crime. A copy of the order for his execution is herewith sent, marked E. No words can give the extent of his guilt in the act for which he suffered. The lowering of the flag might, nay, ought, by every military rule, to have brought a bombardment upon the city, resulting in no one can know what destruction of property and life.
I would call attention to the policy of allowing me to assure within this department certain classes of persons who have been in the rebellion of a condonation of all political offenses, to whomsoever, should they take the oath of allegiance on or before a given date, excepting those of course who have "sinned away the day of grace." I am confident that many are tired and sick of the war here, who would gladly return to their allegiance if by some authoritative act they could be assured that the past would be forgiven. Men have been so deceived as to the intentions of the Government that I have had grave judges, men of business and intelligence, and planters from the country come to me under safeguards for assurance of their personal safety and hat of their property from confiscation in case they placed themselves within the power of the United States. If, either under guidance and instructions of the War Department or if left to my discretion as to the terms to be employed, a declaration of amnesty under certain conditions could be made, I will venture to undertake that Louisiana will within sixty days from the date of such action return to her allegiance.
In this connection I pray leave to call the attention of the War Department to the fact that I have hard no word the Department since I left Washington, either of instruction or recognition of my existence even, save the ordinary routine of official correspondence from the subordinate officers of the Department furnishing supplies and asking for the necessary documentary evidence of their receipt, nor have I received a single general order issued to the Army of the United States of later date than Marsh 3. Thus leaving me to my own discretion is sufficiently-complimentary, yet it is embarrassing enough under all the responsibilities of my position. Guided by the best light I had, I have taken the action in regard to the oath of allegiance indicated in General Orders, No. 41, a copy of which, marked F, is annexed.* I trust it will meet with approval, and that some action will either be taken or authorized upon the subject of opening a door for the return of the prodigals who think they have fed on husks long enough.
I beg to again call attention to the need we have for more men here. Why cannot we have those from Key West? With the arms and equipments I have and have captured and with an efficient ordnance force to put them in order, if the Department will allow me, I can enlist in sixty days 5,000 men and arm them the uniforms to be supplied from the North. To do this some discretion must be given me in the matter of officers, and also that some do the troops have the privilege of acting as home guards, under proper restriction; also that some, when raised, be sent away to other field s and their places here supplied with men from other sections; and this for the purpose of instructing these men in the extent and power of the Union, of which they seem to have now little idea.
I send this dispatch by Lieutenant Kinsman, a gentleman who has been giving very efficient services to the Government as a volunteer aide without pay, and has capture property, the existence of which he discovered, of more than $40,000, which has been turned over to the Government.
*See inclosure No. 2 to Butler to Stanton, June 17, p. 483.