Second, a letter signed W. J. Hardee, lieutenant-general commanding, in which it is stated that Gurley was an officer under the command of Captain Hambrick when General McCook was shot, and that Hambrick shot he had refused to surrender and was endeavoring to escape. It was also stated that all this could be proved, and it was requested that N. B. Forrest, brigadier-general commanding, in which it is stated that Gurley was regularly enlisted into the rebel service in July 1, 1861, and was afterward authorized to raise a company of cavalry, which he did, and reported to Forrest in July, 1862, when his company was inspected and mustered into service by his (Forrest's) order, and that in November following Gurley's company was consolidated with others and made the Fourth Alabama Cavalry. After stating that such were the facts, the hope was expressed that the communication might be received in the same spirit with which it was written, and that it would lead to Gurley's being treated as a prisoner of war, and not as a guerrilla or robber. It was also stated that the writer did not desire and would not, so far as he was concerned, permit warfare to be carried on except according to the rules observed among civilized nations. These letters, coming as they do from traitors in arms against the Government, being unfortified by the sanction of an oath and intended to rescue from impending punishment a traitor equally guilty with their writers, are so far as corroborated by the testimony of loyal witnesses or competent proof from unquestionable sources. These letters are not referred to I the body of the record, and it is not supposed that the court gave to them any credit whatever. So far as regards the military status of the accused, they are corroborated by other evidence adduced by the defense, but as to t he circumstances attending the killing of General McCook their statements are contradicted by the testimony of Captain Broke and the witness Aug, and are unquestionably false. Believing the prisoner to be a cowardly murdered in the fullest acceptation of the term, and that the fact that when captured he was in the rebel military service presents no legal obstacle to his punishment, even had been regularly in such service at the time of the commission of the crime, which he was not, it is recommended that the sentence be carried into execution.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA,
Fort Monroe, Va., March 11, 1864.
Colonel W. HOFFMAN,
Commissary-General of Prisoners, Washington, D. C.:
COLONEL: I wish you would send to me at Point Lookout what privates, prisoners of war, there are at Fort Delaware, and from other points, so that we may not have to bring them, in case the exchange comes, on I believe it will. If it does we shall want them at the rate of 2,000 per week.
That would press transportation. We can accommodate 20,000 as well as any other number at Point Lookout. We want them there time enough to have the four questions directed by the President put to each one of them, copies of which I inclose. * Every prisoner at