I regard your letter as discourteous to the commanding officer of this department and grossly insulting to myself. You seek by implied threats to intimidate him, and assume the privilege of denouncing me as a murderer, on the testimony of your friends, the enemies of myself and country. I shall not enter in to the discussion of any of the questions involved, nor undertake any refutation of the charges you make. Nevertheless, as a matter of personal privilege alone, I say that they are unfounded and unwarranted by the facts, but whether true or false, the questions you ask are matters which the governments of the United States and the Confederate States are to decide, and not their subordinate officers. It is not the policy of the south to destroy the negro; on the contrary, to preserve and protect him, and all who have surrendered to us have received kind and humane treatment. You
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