HEADQUARTERS DETACHMENT U. S. FORCES, Indianola, Tex., February 24, 1864.
Major General J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,
Commanding District of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your favor of the 15th of February, and would inform you that I am not in command of the U. S. forces, and that a reply to your communication must be furnished by Major-General Dana, to whom it will be immediately forwarded.
To the character of the reply I can give no opinion. I will venture, however, to say that nothing in the policy of our commanding officer, nor in the actual treatment of prisoners of war, has there been the slightest ground for even a suspicion that any soldier or officers regularly in the Confederate service would be placed on any other footing than that demanded by the comity of war, and recognized by the usages of humanity and civilization.
I was in command of the forces occupying Lavaca, and know that no person having legitimate authority as commander ever uttered such a threat.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
FITZ HENRY WARREN,
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES, Matagorda Bay, Tex., February 24, 1864.
Brigadier General FITZ HENRY WARREN,
Commanding at Indianola:
Your letter of to-day, inclosing Magruder's dispatch, is just received.
His pretense for sending in a flag is altogether frivolous and a trick. He merely wishes to reconnoiter. The date of his letter being so old (February 15) makes it still more suspicious. That party probably is a part of the same one which [made] the capture of prisoners. It is convenient for them to be near our lines armed with such a dispatch as this one; then if they meet a force larger than their own they display their flag; if they meet a small one, they attack. Magruder is a very tricky fellow.
The greatest care must be taken that none of their parties come near enough to observe the works we are throwing up any, if it can be prevented.
They should be met as this one was, a long way out. as I have some letters for some prisoners, which have been sent here from the office of the provost-marshal at New Orleans, and which have laid here a long time, I have replied to Magruder, and herewith also inclose the package of letters. You may either send out a flag till Magruder attempts another trick of this sort, when you can send them by his flag.
N. J. T. DANA,