Opposition to the Halt of Prisoner Exchange

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Pat Young

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Plantation life might not have been a happy life for most blacks, but it would have been a lot happier than Andersonville, Salisbury, and etc.
Do you have any sources from men in the USCT that you rely on for this conclusion?
 

CSA Today

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Do you have any sources from men in the USCT that you rely on for this conclusion?
No, I and doubt you have any sources that they would have been better off at Andersonville. Perhaps a satisfactory solution for both sides would have been to offer them a choice --back to the plantations or a POW camp.

Concern over the treatment of black POWs was a secondary one to:

"On August 18th, however, General Grant wrote to General Butler, who was still corresponding with Colonel Ould, saying: "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 we hold, when 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 in the North would insure Sherman's defeat and would compromise our safety here."
 
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Pat Young

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Perhaps a satisfactory solution for both sides would have been to offer them a choice --back to the plantations or a POW camp.
Or to treat them as soldiers of the United States and exchange them according to the rules established by the cartel.
 

Pat Young

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Concern over the treatment of black POWs was a secondary one to:

"On August 18th, however, General Grant wrote to General Butler, who was still corresponding with Colonel Ould, saying: "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 we hold, when 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 in the North would insure Sherman's defeat and would compromise our safety here."
Let us assume that Grant was correct. Why didn't the Confederates call his bluff?
 

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Or to treat them as soldiers of the United States and exchange them according to the rules established by the cartel.
The Federals did exchange at least one black Confederate POW before the end of the war. whether he was exchanged for a black or white Federal Pow isn't recorded in his record.

Doyle J. [James] Private, Co. E., 40th Regiment N.C.T. (3rd Regiment N.C. Artillery)

"Negro captured at Fort Fisher January 15, 1865, and confined at Point Lookout, Md. Until paroled and exchanged at Boulware's Wharf, James River, Va., March 16, 1865."

North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865, A Roster, Vol. I Artillery, p.420
 
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Let us assume that Grant was correct. Why didn't the Confederates call his bluff?
How? The real reason for the cessation of prisoner exchange was fear thousands of Confederate POWs would have returned to the ranks. I'm sure the US government would have expected an equal number of their men held POWs returned in exchange. There was nothing to prevent them from returning them to their ranks.
 

Viper21

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By announcing that black prisoners would be exchanged.
I'm gonna state the obvious, as looked at through the eyes of the times. (<--key)

So.... the Confederate Army was supposed to get one of their Soldiers back, in exchange for giving up a runaway slave..? ie: their own property that was either, stolen, or had escaped, & joined the fight against them..?

Imagine, I steal your property. I then use your property against you. How willing would you be to, exchange your own property back to me, to use against you, in exchange for your own property ?

Think about that from a practical standpoint. It was purely a win win for the Union side only. The Confederates were expected (in some cases), to give their own property back to the Yankees, in exchange for one of their own soldiers.
 
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"On August 18th, however, General Grant wrote to General Butler, who was still corresponding with Colonel Ould, saying: "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 we hold, when 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 in the North would insure Sherman's defeat and would compromise our safety here."
CSA, can you tell me where this quote comes from? Just so we have the source? Thanks.

Also, I think there are two options here where neither side can claim credit. The Confederacy could have agreed to the exchanges, the number of black prisoners being held by them being minimal, therefore sparing these men's suffering, or Grant could have continued the exchanges on the current basis accepting that the lives of the men being held was of greater import than the return to slavery of black men and also spared their suffering.

The Confederacy would not agree based on their own principles at the time, and I'm sure Lincoln/Grant would have known this was the likely outcome. My own sense is that it was a strategy put into place in order to force an end to the war by denying the Confederacy manpower unless they agreed to the terms of the government. Once again, I don't think at the time it was so much about the black prisoners concerned as it was about Grant/Lincoln calling the Confederates 'bluff' in order to frustrate their plans further.
 
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jackt62

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Certainly, the cynical point of view is that the disparity in manpower between north and south meant that the north had less reason to exchange prisoners. But the precipatating event that ended the prisoner exchanges was the refusal by the confederate government to treat Black soldiers as legitimate POW"s, instead of as persons engaged in "servile insurrection." The prisoner exchange cartel was essentially working in the first years of the war until 1863 when large numbers of African-Americans joined the federal ranks.
 

