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Mission of Confederate Vice-President Stephens seeks negotiations on prisoners

Alexander Hamilton Stephens, detail
07/04/1863
Under a flag of truce, Alexander Stephens, vice-president of the Confederate States arrived off Newport News in the steamer Torpedo on a mission to negotiate with President Lincoln or his representatives on prisoners of war and prisoner exchange. Reluctant to take up the mission in the first place, Stephens relayed his offer of discussions through Fortress Monroes and waited aboard the Torpedo for an answer.  Lincoln debated meeting him but two days later rebuffed the approach and Stephens returned to Richmond.  (By John Osborne)  
Source Citation: 
Thomas E. Schot, Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia: A Biography (Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 1988), 379-380.

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