for the so-called murder of General McCook, and that further time has [been] granted him for the purpose of procuring evidence. As I was his commanding officer at the time of the occurrence I feel it my duty to forward you under flag of truce, and by the hands of my adjutant-general, Major J. P. Strange, the following statement of facts to show that Captain Gurley was then, and is yet, a Confederate soldier and officer, and that he should be treated and regarded as such: Captain Gurley was regularly mustered into the C. S. Army as a member of the Kelley Troopers, in July, 1861, which company formed a portion of my old regiment known as Forrest's regiment.
After the fall of Fort Donelson (from which place I escaped with my command) Captain Gurley was left sick as Huntsville, Ala., with order from me to gather up all the men of my command; also with power and authority to raise [a] company of cavalry. This he did, and reported to me with his company in July, 1862. It was inspected and mustered into the service at Chattanooga, by my inspector-general and my order, in the month just named. Hence Captain Gurley has been regularly in the service from July, 1861, to the time of this capture.
In November last his company with three other from my old regiment (all from Alabama) were consolidated with Russell's battalion, and formed what is known as Russell's or the Fourth Alabama Cavalry, which regiment served under me until the 21st of February, 1863, when it was transferred from my command to General Wheeler. These, general, are facts, and, when known, I confidently rely upon his being treated as a prisoner of war, and not as a guerrilla or robber.
My desire is to show the court, through you, that Captain Gurley has been from the beginning a soldiers in the Confederate service, and I claim for him the treatment due to a prisoner of war. What may have been attributed to him by the press of the country, North and South, is one thing, but actual facts and the muster-rolls in the Department at Richmond is quite another. Major Strange, the bearer of this, has been with me in the service (as my adjutant) from the organization of my old regiment to the present time, and can, if think proper to receive it, add his testimony to the facts as stated.
While communicating with you, general, on this subject, allow me to say that it is my purpose to drive guerrillas from the country. They must join the service regularly, on the one side or the other, otherwise be disbanded and driven off; and while I deplore the existence of such men and their lawless conduct, I desire respectfully to call your attention to facts self-evident and undenied. The charred walls of many dwellings have met my eyes. The naked chimneys and devastated premises of the now of the now houseless and homeless is not calculated to soften the feelings of those engaged in this struggle, the merits of which, in its beginning, continuance, or end, the women and children of the country are in no wise responsible. It has ever been my desire to see this war conducted according to the rules of civilized warfare, and so far as I am concerned will so conduct it. At the time I am determine to execute on the spot every house-burner and robber that may fall into my hands, whether he claims to be a Federal or a Confederate.
Hoping, general, that you view these matters as I do, I trust you will issue such orders and when disobeyed inflict such punishment as will prevent the destructions of houses and property of non-combatants. Whatever may be necessary for the of troops, military necessity and military law authorizes to be appropriated, but the wanton destruction of the houses and dwellings of the people ought to be discontinued