me a letter condemning the deed in the strongest terms and asserting that they would immediately abandon their service could they believe their authorities approved or would give countenance to it. I have seen similar letters from rebel officers in print in Northern papers. The rebel papers at Jackson and other places in the interior appear to consider the death of the President a calamity. It is my desire to avoid all action at present which might increase irritation among the people outside our lines. I wish to allay their fears and encourage them to be friends to the Government. I am induced to believe that since their recent defeats the mouths of men living outside who have been secretly for union have been opened and a loyal party is fast growing. I wish to develop it. Communities who wish to submit themselves to the authority of the United States and to do what they dare to suppress guerrilla parties and maintain order in their neighborhoods, should be placed on the same footing with regard to the sale of their products and family supplies as are the inhabitants of the district within the lines of military occupation. Cultivators, by registering their plantations and being allowed a limited amount of supplies, should be made to feel that it is their interest, if not their inclination, to be loyal and orderly.
Under the present aspect of affairs I counsel liberality, and in the belief above alluded to that a Union party is now growing in Mississippi, whose purpose is to bring back the State to her allegiance, I am advising and giving countenance to the meeting of a convention at this place on the 1st of June, at which I hope most of the counties may be represented. Its work will merely be preparatory. I hope you will do what you can properly to encourage it.
I also have it in contemplation in a few days to order a civil government for the municipal affairs of Natchez and Vicksburg, so far as it is consistent with the existence of martial law. I would be obliged to you advise with leading citizens on the subject and let me have your views in full and suggest half a dozen names for mayor, treasurer, recorder, &c., with a plan.
N. J. T. DANA,
The major-general commanding directs me to say that General Davidson is at liberty to such use of this letter as he may deem advisable for the information of the citizens of Natchez.
J. WARREN MILLER,
HDQRS. DIST. OF SOUTH MISSISSIPPI AND EAST LOUISIANA,
April 24, 1865.
Major-General DANA, U. S. Army,
GENERAL: I have the honor to forward by the hands of Brigadier General George B. Hodge the accompanying telegram from Lieutenant-General Taylor, by which you will perceive hostilities have been suspended and negotiations are on foot for final settlement of difficulties. General Hodge will agree with you in regard to suspension of hostilities on this front.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. F. TUCKER,
Brigadier-General, Commanding District.