Lincoln’s war crimes
"My government instructs me to waive all formalities and what it considers some of the equities in this matter of exchange. I need not try to conceal from you that we cannot feed and provide for the prisoners in our hands. We cannot half feed or clothe them. You have closed our ports till we cannot get medical stores for them. You will not send us quinine and other needed medicines, even for their exclusive use. They are suffering greatly and the mortality is excessive. I tell you all this plainly, and still you refuse to exchange. What does your government demand? Name your own conditions and I will show you my authority to accept them. You are silent! Great God!, can it be that your people are monsters? If you will not exchange, I will give you your men for nothing. I will deliver ten thousand Union prisoners at Wilmington any day that you will receive them. I will deliver five thousand here on the same terms. Come and get them. If your government is so damnably dishonest to want them for nothing, you shall have them. You can at least feed them and we cannot. You can give us what you please in return for them."
Col. Ould of the Confederate States Army pleading with Gen. Mulford of the United States Army in vain. Lincoln had already shut off prisoner exchanges. This quote is from a book entitled Three Years with Grant by war correspondent Sylvanus Cadwallader and edited in 1955 by Benjamin Thomas. Cadwallader made a point of stating in the book that he had verified this quote with several sources. Thomas frequently corrected historical mistakes in Cadwallader’s writing but said nothing about this. I am tempted to add my personal comments at this point but see no need to overstate the obvious.
Joe Jordan