pending. That writ only authorizes an inquiry into the legality of arrest and detention. Where the authority is sufficient to apprehend and detain and a prosecution for a legal offense by military or civil authority is pending the party will not be discharged.
I would advise wherever the party is suspected of being a spy that the proceeding be by military authority, arresting and prosecuting; where for any other offense that the party be delivered to the civil authorities, unless it be the case of a citizen of the United States, when the case should be reported to the Executive for his action under the provision of the code before referred to. In all cases of suspicion the general in command would have full power to remove such parties from his encampement and to forbid them from coming within his lines, and I suppose under the laws of war to punish disobedience of such orders.
I am, very respectfully,
J. R. TUCKER.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Richmond, Va., July 8, 1861.
Mr. Thomas prsents his respects to Mr. Crane and begs leave to say that after an interview with the President he declines interfering in any way with the case of Mr. Hurlbert, it not being within his jurisdiction.
CHARLESTON, July 17, 1861.
MY DEAR MR. MORTON: From my sense of the qualities of humanity and conscientiousness that enter into your character I feel confident of having you on my side whenever a question as to what is becoming and what is right is to be discussed; and it is in such circumstances that I appeal to you to interfere in releasing a poor creature from durance vile whom is the mere victim of clamor.
It is William H. Hurlbert of whom I speak. He has been guilty of no offense that human laws have a right to punish. Early in life he became a writer on political and literary subjects, and embraced Northern views of slaverly. One of his lucubrations was admitted into the Edinbrugh Review, which gave great offense at the time. I confess I was rather disappointed in it as below the importance of the subject, and leaning on popular prejudices. Since that time he has changed his tone as much as to lose the confidence of the Republican party and his place in the editor corps of the New York Times. In these circumstances he came to Charleston id finding that he was the object of great suspicion left it suddenly. Thee are always shallow people ready to join in running down a popular idea and one man made on affidavit the he was an alien enemy, which in legal parlance he may be on account of his New York domicile; and another telegraphed to Atlanta to arrest him. One mob of that very exictable place got hold of him, and the best that men of sense it seems could do was to send him to Richmond for the benefit of habeas corups, a thing which the patriots of Atlanta had very little idea of. In Richmond the effusions of the Charleston Mercury had the effect of causing him to be turned over to the governor under the lawof 1793 allowing alien enemies to be sent out of the country by the executive. The executive having little him to bestow on the case which the courts have nothing to do with has not interfered. So the poor man remains a prisoner indefinitely.