The earliest parole under the Citronelle agreement I've ever seen was dated May 9, 1865. Most were issued May 10-14, 1865, but quite a few are dated afterwards. General Taylor needed time to return to his headquarters, communicate orders concerning the agreement to troop commanders, and make arrangements for Federal commissioners to travel to designated parole sites.
Can you confirm parole dates under the Citronelle agreement earlier than May 9th?
Most prisoners at Ship Island were transported to New Orleans on April 28, 1865, and from that point to Vicksburg MS. On May 6, 1865, they were released under an exchange agreement at Camp Townsend on the Big Black River. How they managed to get from there to Meridian so quickly is another story.
Hugh, thanks for your detailed and informative posts on prisoner-of-war exchanges. If I may offer a little fine tuning on the May 4th close of business for the Confederate government --
Southern politicians failed to arrive at any acceptable agreement with Federal authorities, so Confederate military officers got the job of closing up shop, so to speak, a task which required many senior commanders to stay and work well after May 4th!