War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0707 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -CONFEDERATE.

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your existence. If this Government have chosen to pursue toward you with the limits of a proper regard for their own security the course of civilization and common humanity it is because our people have been taught from infancy to practice kindness and generosity toward a disarmed or fallen adversary and would not countenance in their Government a departure from these Christian teachings. It is grateful to this Government to be able to meet the sentiments of its citizens. We must, however, under these circumstances retain you as hostages. this is required by the inexorable necessities forced upon the Government of the Confederate States of America by the Government of the United States, and to satisfy that fixed sense of justice acknowledged by all mankind.

You must therefore direct your appeals to the Government at Washington, under the assurance that the Government of the Confederate States of America having due sympathy for your situation holds itself open to a proposition for an exchange of prisoners according to the custom of Christian nations and the usages of civilized warfare.


Secretary of War.


Richmond, August 20, 1861.

General B. HUGER, Commanding, Norfold, Va.:

Your letter* inclosing list of prisoners brought in by the York has been submitted to the President, who directs that you be advised that the course pursued by you is correct and that you notify the prisoners why such rigors are imposed upon them, authorizing them to write to their Government stating these decisions.

I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,


Assistant Adjutant-General.

WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, August 21, 1861.


SIR: In answer to the resolution of Congress+ calling upon Your Excellency for any information you may possess as to the hanging of captives in the late battle of Manassas and as to any cruelties practiced by the authorities of the United States against persons taken as prisoners, I have the honor to inclose* such information upon the first resolution as exists upon file in the Adjutant-General's Office, no other official correspondence upon either subject of inquiry being in this Department.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of War.

SAVANNAH, GA., August 21, 1861.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS, President, &c.

DEAR SIR: As I may be unknown to you and as my communication is of a delicate and important character I refer you to Vice-President Stephens and Mr. Memminger.


*Nor found.

+Reference is to resolution of August 16, p. 705.