War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 1095 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

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grade who may be in our hands or on such other terms as are conformable to usage and previous exchanges.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILL. M. LEVY,

Major and Commissioner of Exchange

On the part of Major-General Taylor, C. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,

Petersburg, Va., March 25, 1864.

General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General C. S. Army:

GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose copy of letter from General J. J. Peck and my answer to same, and am, general,

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. E. PICKETT,

Major-General, Commanding.

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,

March 15, 1864.

Major General J. J. PECK,

Commanding U. S. Forces, New Berne, N. C.:

GENERAL: The communication you have done me the honor to address, under date of February 27,* is at hand. Having nothing in it which, as I conceive, has any noticeable bearing upon the matters first advanced by you, and being, in fact, merely an opinion of your own, intended entirely to gain favor with your superiors at your seat of Government, I merely deem it necessary to acknowledge its receipt.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. E. PICKETT,

Major-General, Commanding.

AUSTIN, March 25, 1864-11 p. m.

[General J. B. MAGRUDER:]

MY DEAR GENERAL: I write this letter directly to you, as I desire to say several things which I could not well write in an official communication. The courier arrived this morning with letters to me, and orders to the commander of this post, which of course changed the programme we had decided upon in regard to the political prisoners, who are now in Austin. The attorney appointed by the court and myself had been laboriously engaged upon the testimony ever since Monday last, and had pretty well come to the conclusion that we would be able to convict the whole five of them of treason, when your order received this morning required Major Sparks to take the prisoners out of the hands of the sheriff and the possession of the supreme court, and carry them at once to the city of Houston. Feeling the importance of avoiding any conflict with the civil authorities, particularly in the first attempt to act under the late law, suspending the writ of habeas corpus, I had Major Sparks to make an oath to the nature of the order he had received, and with a letter directed to the supreme court, asking that the prisoners be delivered to the military authorities. These two papers, with your letter to me, to be read to the court, I had filed when the case was called this

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*See Series I, Vol XXXIII, p. 869.

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