portions of the United States. The denunciatory character of Mr. Davis' message, leveled against the proclamation of the President and against the loyal people of the Union, will be remembered by most of your readers at this time.
One passage in the message of Mr. Davis very clearly indicates the policy then determined upon in the South, expressed in these words:
So far as regards the action of this Government on such criminals as may attempt its execution (referring to the proclamation of the President of the United States), I confine myself to informing you that I shall, unless in your wisdom you deem some other course more expedient, deliver to the several State authorities all commissioned officers of the United States that may hereafter be captured by our forces in any of the States embraced in the proclamation that may be dealt with in accordance with the laws of those States providing for the punishment of criminals engaged in exciting servile insurrection.
Colonel Ludlow, in forwarding the message, gives an opinion in the following words:
His (Mr. Davis') determination, avowed in most insolent terms, to deliver to the several State authorities all commissioned officers of the United States that may hereafter be captured will, I think, be persevered in.
This opinion of Colonel Ludlow was, without doubt, well founded at the time, so far as the rebel authorities had the power of dared to put in force the threat of Mr. Davis, which met the approbation of the Confederate Congress, and I hazard nothing in saying that the sole reason why this threat has not been more openly executed in the South has been the preponderance of Northern power, as shown by the superior number of prisoners of war held in the North against those held in the South; and if this inequality could now be neutralized, or if the South could succeed in capturing an excess of prisoners over those held in the North, not a moment would be lost by the rebel authorities in putting in forces the threat of Mr. Davis. Whoever doubts this must be utterly ignorant of the spirit which animates those who are struggling in the South to destroy the union of the States in behalf of a Government whose corner stone is slavery.
But the point thus stated will not be further insisted upon at this time, because, whatever was the threatening character of Mr. Davis' declared purpose, as set out in his message, it has been thrown entirely into the shade by subsequent events, which are but just now being developed, growing out of the most solemn acts of the Government of the United States.
It is generally known that when the Congress of the United States proceeded to authorize by law the employment of colored troops for the suppression of the rebellion there was, throughout the whole length and breadth of the South, one universal cry of real or well-affected indignation, accompanied with the wildest threats job vengeance against such officers as might be captured with colored troops; while the colored soldiers themselves, it was everywhere declared, should be either "returned or sold into slavery. " It was everywhere published throughout the South that this class of troops were not entitled to and should not receive the protection of the laws of war, and the strongest terms which infuriate madness could devise or invent were used in condemnation of the measure authorized by the United States Government.
What has actually been done up to the present time in the South in obedience to this spirit of vengeance so openly declared it may be impossible to determine in detail, except in a few scattered instances; but it is a most significant fact that in no single instance has the smallest evidence come to light tending to shown that any officer connected with colored troops has been captured alive and held in the