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[500] reply was not received in fifteen days, it would be assumed that the alleged facts were true, and were sanctioned by the government of the United States, and on that government would rest the responsibility of retaliatory measures. The reply of the commanding general (Halleck) at Washington was in these words:
As these papers are couched in language insulting to the Government of the United States, I most respectfully decline to receive them.

On August 20, 1862, I issued an order threatening retaliation for the lives of peaceable citizens reported to have been executed by Brigadier General Fitch. That report was afterward ascertained to be untrue. On the next day I issued another order which, after reciting the principal facts, directed that Major General Hunter and Brigadier General Phelps should be no longer held and treated as public enemies of the Confederate States, but as outlaws; that in the event of the capture of either of them, or that of any other commissioned officer employed in drilling, organizing, or instructing slaves, with a view to their armed service in this war, he should not be regarded as a prisoner of war, but held in close confinement for execution as a felon, at such time and place as may be ordered.

In the case of William B. Mumford, a letter was received from General Halleck, dated August 7, 1862, stating sufficient causes for a failure to make an earlier reply to the letter of July 6th; it asserted that ‘no authentic information had been received in relation to the execution of Mumford, but measures will be immediately taken to ascertain the facts of the alleged execution,’ and promised that General Lee should be duly informed thereof. Subsequently, on November 25, 1862, our agent for the exchange of prisoners, Robert Ould, under my instructions, addressed the agent of the United States, informing him that the explanation promised on August 7th had not been received; that, if no answer was sent within fifteen days, it would be considered that an answer was declined. On December 3d our agent, Ould, was apprised by the agent of the United States that his letter had been forwarded to the Secretary of War at Washington, and no answer was returned, which was regarded as a tacit admission of the charge. Besides, I had received evidence fully establishing the fact that the said Mumford, a citizen of the Confederacy, was actually and publicly executed in cold blood by hanging after the occupation of New Orleans by the forces under General Benjamin F. Butler, when said Mumford was an unresisting and noncombatant captive, and for no offenses even alleged to have been committed by him subsequent to the date of the occupation of **

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