By the President of the Confederate States--a Proclamation.--Whereas a communication was addressed on the 6th day of July last, (1862,) by General Robert B. Lee, acting under the instructions of the Secretary of War of the Confederate States of America, to General H. W. Hallock, General-in-Chief of the United States army, informing the latter that a report had reached this Government that Wm. B. Mumford, a citizen of the Confederate states, had been executed by the United States authorities at New Orleans, for having pulled down the United States flag in that city before its occupation by the forces of the United states, and calling for a statement of the facts, with a view to retaliation if such an outrage had really been committed under sanction of the authorities of the United States: And whereas, (no answer having been received to said letter,) another letter was, on the2d August last, (1862) addressed by Gen. Lee, under my instructions to Gen. Halleck, renewing the inquiry in relation to the said execution of said Mumford, with the information that in the event of not receiving a reply within fifteen days, it would be assumed that the fact alleged was true, and was sanctioned by the Government of the United States: And whereas, an answer dated on the 7th August last, (1862) was addressed to General Lee by Gen. H. W. Halleck, the said General-in-Chief of the armies of the United States, alleging sufficient cause for failure to make early reply to said letter of 6th July, asserting that ‘"no authentic information had been received in relation to one execution of Mumford, but measures will be immediately taken to ascertain the facts of the alleged execution,"’ and promising that General! Lee should be duly informed thereof: And whereas on the20th November last, (1862) another letter was addressed under my instructions by Robert Ould, Confederate agent for the exchange of prisoners under the cartel between the two Governments, to Lieut-Colonel W. H. Lud low, agent of the United States under said cartel, informing him that the explanations promised in the said letter of General Halleck of 7th August last, had not yet been received, and that if no answer was sent to the Government within fifteen days from the delivery of this last communication, it would be considered that an answer is declined: And whereas by lusher, dated on the 3d day of the present month of December, the said Lt-Col Ludlow apprised the said Robert Ould that the above recited communication of 29th of November, had been received and forwarded to the Secretary of War of the United States: And whereas this last delay of fifteen days, allowed for answer has elapsed, and no answer has been received: And whereas in addition to the tacit admission resulting from the above refusal to answer, I have received evidence fully establishing the truth of the fact that the said Wm. B. Mumford a citizen of this Confederacy, was actually and publicly executed in cold blood by hanging, after the occupation of the city of New Orleans by the forces under the command of Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, when said Mumford was an unresisting and non-combatant captive, and for no offence even alleged to have been committed by him subsequent to the date of the capture of the said city: And whereas the silence of the Government of the United States, and its maturating of said Butler in high office under its authority, for many months after his commission of an act that can be viewed in no other light than as a deliberate murder, as well as of numerous other ou s and atrocities hereafter to be mentioned, afford evidence only too conclusive that the said Government sanctions the conduct of said Butler and is determined that he shall remain unpunished for his crimes: Now therefore, I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, and in their name, do pronounce and declare the said Benjamin F. Butter to be a falon deserving of capital punishment. I do order that he be no longer considered or treated simply as a public enemy of the Confederate States of America, but as an outlaw and common enemy of mankind, and that in the event of his capture, the officer in command of the capturing force do cause him to be immediately executed by banging; and I do further order that no commissioned officer of the United States, taken captive shall be released on parole before exchange until the said Batler shall have met with due punishment for his crimes: And whereas the hostilities waged against this Confederacy by the forces of the United States, under the command of said Benjamin F. Butler, have borne no resemblance to such warfare as is alone permissible by the rules of international law or the usages of civilization, but have been characterised by repeated atrocities and outrages, among the large number of which, the following may be cited as examples: Peaceful and aged citizens, unresisting captives and non combatants have been contained at hard labor with balls and chains attached to their limbs, and are still so held dungeons and fortresses.