FORT MONROE, September 29, 1862.
* * * In regard to Zarvona please say to the Secretary of War that he is a crack-brained fellow who can do no mischief beyond his individual capacity, mental and physical, which is constitutionally small. I only make the suggestion in case there are no public considerations-involved in the question of his release.
JOHN A. DIX,
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Richmond, Va., January 2, 1863.
His Excellency ABRAHAM LINCOLN,
President of the United States.
SIR: On the 17th of April, 1861, the convention of the Commonwealth of Virginia representing the severeignty of the State passed "An ordinance to repeal the ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America by the State of Virginia, and to resume all the rights and powers granted under said Constitution. " In this ordinance it is declared that "the union between the Stae of virginia and the other States under the Constitution aforesaid is hereby dissolved, and that the State of Virginia is in the full possession and exercise of all the rights of svereignty which gbelong and appertain to a free and independent Stele. " This action of the convention was subsequently ratified by an overwhelming majority of the people of the State, and the Commonwealth was thereafter absolutely separated from the Government of the United States and became to t hat Government an independent and foreign power. The State subsequently by its solemn acts became a member of the Confederate States of America.
Against this Confederacy the Government of the United States delcared war by levying troops to conquer and reduce them to subjection, and has been since waging with unabating fury this unnatural war. The sovereign States of this Confederacy in pursuance of conventions between themselves and the Government of the Confederacy bound themselves to make common c ause in this contest, and have since prosecuted the war with all the vigor in their power, and by the help of God will continue to do so until their independence is unconditionally recognized and their ancient boundaries fully and incostestably established.
In the prosecution of this purpose Colonel Richard Thomas Zarvona, an officer with others under his command with the authority and by express orders from the executive of this State, planned and exeucited an expedition by which the steamer Saint er vessels belonging to the marine of the United States were captured and brought as prizes into the waters of this State. In a subsequent expedition undertaken under the same authority, and while bearing on his person a commission from the governor of this State appointing him a colonel of volunteers and with orders of a warlike character, he was arrested by the police on board the steamer Mary Washington on her trip to Baltimore and carried a prisoner to Fort McHenry; from thence he was removed and is now confined at Fort lafayette as a felon in a dungeon, and subjected to the greatest inhumanity. That he was under these circumstances rightfully a prisoner of war is not denied, and that he might be held as such until exchanged under some cartel for the purpose I do not controvert. He had been known to be in hostility
26 R R-SERIES II, VOL II