exchange are permitted to enjoy the benefits of the general release will I be able to forward such prisoners as we hold, coming within the purview of the agreement of November last.
Permit me also to call your attention to the fact that James Vaughn, my father, was also, under the agreement of your predecessor and myself, to have been released from confinement at Louisville, Ky., and permitted to return to his home in Monroe City. He is a citizen, an aged and infirm man, and with no charges of any character against him.
I have reliable information that the reported death of Judge Van Dyke is not true, and that he is still in confinement at Camp Chase. I would also refer you to the fact that you are laboring under mistake as to the release of Crouch, Scruggs, Lindsay, and Biltenton. They are still in prison at Camp Chase. You also hold J. A. Sperry, Goforth, and others - citizens who were captured and carried off from this place during the late raid of Major-General Stoneman. I have had some intimations, though not officially, that these parties, or some of them at least, have been turned over by the military to the civil authorities. I know not who or how many are kept in prison under this pretext. The agreement of General Carter and myself not only provided for the release of such citizens as were then in confinement and custody, but also that no other or further arrests of that character should be made. the arrest of these last-named and other citizens was clearly in violation of that agreement, and the mere fact of the subsequent transfer of those parties to the civil authorities does not purge the action of bad faith or release the military authorities from responsibility for their release and return.
I hope soon to be able to send to your lines all citizen prisoners now held by our authorities from the Department of East Tennessee, and would have done so ere this but for difficulties over which I had no control.
I would also take occasion to inform you that I have recently had George Netherlands, or Hawkins County, arrested, and he is now in custody as a hostage for a William Blackburn, of Claiborne County, an aged citizen, who was arrested during the raid, and is now, I am informed, in prison at Knoxville. Unpleasant as the duty may be, and as much at variance as it is with the spirit and intentions animating your predecessor and myself in our interview and agreement at New Market, I am reluctantly compelled, in consequence of the disregard of that agreement on the part of the Federal authorities in persisting in the arrest and confinement of citizens, to resort to this mode of retaliation. Justice to the citizens who are made thus to suffer for their opinions' sake requires it at my hand, and candor requires me to give you timely information that I will continue to arrest man for man one Union citizen for every Southern man arrested on your side. I will in carrying out this determination have regard to those and all of those who have been arrested since the 10th of November, the date of the New Market agreement.
I promised General Carter orally that I would wait a reasonable time for the release of Jos. B. Heiskell, in whose case he said there were some difficulties over which he could not then exercise full control, but he hoped to be able to effect his discharge in a short time. Mr. Heiskell is still in confinement, and I have given orders for the arrest of citizens to be held as hostages for him. Permit me, however, general, to give you my solemn assurance that whenever a proper disposition shall be exhibited by the U. S. authorities to carry out the letter
18 R R - SERIES II, VOL VIII