War of the Rebellion: Serial 020 Page 0433 Chapter XXVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

wholly incontestable that when a certain official, publicly claiming to be the Confederate States judge, appeared at Key West Judge Mavin, though urged to do so, failed to issue a warrant for his arrest, but on the contrary publicly consorted with the traitor i social relations and opposed no obstacle to his leaving the island. His whole course has been a consistent effort to shield traitors (active and passive) from the due operations of the law, and to keep open communication between the rebellion and its chief en reports at Nassau, Havana, and elsewhere via Key West. To the loyal residents he has been an oppressor; to the traitorous residents and messengers a shield. My respect for his station made me long reluctant to take this view of his character, but more recent developments left me no possibility of doubt, and it had been my intention to have arrested him and sent him North under guard as a public enemy on his return to Key West but from the order taking that island from my department and attaching it to that of the Gulf, to which (geographically) it more properly belongs.

In regard to Mr. Boynton, United States district attorney, I know little, except that I have before me a letter of his stating that he had advised all the residents of Key West "to resist to the death" an order issued from these headquarters-an order issued after the most mature and even painful consideration and in view of the most serious danger to Key West from enemies without its limits assisted by enemies within. I am unwilling to think of Mr. Boynton more harshly than that he allowed himself to be too softly molded to Judge Mavin's purposes, and that his judgment had been biased and clouded by those social influences which throughout our unhappy contest have played in favor of the rebellion. Mr. Boynton appears to have passed wholly under the domination of Judge Mavin's will, and while he my not deliberately ever have harbored a disloyal thought, he was every instance the plant agent and active executive officer of men in full sympathy with the rebellion.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. HUNTER,

Major-General, Commanding.

ENGINEER DEPARTMENT,

Washington, March 31, 1863.

Major General D. HUNTER,

Commanding, Headquarters Department of the South:

SIR: Your letter of 20th March is received. I am fully impressed with the force of your statement that the extent, condition, and importance of the permanent fortifications within the limits of your department demand the supervision of an engineer officer. The proper conduct and care of these works require, I am confidence, i am confident, the services of several officers of engineers. But there is no officer within my control that can possible by spared for this service at present except Lieutenant McFarland, and I entertain the hope that when this letter reaches you will have been able to dispense with his service, and he will again be an his post at Key West, and directing the operations there and at Fort Jefferson, to which he has been specially assigned. Lieutenant Suter, Corps of Engineer, has been placed on duty with you, for the purpose of enabling Lieutenant McFarland to resume immediately his

28 R R-VOL XIV