Government and unjust toward the body of our own soldiers to ask for or to grant exceptions to a policy imposed upon us by our enemies, equally in derogation of this Government and inconsistent with the instincts of humanity and the known usages of civilized warfare. For the sake of the young man himself and his widowed mother I deeply regret the necessity of this reply. Where the "blame of it" lies history and humanity will not permit Colonel Geary to be the judge.
I have the honor to be, respectfully,
L. P. WALKER,
Secretary of War.
FORT SULLIVAN, TEX., September 2, 1861.
His Excellency President DAVIS.
HONORED SIR: You will please pardon the liberty I take in addressing you and offering a suggestion with regard to the prisoners which we have taken. Learning from the papers that the Federal Government will not exchange, and they consuming our sustenance in the meantime, and knowing that your mind is ever filled with pressing and important business is the cause of my writing and calling your attention to the importance of having a railroad connecting this State with Louisiana for military, mail and other purposes, and suggesting the propriety of having those prisoners accomplish the work. They might as well work, as they have to be fed.
Trusting, sir, that you will not deem this presumption on my part, I remain, yours, most respectfully,
W. A. WILSON.
UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, September 5, 1861.
Honorable L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War.
SIR: It is perhaps due to the writer of the inclosed letter that I should bear testimony to the truth of its statements in so far as the facts have come under my observation. I know nothing of the incidents on the field after the battle as cited in the letter, but I am cognizant of the facts which relate to Doctor Homiston's attentions to some of our wounded men during a short time when the attending surgeon was indisposed. Doctor H[omiston] came to this place in company with a Colonel Wood, of a Brooklynas very severely wounded. This officer I have learned made a very favorable impression upon Colonel Withers and others who had the custody of him for one or two weeks after the battle, when he was sent to a private house in Charlottesville. I further learn that his medical attendant, Doctor Homiston, has behaved in a manner to win the commendation of observers, although it is apparent that he is not a person of any considerable refinement or of large professional attainments.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. L. CABELL.
RICHMOND, Secretary 3, 1861.
DEAR SIR: I have left Charlottesile without anything to show as to who I am or without any one to say one word in my behalf. I know it is asking a great favor of you, but unless there is some one to speak