C. C. Clay for the two last days has been somewhat indisposed from muscular rheumatism of left arm, caused by the cold weather. Jeff. Davis is rather less dyspeptic than at last report.
Your obedient servant,
GEO. E. COOPER,
Surgeon, U. S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS FORT LAFAYETTE,
New York Harbor, February 10, 1866.
Bvt. Brigadier General D. T. VAN BUREN,
Asst. Adjt. General, Headquarters Department of the East:
SIR: I have to state that Charles H. Cole, late prisoner at this post, has been discharged by Judge Gilbert at the Brooklyn court-house this day.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brevet Brigadier-General, U. S. Army, Commanding Post.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE EAST,
New York City, February 12, 1866.
Respectfully forwarded to Adjutant-General's Office. Cole was confined as one of the party who attempted to seize the U. S. Steamer Michigan on Lake erie in 1864, &c.
By D. T. VAN BUREN,
WASHINGTON, D. C., February 13, 1866.
Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
SIR: A conversation which I have lately held with Mr. Holland, the counsel of Mr. Gee, who is ordered to be tried before a military commission in Raleigh on a charge of cruelty to the Federal prisoners of war at Salisbury, had induced me to believe that it will be greatly to the satisfaction of the people North and South if before Mr. Gee is put on his trial a court of inquiry should be held and the circumstances connected with the horrors of that prison-house be fully investigated, in order that the whole truth may be known and the responsibility for the terrible suffering in that place may be made to rest on the shoulders of the right persons. Mr. Holland believes that if such a court is held and a full inquiry had that it may be easily shown that persons much higher in command than his client are much more quilty than he. Mr. Holland [Gee] had the rank only of major in the insurgent army, and was charged only with the duty of guarding the prisoners, while he had no authority over the quartermaster or commissaries or surgeons, and could supply neither fuel nor shelter nor food nor medicine. It is believed by Mr. Holland that proof can be made of the guilt of the higher chiers of the rebellion, and that Major Gee can satisfy a court of inquiry that he ought not to be made the scapegoat for the sins of others much more guilty.
I have the honor to be, very respectfull, your obedient servant,
56 R R - SERIES II, VOL III