in desirable that the bill which I suppose the distruct attorney has presented to the grand jury should be ignored, or if found a true bill that you should have your trial at once. I am disposed, however, to defer to your judgment, and if you have unquestionable proof that Judge Carmichael has uttered treasonable language in his charge to the grand jury and that the officers of the court have been so biased and are so controlled by the disloyalty of the judge as to render a fair trial hopeless, then the deputy provost-marshal, Mr. McPhail, is authorized on consultation with you to arrest him and bring him to Fort McHenry. This as you will readily understand is an act of power which would only be justified by strong necessity. But considering your own position as senator and your familiarity with all the circumstances I am willing to act on your judgment. At this distance I cannot for want of this full knowledge of facts give Mr. McPhail positive instructions, but leave him to the exercise under your advice of a sound discretion. If you think the force I send likely to be resisted the arrest had better be postponed and I will send a military guard. Mr. McPail is entirely reliable, both for courage and prudence.
I am, respectfully, yours,
JOHN A. DIX,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
New Berne, May 23, 1862.
Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.
SIR: I have the honor herewith to inclose the correspondence* in reference to the release of Union prisoners now in Salisbury, N. C. These men will be placed on board our vessels at Washington, N. C., and forwarded to New York City. An accurate list will be sent to the Department by mail.
Nothing of improtance has occurred in this department since my last dispatch in a military way, bu there is a healthy reaction constantly progressing in favor of the Union if the reports that reach us are at all to be believed. I am very anxious for the arrival of Governor Stanly and hope the President will find it for the interest of the public service to dispatch him to this place at once. The enemy is very much exercised in reference to our future movements. My force as it is now posted threatens Fort Caswell and Wilmington, Goldsborough and Raleigh, Weldon, Gaston and Petersburg by a junction with General Wool. When it is considerd that I cannot move after taking out the sick and a force sufficient to garrison the places I now hold with more than 10,000 men with limited transportation it would seem wise to remain in our present position, making occasional diversions.
In the meantime I shall be glad to receive definite instructions. I have heard nothing from General Wool since your last dispatch to me. Would it not be well to instruct the commanding officer at Fortres Monroe to send information to me at once by the steamer that carries my dispatches instead of keeping it for twenty-four, forty-eight, or sixty hours? You can scarcely realize, Mr. Secretary, the anxiety attending the delay of [a] dispatch to a command like this, the strength
*Omitted here; Holmes to Burnside, May 15, p. 536; Bunside in answer, May 17, p. 546, and Holmes to Burnside, May 19, p. 554.
37 R R-SERIES II, VOL III