After careful consideration of all the questions involved, I am fully convinced as to the best policy to be adopted in this State, which I will submit in outline. A military governor to be appointed who shall have command of all the troops in the State, or the department commander be authorized to assume, by virtue of his command, the functions of military governor, which naturally devolve upon him. The military governor to declare the constitution and laws of the State in force immediately preceding the pretended act of secession, so far as the same are not inconsistent with the constitution and laws of the United States and the war proclamations of the President, to be still in force. To make provisional appointments of justices of the peace, sheriffs, and such other inferior officers as the States laws empower the governor to appoint, to serve until the organization of a civil government. To order an enrollment of all electors who may take the President's amnesty oath.
As soon as this enrollment shall be completed, to call an election for delegates to a State convention. The qualifications of voters and candidates to be those prescribed by the State laws, and that they shall take the amnesty oath. All acts of the convention to be submitted to the people for their ratification or rejection at the same time with the election of governor and members of the legislature, which would be ordered by the convention. I would confidently expect a convention so chosen to repudiate the doctrine of secession, abolish slavery, and fully restore the State to its practical constitutional relations to the Government of the United States. The people are now ripe for such action. They only ask to know what the Government desires them to do, and how they are to do it. If, however, they should fail to do this, I would regard them as having violated their oaths, would dissolve the convention, and hold the State under military government until the people should come to their sense. I would have government or a military government, the latter being a necessary substitute in the absence of the former. I am willing to discharge, to the best of my ability, any duty which may properly devolve upon me. Yet if a policy so opposed to my views as that proposed by Mr. Chase is to be adopted I respectfully suggest that I am not the proper person to carry it out. If, however, after knowing my views fully, it be desired that I execute the President's wishes, would it not be well for me to have a personal interview with him, in order that I may fully understand his plan and the principles upon which it is founded.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
WILMINGTON, May 10, 1865.
I have not for more than two weeks received a single general order or letter of instructions issued by the War Department or General Sherman or General Schofield. I respectfully suggest that all official documents for this district be sent direct to Goldsborough headquarters otherwise than by mail or quartermasters. Then the officers in charge of my train guards will call for them. Am I authorized to loan captured horses within my district? What are the boundaries of this district? Chief Justice Chase left for Charleston last evening.
J. R. HAWLEY.