Re: [civilwarwest] Yankee parolees & Confederate prisoners in same camp
- Glad you ask the question, gives me a chance to play with my new toy.
According to my Santa gift, of Prisons and Hospitals," vol 8, Photographic
History of the Civil War after taking an oath, paroled prisoners returned to
their own army, but could not take up arms or perform any duties such as
guard duty until they were exchanged. This often meant paper huffling with
names rather than physical trading of men. Once exchanged the parolees were
free to be soldierly again. Both sides maintained parolee camps, although in
some cases men were allowed to go home until the exchange took place and they
received new orders.
Considering the way the war went, seems to me it was an anachronism and
unworkable. By 1864 the whole system became unworkable. According to
Boatner (page 619-620), when Gen. E.H. Hobson was captured by Morgon in July
'64, Morgan paroled 300 men and 7 officers who swore: "we do hereby give our
parole of honor to place ourselves in immediate communication with the
military authorities of the United States for the purpose of obtaining an
exchange for officers of equal rank . . . " By the time Hobson and his party
reached Falmouth, Morgan had been defeated and driven off. The legal
question was whether Hobson and the seven officers who signed the parole were
to be considered under parole. Hobson asked for clarification as to his
status. He was told: "the general commanding considers no officers and men
prisoners of war except such as Morgan retained and took off with him, and
directs that you and your staff report here for duty as soon as practicable
and the three rebel officers be held prisoners." O.R. I. XXXIX, I, 33-62.