their dependent families upon our soil to be supported by the charity of our people and proclaiming their intention to lead or accompany the armies of our enemy for our overthrown and destruction. If there could be any doubt as to their position if captured in legitimate warfare in the ranks of our enemies that doubt must be resolved when they abandon such warfare to engage in pillage of private property and murderous destruction of life. No commission can justify deeds of rapine and violation of the rules of civilized warfare. Even if through motives of policy we suspend the proper and fitting punishment of our known enemies, citizens of hostile States or aliens serving in their ranks who under orders of their superiors commit such acts of wanton depredation, the same reasons cannot apply to these marauders who flaunt the flag of their treason in our faces and dare and defy us in their malice. I do not wish to discuss the question whether their treason to their own State is merged in their treason against the Confederacy nor to embarrass the Confederate Government with questions of jurisdiction. It will be enough for me and the State I represent if these traitors be taught that impunity is not to be bought with bravado, and it will be a matter of indifference whether they receive the reward of their treason at the hands of the Confederacy or by the laws of the State. It is then with a view of disembarrassing the Confederate Government that I respectfully request that these marauders be delivered up to the authorities of this State for trial by her civil tribunals for their acts of violence and rapine against our citizens and their treason against the State whose citizens they claim to be. It cannot be alleged for them as it might be for traitorous citizens of border States that there are conflicting claims of hostile governments to jurisdiction or that the State has failed through the calamity of war to afford protection and redress to her citizens. Their position has been volunteer treason openly avowed and boastingly vindicated, their attack upon the State premeditated their violence wanton and malicious. They have braved the penalty of treason in avowing themselves Alabamians and as such serving with marauding bands of the enemy within the borders of our State and are not entitled to the privileges of prisoners of war. If it is preferred by the Confederate authorities to retain and try them for their treasonable acts I am willing to waive the demand on the part of the State; but believing that justice will be fully and fairly meted out to them by the judicial tribunals of Alabama it would be more agreeable to me that both the officers mentioned and the men alluded to be turned over upon my demands to the State authorities. Proper arrangements will be made for their safekeeping until they can have a fair and impartial trial.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO GILL SHORTER,
Governor of Alabama.
N. B. - It may become expedient in order to satisfy the public mind now much exercised on these questions to publish our correspondence. I shall be pleased to receive any suggestion from you on this point.
J. G. S.
TULLAHOMA, May 9, 1863.
General S. COOPER:
In my dispatch of the 7th instant I intended to ask whether I should send the officers who commanded the party of the enemy by whom negroes were seized to Richmond or turn them over to the Governor of Alabama.