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Letter from Mr. Holcombe.

Halifax, Nova Scotia, May 27, 1864.
Hon. J. P. Benjamin, Secretary of State, C. S. A.:
Sir — I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your dispatch of 20th April, communicating the opinion of the Government upon the affair of the Chesapeake, after a full report of all the facts connected with its capture.

I learn with great satisfaction that the exercise of the discretion confided to me over that subject has met with your approbation and that of the President. I shall now devote myself exclusively to the duty of sending home as rapidly as possible such of our escaped prisoners as may be willing to return. There are now twelve in Halifax, nine of whom will go on in the British mail steamer which leaves to-day for Bermuda, and the remaining three, with some others that are expected in the Constance, in about ten days or two weeks hence. The first party is composed of very intelligent and high spirited young men belonging to Morgan's command, and will be a valuable accession at this time. Their representations lead me to fear that the apprehensions intimated in my last will be more than confirmed by the developments of the future. Colonel Kane was greatly mistaken in his estimate of the number in Canada and of those willing to return. I shall proceed at once as far west at Windsor, and endeavor to stimulate them to discharge their duty to their country in this hour of her trial. Besides transportation, I shall offer (what they are very solicitous to procure) such clothing as they may actually need. I fear we cannot expect more than a hundred, however, at the utmost.

I have written to the Governor-General of British North America, informing him of my instructions to respect not only the rules of international law, but the municipal law of Her Majesty's empire.

On reaching Canada I will write more fully.

With the highest consideration, I remain yours, &c.,


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