Pat Young

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CSA, can you tell me where this quote comes from? Just so we have the source? Thanks.

Also, I think there are two options here where neither side can claim credit. The Confederacy could have agreed to the exchanges, the number of black prisoners being held by them being minimal, therefore sparring these men's suffering, or Grant could have continued the exchanges on the current basis accepting that the lives of the men being held was of greater import than the return to slavery of black men and also spared their suffering.

The Confederacy would not agree based on their own principles at the time, and I'm sure Lincoln/Grant would have known this was the likely outcome. My own sense is that it was a strategy put into place in order to force an end to the war by denying the Confederacy manpower unless they agreed to the terms of the government. Once again, I don't think at the time it was so much about the black prisoners concerned as it was about Grant/Lincoln calling the Confederates 'bluff' in order to frustrate their plans further.
Chronology is important here. The exchanges were suspended in the late Spring of 1863, before Grant’s victory at Vicksburg and his rising power over policy. I have not seen evidence that he played any important role in the suspension.
 
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CSA Today

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CSA, can you tell me where this quote comes from? Just so we have the source? Thanks.

Also, I think there are two options here where neither side can claim credit. The Confederacy could have agreed to the exchanges, the number of black prisoners being held by them being minimal, therefore sparring these men's suffering, or Grant could have continued the exchanges on the current basis accepting that the lives of the men being held was of greater import than the return to slavery of black men and also spared their suffering.

The Confederacy would not agree based on their own principles at the time, and I'm sure Lincoln/Grant would have known this was the likely outcome. My own sense is that it was a strategy put into place in order to force an end to the war by denying the Confederacy manpower unless they agreed to the terms of the government. Once again, I don't think at the time it was so much about the black prisoners concerned as it was about Grant/Lincoln calling the Confederates 'bluff' in order to frustrate their plans further.
http://civilwarhome.com/prisonerexchange.html
 

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Chronology is important here. The exchanges were suspended in the late Spring of 1863, before Grant’s victory at Vicksburg and his rising power over policy. I have not seen evidence that he played any important role in the suspension.
Do you have any information as to how many, if any, black Federals were held by the Confederates in the late Spring of 1863?
 

major bill

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It would not appear that opposition to the halt of prisoner exchange was wide spread enough in either the North or South to reinstated the Dix-Hill Cartel. If there was wide spread opposition, a new agreement could have been made.

In the end the proper treatment of prisoners lay with the holding party. The proper treatment of Union POWs was the responsibility of the Confederacy, the proper treatment of Confederate POWs lay with the Union. This is necessary so the holding party does not mistreat POWs in an effort to gain an advantage in disputes in the running of prisoner exchange.

It is possible both sides used the treatment of POWs for political advantage. Neither side seems to have overly suffered any real consequences for doing so.
 
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Pat Young

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It would not appear that opposition to the halt of prisoner exchange was wide spread enough in either the North or South to reinstated the Dix-Hill Cartel. If there was wide spread opposition, a new agreement could have been made.

In the end the proper treatment of prisoners lay with the holding party. The proper treatment of Union POWs was the responsibility of the Confederacy, the proper treatment of Confederate POWs lay with the Union. This is necessary so the holding party does not mistreat POWs in an effort to gain an advantage in disputes in the running of prisoner exchange.

It is possible both sides used the treatment of POWs for political advantage. Neither side seems to have overly suffered any real consequences for doing so.
Good insight.
 

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Madison Historical Review
Volume 2
2004

Recollection, Retribution, and Restoration : American Civil War Prison Policy in Union and Confederate Prisoner-of-War Memory
by John F. Chappo

This Article is brought to you for free and open access by the Graduate Publications at JMU Scholarly Commons. It has been accepted for inclusion in Madison Historical Review by an authorized editor of JMU Scholarly Commons. For more information, please contact dc_admin@jmu.edu.