--Others have been subjected to a like degrading punishment for selling medicines to the sick soldiers of the Confederacy. The soldiers of the United States have been invited and encouraged general orders to insult and outrage the wives, the mothers, and the sisters of our citizens. Helpless women have been torn from their homes and subjected to solitude confinement some in fortresses, and prisons, and one, especially, on an island of barren sand, under a tropical sun, have been fed with loath rations that had been condemned as unfit soldiers, and have been ex-exposed to the vilest ults. Prisoners of war was surrendered to the naval forces of the United States on agreement that they should be released on role have been seized and kept in close confine t. Repeated pretexts have been sought or invented for plundering the inhabitants of the captured city by fines levied and acted under threat of imprisoning recusants at hard labor with ball and chain. The entire population of the city of New Orleans have been forced to elect between starvation by the confiscation of all their property, and taking an oath against conscience to bear allegiance to the invaders of their country. Egress from the city has been refused to those whose fortitude withstood the test, even to lone and aged women and to helpless children; and after being elected from their homes and robbed of their property they have been left to starve in the streets, or subsist on charity. The slaves have been driven from the plantations in the neighborhood of New Orleans, till their owners would consent to share the crops with the commanding General, His brother, Andrew J. Butler, and other officers; and when such consent had been extorted the slaves have been restored to the plantations, and there compelled to work under the bayonets of the guards of United States soldiers. Where this partnership was refused, armed expeditions have been sent to the plantations to rob them of everything that was susceptible of removal; and even slaves, too aged or infirm for work, have, in spite of their entreaties, been forced from the homes provided by the owners, and driven to wanner helpless on the highway. By a recent General Order (No. 91) the entire property in that part of Louisiana lying west of the Mississippi river, has been sequestrated for confiscation, and officers have been assigned to duty with orders to ‘"gather up and collect the personal property and turn over to the proper officers, upon their receipts, such of said property as may be required for the use of the United States army; to collect together all the other personal property and bring the same to New Orleans, and cause it to be sold at public auction to the highest bidders" ’--an order which, if executed condemns to punishment by starvation, at least a quarter of a million of human beings, of all ages, sexes, and conditions; and of which the execution, although forbidden to military officers by the orders of President Lincoln, is in accordance with the Confiscation law of our enemies, which he has elected to be enforced through the agency of civil officials. And, finally, the African slaves have not only been excited to insurrection by every license and encouragement; but numbers of them have actually been armed for a servile war, a war in its nature far exceeding in horrors the most merciless atrocities of the savages: And whereas the officers under the command of the said Butler have been, in many instances, active and zealous agents in the commission of these crimes, and no instance is known of the refusal of any one of them to participate in the outrages above narrated. And whereas the President of the United States has, by public and official declaration, signified not only his approval of the effort to excite servile war within the Confederacy, but his intention to give aid and encouragement thereto, if these independent States shall-continue to refuse submission to a foreign power after the 1st day of January next, and has thus made known that all appeals to the laws of nations, the dictates of reason, and the instincts of humanity would be addressed in vain to our enemies and that they can be deterred from the commission of these crimes only by the terrors of just retribution: Now, therefore, I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, and acting by their authority, appealing to the Divins Judge in attestation that their conduct is not guided by the passion of revenge, but that they reluctantly yield to the solemn duty of repressing, by necessary severity, crimes of which their citizens are the victims, do issue this my proclamation, and by virtue of my authority as Commander in Chief of the armies of the Confederate States do order.
- 1st. That all commissioned officers in the command of said Benjamin F. Hitler be declared not entitled to be considered as soldiers engaged in honorable warfare, but as robbers and criminals, deserving death; and that they and each of them be, whenever captured, reserved for execution.
- 2d. That the private soldiers and non-commissioned officers in the army of said Butler be considered as only the instruments used for the commission of the crimes perpetrated by his orders, and not as free agents; that they therefore be treated, when captured, as prisoners of war, with kindness and humanity, and be sent home on the usual parole, that they will in no manner aid or serve the United States in any capacity during the continuance of this war, unless duly exchanged.
- 3d. That all negro slaves captured in arms be at once delivered over to the Executive authorities of the respective States to which they belong, to be dealt with according to the laws of said States.
- 4th, That the like orders be executed in all