire approval. I have seen, from Southern papers, that a system of retaliation is going on in the South, which they keep from us, and which we should stop in some way. 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.
"U. S. Grant,
We think that the above testimony settles beyond all controversy that General U. S. Grant, Secretary Stanton, and Mr. Lincoln, were responsible for the refusal to exchange prisoners in 1864.
But the following extract from the
before the Committee on the Conduct of the War, given February 11th, 1865, may be added as an end of controversy on this point:
Question. It has been said that we refused to exchange prisoners