have been revolutionary and patriotic (with due respect to the highest authority). SO far as my faculties can conceive Mr. Howard is no more above the law than any one of the nine pirates* put in prison on the 26th instant by the honorable the Secretary of the Navy. With regard to the life of an officer it does not amount to much; but if Mr. Howard can n a post under my command put on aristocratic airs and threaten my life why is this not a good precedent to shoot down my officer in command (and there is none better in the service in his grade) and take possession of the fort? However the attempt would be a bloody business. This is a simple case to be decided upon by my superiors. They have the facts and date to go upon.
When I received the mayor of Washington, apparently a very clever man, and upon his stating that he had not a hostile feeling against the Government, which may or may not be so, I stated in effect to him that doubtless the Government in time would take in this and consider leniently his case, but I told him that a Government with 100,000 victorious troops within four-days' march of Washington would have to act upon the law of self-preservation.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, U. S. Army, Commanding.
FORT LAFAYETTE, NEW YORK HARBOR,
August 27, 1861.
Colonel M. BURKE,
Commanding Forts Hamilton and Lafayette.
COLONEL: While in the room occupied by the police commissioners I heard John W. Davis, one of the commissioners, make use of the following language, viz: That Colonel Burke had outlawed himself toward him in not obeying the writ of habeas corpus; that he (Colonel Burke) was depriving him of his liberty, and so help him God if he ever got out of this place he would shoot him on sight and take the consequences. Some one told him that he was foolish; that Colonel Burke had nothing to do with it that he was only obeying the orders of General Scott. Mr. Davis said that Colonel Burke had no right to obey an order which was in violation of the laws of the land and he would hold him responsible for his confinement.
I am, colonel, with respect, your obedient servant,
CHAS. O. WOOD,
Second Lieutenant, Ninth Infantry.
HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
Washington, August 27, 1861.
Lieutenant Colonel MARTIN BURKE, U. S. Army,
Commanding, &c., Fort Hamilton, New York:
Allow no writs to be served on you for any of the prisoners under your charge. Give the same answer as heretofore.
*The Confederate Privateersmen.