What is to be done with the prisoners?
--Under the head of what is to be done with the Pirates, the Washington
correspondent of the Philadelphia Inquirer, has the following:
This question is now seriously discussed in the Cabinet
, without any definite answer being arrived at * * * * * *
I stated at the same time that the Administration had decided not to hang any of the sailors taken on board of Southern privateers.
The decision was made not from any feeling of clemency towards the captured sailors, but from motives of policy.
The result of the inauguration of such a policy would be the indiscriminate murder of hundreds of prisoners in the hands of the Rebels
, including many valuable citizens, and the enactment of scenes of horror unequalled by those of the French Revolution
The Administration, therefore, decided, as I have said, not to hang any of the pirates.
But within a day or two the question has been again raised in the Cabinet
At least one member of that body is in favor, as he expresses it, of discarding all squeamish nonsense, and of hanging every rebel found in arms against the Government
, whether taken on the sea or land!
This is undoubtedly the course that ought to be taken, if the Government
regards this matter as simply an insurrection.
This is the view taken of it by President Lincoln
; and he, too, although he deplores the necessity of such dreadful measures, is in favor of such a course as will show to the world that we are in earnest in this matter, and that traitors found in arms against the Government
must expect and receive a traitor's doom.
and Mr. Blair
both go for extreme measures, regardless of consequences; and Mr. Smith
also entertains the same views.