Over a hundred and thirty eight years have passed since Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House and yet the Civil War continues to live in American historiography. Despite David Herbert Donald’s announcement in the early 1960s that Civil War history was dead, historians have continued the campaign. Over the past four decades historians have advanced the standard of research on several historiographic fronts: gender and race issues, sectional party allegiances, the economy and home front in the Union and the Confederacy, military leadership, strategy, and tactics, foreign diplomacy, and the impact of industry and technology on soldiers and society. From all of the aforementioned, there emerges and increasingly clearer portrait of the people, places, and episodic events that form the very bedrock of contemporary fascination with the war. Yet despite all of the innovation and erudition, historians have written little on an equally important and highly contentious subject: the Civil War prisoner-of-war system. It was a system that claimed the lives of thousands of men and forever changed the political and ideological perception of those who survived to tell about it.

https://commons.lib.jmu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1038&context=mhr
729

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
 

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Pat Young

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Madison Historical Review
Volume 2
2004

Recollection, Retribution, and Restoration : American Civil War Prison Policy in Union and Confederate Prisoner-of-War Memory
by John F. Chappo

This Article is brought to you for free and open access by the Graduate Publications at JMU Scholarly Commons. It has been accepted for inclusion in Madison Historical Review by an authorized editor of JMU Scholarly Commons. For more information, please contact dc_admin@jmu.edu.

Over a hundred and thirty eight years have passed since Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House and yet the Civil War continues to live in American historiography. Despite David Herbert Donald’s announcement in the early 1960s that Civil War history was dead, historians have continued the campaign. Over the past four decades historians have advanced the standard of research on several historiographic fronts: gender and race issues, sectional party allegiances, the economy and home front in the Union and the Confederacy, military leadership, strategy, and tactics, foreign diplomacy, and the impact of industry and technology on soldiers and society. From all of the aforementioned, there emerges and increasingly clearer portrait of the people, places, and episodic events that form the very bedrock of contemporary fascination with the war. Yet despite all of the innovation and erudition, historians have written little on an equally important and highly contentious subject: the Civil War prisoner-of-war system. It was a system that claimed the lives of thousands of men and forever changed the political and ideological perception of those who survived to tell about it.

https://commons.lib.jmu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1038&context=mhr
729

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
Thanks for posting that.
 
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Tin cup

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I'm gonna state the obvious, as looked at through the eyes of the times. (<--key)

So.... the Confederate Army was supposed to get one of their Soldiers back, in exchange for giving up a runaway slave..? ie: their own property that was either, stolen, or had escaped, & joined the fight against them..?

Imagine, I steal your property. I then use your property against you. How willing would you be to, exchange your own property back to me, to use against you, in exchange for your own property ?

Think about that from a practical standpoint. It was purely a win win for the Union side only. The Confederates were expected (in some cases), to give their own property back to the Yankees, in exchange for one of their own soldiers.
If you think about it from a "practical standpoint", you haven't factored in the Emancipation Proclamation!

Kevin Dally
 
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Cavalry Charger

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Madison Historical Review
Volume 2
2004

Recollection, Retribution, and Restoration : American Civil War Prison Policy in Union and Confederate Prisoner-of-War Memory
by John F. Chappo

This Article is brought to you for free and open access by the Graduate Publications at JMU Scholarly Commons. It has been accepted for inclusion in Madison Historical Review by an authorized editor of JMU Scholarly Commons. For more information, please contact dc_admin@jmu.edu.

Over a hundred and thirty eight years have passed since Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House and yet the Civil War continues to live in American historiography. Despite David Herbert Donald’s announcement in the early 1960s that Civil War history was dead, historians have continued the campaign. Over the past four decades historians have advanced the standard of research on several historiographic fronts: gender and race issues, sectional party allegiances, the economy and home front in the Union and the Confederacy, military leadership, strategy, and tactics, foreign diplomacy, and the impact of industry and technology on soldiers and society. From all of the aforementioned, there emerges and increasingly clearer portrait of the people, places, and episodic events that form the very bedrock of contemporary fascination with the war. Yet despite all of the innovation and erudition, historians have written little on an equally important and highly contentious subject: the Civil War prisoner-of-war system. It was a system that claimed the lives of thousands of men and forever changed the political and ideological perception of those who survived to tell about it.

https://commons.lib.jmu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1038&context=mhr
729

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
Thanks for adding this. Looks like an interesting read.
 
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