In a letter of July 22, 1863, from the same party, this paragraph occurs:
Oh, how I hope it may be true that McClellan is to be recalled to the command of the Federal Army. Certainly he has more ability than all the rest, take him in all; and except with the extreme abolitionists, he has the confidence of the American people. Doctor Shepley spoke ill of him to us, but as I them thought very unjustly-and simply because he refused to act prematurely in regard to the emancipation project. This is now an accomplished thing, and of course he (McClellan) can no longer hesitate, if he ever did, about its practicability. I am especially anxious to know that General Butler has been appointed Secretary of War. Something is due him for his great service at New Orleans, and we cannot question his ability or patriotism. Then there will be some "quaking in boots," sure enough. The author of the celebrated proclamation last January in his regard and of the money offers for his head there and elsewhere (South Carolina) will feel very comfortable, of course. Should this be so I would venture a small be that one J. Davis, esq., never sails for an American port till his account with said hoped-for Secretary in settled. O, you may well say, "things is working. "
On the 2nd of August, 1863, Peebles writes to Baldwin thus:
God is great, and he has appointed good men to lead his armies-has given them banners of righteousness and weapons of truth. Who cannot see what must be the result? That item in regard to North Carolina is given without much "flourish of trumpets" on your part. Yet, if true, how it must sink the hearts of all the sensible and reflecting men in the Confederate. That State never was fairly opposed to the Union, and a large portion of the very best of it has not to this day been forced to "bow the knee to Baal. "
In a letter of September 11, 1863, Peebles alludes to "Common Sense," and says:
Yesterday I got "Common Sense," and upon a reperusal of it like it even better that I did at first. Its brevity is its greatest fault, which I think will be confessed by all its readers. Still it could not well have been longer. I will not circulate the copies generally until they shall have had time to arrive by mail from Dallas. I think the publication at this time very opportune. We were not in obvious difficulty the people would not consider; but now in our utmost need I think they will ponder over the many plain and simple truths it ventilates. "The whole need not a physician, but only those that are sick. "
In another letter Peebles alludes to Baldwin being the author of "Common Sense," and compliments him upon the style, and on the 17th of September he thus writes:
I have folded, enveloped, and directed a number of copies of the document. I have lately heard from the wheat region, where wheat sells only for specie or its equivalent. The holders are said to be "rotten to the core," and their sound neighbors are reported to be doing their best to induce their ruin by impressments, robberies, and burnings. These strong measures may have the effect of reviving the patriotism of the wheat raise, on the principle of counter irritants in medicine.
In the same letter he says to Baldwin, relative to what has been done toward the cause:
You have done nothing, not a thing. I haver sent upon compulsion niggers to work upon the enemy's fortifications, but I did not let them stay a day longer than I could help, and I did it, too, even then, under loud-mouthed protest. I have also given to hospitals, which you have probably done, too, but this was for the sake of humanity. All these are the faults that can be alleged against me.
About the 1st of June, 1863, Peebles wrote that a certain day was his time for receiving overland news from Tennessee and Virginia; and in a letter dated October 2, 1863, he says:
The news I gave you from Arkansas has not got abut yet, but it will in a few days, I believe. That "Grenada news" was a long time coming through the papers.
The last letter written by Peebles before his arrest, date October 8, 1863, contains this paragraph:
Hood has lost a leg-pity! Wooden ones will be dear after this war. I have read the Lincoln letter. It has the flesh marks of old Abe's composition - terseness