date, borne by Major Eustis, of your staff, and CaptainP. McGreal, of the Confederate Army, referring to an alleged violation of a flag of truce in the harbor of Galveston by the late Captain Renshaw, and asking "if the white flag is hereafter to be recognized and respected as a flag of truce."
Having never violated a flag of truce myself, I shall require it [the white flag], when flying in some conspicuous place, to be respected by all persons under my command so long as it is respected and observed on the other side.
I am nt acquainted with the infraction attributed to Captain Renshaw in the first part of your note, but will communicate the subject-matter to the proper authorities.
I will state in conclusion that I have heard from several respectable sources that firing of field guns and small-arms was kept up without intermission by the Confederates from shore batteries in the town and on the Point during the whole time that the white flag was flying on board the Harriet Lane, after her capture, and on board the United States vessels, from which it is apparent that the white flag was disregarded by those under your command, although you were the first to display it.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. H. BELL,
Commodore, Commanding Forces off Galveston, Tex.
HDQRS. DIST. OF TEXAS, NEW MEXICO, AND ARIZONA, Galveston, January 13, 1863.
Commodore H. H. BELL, U. S. Navy:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of - in answer to the communication I had the honor to forward to you by Major [J. B.] Eustis, of my staff.
I would state that you are entirely misinformed as to any violation of the white flag during the late engagement by the firing either of field guns or small-arms, and that I have made a report of the facts to the Government at Richmond touching the violation of the flag of truce by Commodore Renshaw and the officers commanding Federal vessels on the morning of the 1st instant.
I send LieutenantGeorge A. Magruder, of my staff, and LieutenantW. R. Foster as bearers of this communication under a flag of truce.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,
HEADQUARTERS SUB-DISTRICT OF TEXAS, Galveston, January 22, 1863.
Commodore H. H. BELL,
Commanding U. S. Naval Forces off Galveston:
SIR: In the absence of Major General J. B. Magruder, who is not expected to return before this evening, I have, in obedience to his instructions, opened the two communications which you did him the honor to address to him yesterday, the 21st instant, and I informed him of their contents by telegraph.