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[187] their crimes, if guilty, by the fact of their having been admitted to surrender by their captors, before knowledge of their offences. A discussion ensued which became so heated as almost to create unfriendly feeling, by reason of the unshaken firmness of Mr. Davis in maintaining that although these men merited a refusal to grant them quarter in the heat of battle, they had been received to mercy by their captors as prisoners of war, and as such were sacred; and that we should be dishonored if harm should overtake them after their surrender, the acceptance of which constituted, in his judgment, a pledge that they should receive the treatment of prisoners of war. To Jefferson Davis alone, and to his constancy of purpose, did these men owe their safety in spite of hostile public opinion, and in opposition to two-thirds of the Cabinet.

I forbear from further trespass on your space, although I am in possession of numerous other facts bearing on the subject that could not fail to interest all who are desirous of seeing justice done to the illustrious man, of whose present condition I will not trust myself to speak.

I remain, sir, your obedient servant,


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