War of the Rebellion: Serial 020 Page 0448 Chapter XXVI. COASTS OF S. C., GA., AND MID. AND EAST FLA.

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can safety trust me with the powers given to General Thomas, and I respectfully beg your early attention to this matter.

With kind regards to Mrs. Lincoln. believe me, my dear sir, with the highest respect, your very obedient servant and friend.

D. HUNTER,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,

Hilton Head, Port Royal, S. C., April 25, 1863.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War, Washington:

SIR: I have the honor to inclose you a copy of a letter to Jefferson Davis.

Hopking it will your approval, I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your most obedient,

D. HUNTER,

Major-General.

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,

Hilton Head. S. C., April 23, 1863.

JEFFERSON DAVIS, Richmond, Va.:

The United States flag must protest all its defenders white, black, or yellow. Several negroes in the employ of the Government in the Western Department have been cruelly murdered by your authorities and other sold into slavery. Every outrage of this kind against the laws of war and humanity which may take place in the department shall be followed by the immediate execution of the rebel of highest rank in my possession. Man for man, these executions will certainly take place for every one should into a slavery worse than death. On your authorities will rest the responsibility of having inaugurated this barbarous policy, and you will be held responsible in this word and in the world to come for all the blood thus shed.

In the month of August last you declared all those engaged in arming the negroes to fight for their country to be felons, and directed the immediate execution of all such as should be captured. I have given you long enough to reflect on your folly. I now give you notice that unless this order is immediately revoked I will at once cause the execution of every rebel officer and ever slaveholder in my possession. This sad state of things may be kindly ordered by an all-wise Providence to induce the good people of the North to act earnestly and to realize that they are at war. Thousands of lives may thus be saved.

The poor negro is fighting for liberty in its truest sense, and Mr., Jefferson has beautifully, "In such a war there is not attribute of the Almighty which will induce him to fight on the side of the oppressor"

You say you are fighting for liberty. Yes, you are fighting for liberty-liberty to keep 4,000,000 or your fellow-being is ignorance and degradation; liberty to separate parents and children, husband and wife brother and sister; liberty to steal the products of their labor, exacted with many a cruel lash and bitter tear; liberty to seduce their wives and daughters, and to see your own children into bondage; liberty to kill