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From what I have heard from a person very knowledgeable on the American Civil War, Grant wanted to exchange prisoners because he knew that Union prisoners were dying in Confederate POW camps, but he also knew that it would drag the war out longer. The Confederacy, short of personnel, would have thousands of released prisoners with which to fight the Union again. Despite his personal views, Grant decided that he could not allow a prisoner exchange.

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Q: What was Grant's view on prisoner exchange in the civil war?
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