previous next

Doc. 73.-a flag of truce from the rebels.

The Washington Star has the following particulars of the arrival of the flag of truce:

Yesterday, (July 8.) while Col. Andrew Porter, U. S. A., was scouting at the head of a party of eighteen in the immediate vicinity of the disunion lines on the other side of the river, a party of twenty-two mounted disunion troops was observed approaching them. Col. Porter immediately placed his men in position for a brush, and awaited their nearer approach. Perceiving, when they got in hailing distance of him, that one of them had in his hand, trailing, a white flag, he demanded that they should halt where they were, and explain their errand. They came to a halt, and declared that they bore an important communication from Davis to the President of the United States. [255]

Col. Porter requested them to dismount, and approach with it on foot, a measure of precaution rendered necessary by the fact that the officer bearing the flag was accompanied by a larger escort than that (twelve men) incident to the presence of a flag of truce. His request was complied with, and he found their representation correct. The disunion officer proved to be a Capt. Tom Taylor, of Frankfort, Ky., (a connection of Old Zack's,) who bore a sealed letter from Jeff. Davis to President Lincoln, according to a representation upon its back, written and signed by Beauregard at Manassas, explaining the fact, and asking that Capt. Taylor might be facilitated in his mission.

Col. Porter accordingly sent Capt. Taylor and his missive forward with an officer and an orderly, and directed the disunion escort to return forthwith into their own lines-himself and the picket guard with him, following them for some distance to see that that direction was properly carried out.

Captain Taylor was carried immediately to Gen. McDowell's Headquarters, where, by telegraph, directions were received to send him to Gen. Scott's Headquarters at Washington. He arrived under a guard at seven P. M., and after a brief interview with General Scott, wherein Captain Tom Taylor told his story as he had doubtless been instructed to tell it, he was sent to the President, bearing the sealed missive from Jeff. Davis to that functionary.

His business was disposed of at the White House in a very few minutes; for in that time he was sent back to General Scott with one letter less than he bore on his person on entering the Union lines, the President not deeming the communication he brought such as required him to enter into any correspondence whatever with Davis.

Captain Tom Taylor, of Uncle Sambo's cavalry, was next immediately faced in the direction from which he came, and marched back to General McDowell's Headquarters, where, though courteously and kindly treated, he was kept under a strict guard until an early hour this morning, when he was escorted back to Uncle Sambo's lines, and turned loose to find his way back to Beauregard, without having accomplished what was evidently a main point to be attained by his mission-viz.: to communicate with traitors in our midst, who had doubtless prepared to send to Beauregard, through him, important information concerning the alleged contemplated movement of General McDowell's army upon the inevitable Sambo's lines.

Although the President has communicated the exact contents of the letter from Davis, brought by Capt. Taylor, to none besides his constitutional advisers and Gen. Scott, from certain signs we are able to assure the public that it amounted to nothing of earthly importance in the present crisis.

On the contrary, it was of so little importance in its tenor as to lead to the irresistible conclusion that the real purpose of sending the flag of truce here was but to get an opportunity to communicate surreptitiously with Uncle Sambo's spies in this city at this, to his cause, critical time.

The impression prevailing around us, that President Lincoln will communicate the contents of the letter to Congress, is doubtless erroneous. Though we presume that it will be promptly despatched to the Governor of Virginia, at Wheeling, to whom a person usurping the government of Virginia, as Jeff. Davis has done, should more appropriately address such a missive than to the President of the United States.

We repeat, the whole affair amounted to little more than a ruse or trick of Uncle Sambo's to communicate “on the sly” with traitors in Washington; which failed entirely, owing to the careful watch kept over this Uncle Sambo's instrument in the matter while here, and the precaution taken not to permit him to remain over night in Washington.--Washington Star, July 9.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Washington (United States) (3)
United States (United States) (2)
Wheeling, W. Va. (West Virginia, United States) (1)
Tunstall (Virginia, United States) (1)
Frankfort (Kentucky, United States) (1)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Tom Taylor (7)
Jefferson Davis (6)
Robert E. Scott (4)
Andrew Porter (4)
Irwin McDowell (3)
G. T. Beauregard (3)
Abraham Lincoln (2)
Doc (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
July 9th (1)
July 8th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: