Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 17.djvu/395
Anderaonville Prison, 387
reinforce the enemy with thirty or forty thousand disciplined troops at that time. An immediate resumption of exchanges would have had that effect without giving us corresponding benefits. The suffer- ing said to exist among our prisoners South was a powerful argu- ment against the course pursued, and I so felt it.
HILL TO BLAINE.
During the amnesty debate in the House of Representatives in 1876. Hill, of Georgia, replying to statements of Blaine, discussed the history of the exchange of prisoners, dwelling on the fact that the cartel which was established in 1862 was interrupted in 1863, and that the Federal authorities refused to continue the exchange of prisoners. " The next effort,'* he said, ** in the same direction was made in Jan- uary, 1864, when Robert Ould, Confederate agent of exchange, wrote to the Federal agent of exchange, proposing, in view of the difficul- ties attending the release of prisoners, that the surgeons of the army on each side be allowed to attend their own soldiers while prisoners in the hands of the enemy, and should have charge of their nursing and medicine and provisions ; which proposition was also rejected.*'
Continuing, Mr. Hill said : " In August, 1864, there were two more propositions. The cartel of exchange had been broken by the Fed- erals under certain pretences, and the prisoners were accumulating on both sides to such an extent that Mr. Ould made another proposition to waive every objection and to agree to whatever terms the Federal Government would demand, and to renew the exchange of prisoners, man for man, and officer for officer, just as the Federal Government might prescribe. That proposition was also rejected. In the same month, August, 1864, finding that the Federal Government would neither exchange prisoners nor agree to sending surgeons to the prisoners on each side, the Confederate Government officially pro- posed, in August, 1864, that if the Federal Government would send steamers and transports to Savannah, the Confederate Government would return the sick and wounded prisoners on its hands without an equivalent. That proposition, which was communicated to the Fed- eral authorities in August, 1864, was not answered until December, 1864, when some ships were sent to Savannah. The record will show that the chief suffering, the chief mortality at Andersonville, was be- tween August and December, 1864. We sought to allay that suffer- ing by asking you to take your prisoners off our hands without equivalent, and without asking you to return a man for them, and you refused."