The Confederates were anxious to exchange prisoner for prisoner, yet the Union’s policy was not to exchange prisoners. Following this, it was then offered to exchanged the sick and wounded. This was also refused.
In August of 1864, the Confederate States of America offered to return the Federal sick and wounded without equivalent. The offer was not accepted until the next December. It was during that time that the most prison deaths occurred. The United States of America sought to quiet the friends of their prisoners and to “fire the Northern heart” by shamelessly charging that the Confederates refused to exchange and by circulating the most malignant stories of “Rebel barbarities” to “helpless” veterans of the Union.