HEADQUARTERS, San Antonio, Tex., March 18, 1864.
Major L. G. Aldrich,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Houston, Tex.:
MAJOR: I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy of a communication received from the Honorable James H. Bell, one of the associate justices of the supreme court of the State.
From this it will be perceived the supreme court has suspended a trial of the prisoners Peebles, Baldwin, Zinke, Hillebrand, and Zeeliger until the major-general commanding could be communicate with, and that the prisoners have been placed in the custody of the sheriff of Travis County. Should the major-general desire these parties prosecuted he will doubtless furnish such evidence against them as he controls for the consideration of the court.
I would most respectfully suggest, in the event that these prisoners are returned to the military authority by the supreme court, that the prisoners would be safer if confined at Austin than at San Antonio. In San Antonio there is a formidable monocratic element which has been ready at a moment's warning to commit violence upon the prisoners, whilst Austin is free of this element.
Information of a reliable character has been received by way of Eagle Pass from Matamoras that the Federal were leaving Brownsville for New Orleans on the 1st instant.
Very respectfully, your servant,
THOS. E. SNEED,
Lieutenant, Commanding Post.
AUSTIN, March 14, 1864.
Lieutenant THOMAS E. SNEED:
SIR: Captain Ruiz, who was required by you to bring certain political prisoners, viz, Peebles, Baldwin, Zinke, and two others before the supreme court of Texas, in obedience to a writ of habeas corpus issued for that purpose, has discharged his duty in the matter by bringing the said prisoners before the court; and as the case of the said prisoners is necessarily postponed until General Magruder can be communicated with, the prisoners have been ordered by the court into the custody of the sheriff of Travis County until the final judgment of this court in the case shall be rendered. If the court, upon hearing of the case, shall be of opinion that the prisoners are not entitled to be discharged from custody, they will be ordered into the custody of the military officer in command at this place.
JAMES H. BELL,
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
presiding in the absence of the Chief Justice.
OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF PRISONERS,
Washington, D. C., March 19, 1864.
Major General GEORGE H. THOMAS,
Commanding Department of the Cumberland, Chattanooga, Tenn.:
GENERAL: In reply to your reference of the case of Charles Whilan, hospital steward of the rebel army, now a prisoner of war at Chattanooga, Tenn., I have the honor to inform you that it has been decided