March 2, 1864 A POW story
My Great Grandfather, Francis Marion Holt (1st Arkansas Cavalry (US)), was a POW for a short time. Many other of “Arkansas’ damned Yankees” were not as lucky as he was.
In the early days of the Civil War, the government in Washington refused to recognize the Confederate states’ government, believing any such recognition would amount to legitimizing an illegal entity. The Union refused formal agreement regarding the exchange of prisoners. Following the capture of over a thousand federal troops at the first battle of Bull Run (Manassas), a joint resolution in Congress called for President Lincoln to establish a prisoner exchange agreement.
In July 1862, Union Major General John A. Dix and Confederate Major General D. H. Hill met under flag of truce to draw up an exchange formula, regarding the return of prisoners. The “Dix-Hill Cartel” determined that Confederate and Union Army soldiers were exchanged at a prescribed rate: captives of equivalent ranks were exchanged as equals. Corporals and Sergeants were worth two privates. Lieutenants were four and Colonels fifteen, all the way up to Commanding General, equivalent to sixty…
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