out to request the return of the first; that this also was seized, and the bearers of both were placed at the head of the advancing column, so that my men could fire only upon their friends. In this civilized or savage warfare? It reads precisely like the history of similar strategy by Toussaint L'Onverture toward the French forces in San Domingo, and would seem therefore to be not even original.
I say most unhesitatingly, general, that I do not suspect even that this act was in any way known to or sanctioned by yourself, educated in the United States, and the son of one who led the United States armies to victory and died the recipient of his whole country's highest honors. The mischief arises from the employment of a guerrilla force of undisciplined and lawless men, brought from a neighboring State into a community where they have neither interest nor restraint.
Now I am aware that your authorities have called this force Partisan Rangers; but that neither alters their condition, their habits, their disposition, nor acts. Lawless violence has been and ever will be the distinguishing characteristics of such force. Organized originally in Spain and Mexico, from a part of which these men came, it is known what they will, nay, what they must, do. Now, although I have some 30 of the very men who so abused a flag of truce, I shall make no threats of reprisal.
I take leave to call your attention to the fact that I submitted through Mr. Deslonders a proposition to you that some arrangement should be made by which non-combatants might have some protection from the severities and hardships of war.
You are reported to me by Thomas O. Moore, who assumed to be the commander of the forces at Opelousas and took upon himself to answer my communication to that office through some supposed adjutant-general, to have declined any arrangements for the protection of non-combatants, because they would need none if the war was conducted on our side as the Confederate Government had always conducted it, according to the rules of civilized warfare.
I am at a loss to distinguish between the conduct of the State and Confederate Governments.
If the proclamation of the late Governor Moore, which promises "short shrift" to those who may buy even provisions to keep them from starving in New Orleans, which threatens each person leaving my lines with my pass with imprisonment; if in its intent, its meaning, and scope that proclamation is according to any rules or usages of either civilized or uncivilized warfare I have failed to have been informed of them.
That burning cotton of peaceable planters, rolling their sugar into the river, and destroying their sugar-houses, as has been done all along the river by Partisan Rangers, and that too to their very friends and sympathizers, for the crimes of only desiring to sell their crop and getting something to buy provisions for themselves and their negroes, is not civilized I certainly need not remind a late soldier of the United States Army. Firing upon an unarmed boat filled with women and female school children, and almost with those only, is neither civilized nor brave.
As an example of the unacquaintance of the rules of civilized war of a portion of the forces under your command please take the firing of 30 men, protected by a village, with double-barrel shot-guns, upon a United States steam sloop-of-war passing quietly down the river.
I shall only fatigue you by enumeration. I have within my lines and in my power five times 130 officers and men of the Confederate service as prisoners of war, from a brigadier-general to the inconsiderate lad