The "forty days of grace", sir, had elapsed when I first learned from your lips officially the existence of any shadow of a charge against me. I was the entering the fourth month of my confinement. I stand now innocent of any offense against the Confederate laws or people. Is it my fault that I am still here an alien enemy? Am I to be denied my right to leave the country simply because I was for months unable to make my calls for justice heard? Is this, sir, I will not say legal-is it right, just, honorable, humane? But further. What sort of an al en enemy am I, thus selected for special torment? I came here after rendering services to the Southern cause for which the Government had thanked me throught the Assistant Secretary of State. I came here invited by the same officer in a letter dated April 8, 1861, to visit the Southern capital; see for myslef the strength of the Southern organization, and if possible conclude arrangements for acting extensively in behalf of the cause abroad. Had I supposed it possible I should here receive indignity and be insutled by suspicion, or that I should be forbidden to leave the country after being forbidden to remain in it, I should have gone to Europe at the time when I came to Virginia, there independently to defend a cause which I had embraced not as a matter of allegiance, of interest, or of ambition, but solely as a matter of principle.
Born in Carolina; connected by the dearest ties with friends in that State whose fortunes are indetified with hers, my long residence at the North and in Europe may have made me an alien in the law. Do my actions show that it has made an enemy also? I came here leaving all my worldly goods at the mercy of the Federal Government. I hoped to be able to preserve them, but I came prepared should the success of my plans require it to risk their absolute loss by passing through Mexico to Europe. Against this contingency, besides my intimate acquaintance with Mr. de Saligny, the French envoy there, I provided myself with letters of introduction from Mr. Eustace W. Barron, of Mexico, a friend of mine well know to Mr. Benjamin. So much for the atencedents of my presence here.
You will yourself, sir, I think remember that I have repeatedly expressed to you my deep sense of the justice of the Southern cause. This with me is not a question of impulse but of conviction. As my faith is so my works been. They speak for me. My character and the facts of my case are my titles to liberty. On this am a Southern citizen my loyalty has been proved by my course of action. If I am an alien enemy I am an alien born in Carolina; an enemy doing the duty of a friend.
But whatever I am, sir, I am not a man to assail the rights of millions in avenging my personal wrongs nor to tamper with my own selfrespect, nor to forget how truly, sir, I am your obliged and obedient servant.
WM. HENRY HURLBET.
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, January 6, 1862.
[Honorable JAMES LYONS.]
DEAR SIR: Understanding from your communication of this day that you have examined the case Hurlbert and have recommended his discharge I take occasion to say that I have not considered him under my control since he was before you for examination under the order of the War Department. I know of nothing against him save what was communicated to me by Honorable R. Toombs at the time the warrant for his imprisonment was made out.
I am, truly,