WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, February 7, 1863.
R. T. CLARKE, Esq., Conrad's Store, Va.
SIR: You are informed in reply to your letter of the 2nd instant that General Orders, Numbers 64, paragraph V, announces that no oath of allegiance to the United States and no parole by a person not in military service pledging himself not to bear arms against the United States will be regarded as an exemption from service in the armies of the Confederate States; but persons liable to conscription taking such oath or giving such parole will be enrolled for service. If captured by the enemy they will be demanded as prisoners of war. The Department therefore is not authorized to exempt you on the grounds stated.
JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
HDQRS. DEPT. SOUTH CAROLINA GEORGIA AND FLORIDA,
Charleston, S. C., February 7, 1863.
Lieutenant F. S. CONOVER, U. S. Navy.
(Through Colonel John S. Preston, commanding, &c., Columbia.)
SIR: Your letter of the 4th instant has just been received and I am instructed to say that of course you and your brother officers will be permitted to communicate in writing with our families to whom any letters will be forwarded with all possible dispatch. In connection with the cause of your present situation I have only to say that were the language of President Lincoln's proclamation of doubtful import the meaning would be made clear by the fact that there are now at Hilton Head or that vicinity negro troops, fugitive slaves who have recently been employed in armed expedition against the people of Georgia and South Carolina.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Chief of Staff.
AUSTIN, TEX., February 8, 1863.
General J. B. MAGRUDER, Galveston.
SIR: General Pelham, a most worthy citizen of this vicinity, was in New Mexico at the beginning of the present war, and when General Sibley reached that country with his brigade and found it untenable General Pelham shouldered his gun to fight for Southern independence, and on his way down from Santa Fe with arms in his hands was taken prisoner and paroled, but inasmuch as he had not joined the service formally and had his name placed upon the muster-roll the enemy deny him the benefits of prisoner of war and claim him to be a political prisoner and as such refuse to exchange him. He feels the injustice done him in this regard by the enemy and is exceedingly anxious to be exchanged, so that he may be in a condition to aid in the defense of our country against the Abolitionists, and particularly to be enabled to defend his family without violating his parole. General W. R. Scurry is referred to for full particulars in regard to General Pelham. Now if you can consistently with your duties aid in disenthralling a brave, true and valuable citizen by procuring his exchange the people of Texas will consider it not only as an act of justice but another evidence of your devotion to her cause. Not having a personal acquaintance with you that would justify this appeal induces me to address you over my official signature.