HEADQUARTERS PAROLED AND EXCHANGED PRISONERS,
Cahaba, Ala., December 8, 1864.
GENERAL: I regret that Major-General Maury saw fit to refuse admission for Captain Whytock. Both Major Currell and myself exerted all our influence to have him distribute the clothing. I have selected Captain Hoyt, former commandant of the Irving Prison, to superintend its equitable distribution.
H. A. M. HENDERSON,
Captain and Agent of Exchange.
STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,
Raleigh, December 8, 1864.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
I have to call your attention again to a violation of the rights of citizens of this State in their arbitrary arrest by the military, and transportation beyond the State for impressment. Henry P. Retter, late a surgeon in the Eighth North Carolina Troops, and a citizen of Camden County, N. C., was arrested a few days since by Colonel Gaillard, commanding at Weldon, on suspicion of disloyalty, and sent to Richmond for incarceration. Without entering at all into the question of his guilt or innocence I think I am clear in saying that such removal beyond the limits of this State is infraction of his legal rights and an infringement of the jurisdiction on North Carolina.
In a letter addressed by yourself to me in January, 1863, responding to the demand of the Legislature of North Carolina for the return of one I. R. Graves, then held in Richmond on charge of disloyalty, you admitted fully the impropriety and illegality of arresting a citizen of this State and transporting him to Virginia. In speaking of the reasons in possession of the Department for supposing the said Graves a spy, you say: "As such (that is, a citizen of North Carolina), while amenable to arrest as a spy on sufficient grounds, or even as a traitor, he could with no propriety or legality be removed from the State, but should be handed over to the appropriate authorities, civil or military, in that State, to be dealt with according to law," and, again, that there can be neither prudence nor justification for not promptly admitting the error committed by rectifying it by his immediate return and delivery under Your Excellency's demand. Extremely gratified as I was at this prompt and full concession of the rights of North Carolina's citizens, I have been constantly pained and irritated by an almost weekly repetition of the offense until it has become no longer tolerable. I have therefore respectfully to demand that the said Henry P. Retter be returned to the jurisdiction of North Carolina to be dealt with by due course of law, and to request that you will cause such orders to be issued to military commanders in North Carolina as will in future prevent such arbitrary and illegal proceedings, so well calculated to disturb that harmony which should exist between the two governments.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Z. B. VANCE.