War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0005 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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[Inclosure Numbers 2.]

U. S. marshal's sale.

By virtue of a writ of wenditioni exponas to me directed and delivered I will sell at public auction on the 2nd day of July, 1861, at 12 m., on board thereof the ship Nightingale, her tackle, apparel and the good and effects found on board thereof.

N. B. -The above vessel lies at Union Stores, Brooklyn. Dated 25th day of June, 1861.

ROBT. MURRAY,

U. S. Marshal.

E. DELAFIELD SMITH, U. S. District Attorney.

RICHMOND, July 6, 1861.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN,

President-and Commander-in-Chief

of the Army and Navay of the United States.

SIR: Having learned that the schooner Savannah, a private armed vessel in the service and sailing under a commission issued by authority of the Confederate States of America, had been captured by one of the vessels forming the blockading squadron off Charleston Harbor I directed a proposition to be made to the officer commanding that squadron for an exchange of the officers and crew of the Savannah for prisoners of war held by this Government "according to number and rank. "

To this proposition made on the 19th ultimo Captain Mercer, the officer in command of the blockading squadron, made answer on the same day that "the prisoners (referred to) are not on board of any of the vessels under my command. "

It now appears by statements made without contradiction in newspapers published in New York that the prisoners above mentioned were conveyed to that ciy, and have there been treated not as prisoners of war but as criminals-that they have been put in irons, confined in jail, brought before the courts of justice on charges of piracy and treason, and it is even rumored that they have been actually convicted of the offenses charged- for no other reason than that they bore arms in defense of the rights of this Government and under the authority of its commission.

I could not without grave discoutesy have made the newspaper statement above referred to the subject of this communication if the threat of treating as pirates the citizens of this Confederacy armed for its service on the high seas had not been contained in your proclamation* of April last. That proclamation, however, seems to afford a sufficient justification for considering these published statements as not devoid of probability.

It is the desire of this Government so to conduct the war now existing as to mitigate its hours as far as may be possible, and with his intent its treatmen of the prisoners captured by its forces has been marked by the greatest humanity and leniency consistent with public obligation. Some have been permitted to return home on parole; others to remain at large under similar condition within this Confederacy, and all have been furnished with rations for their subsistence such as are allowed to our own troops. It is only since the news has been received

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* To appear in Series III.

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