Mr. Sanford to Mr. Hunter

No. 266.]

Sir: The voice of hostility to the Union is hushed by the universal sentiment of horror and sympathy which has been aroused by the tragic events at Washington. Under the cloak of condolence, however, is a general outcry on the part of those most opposed to us heretofore for “moderation, conciliation,”&c. It would seem as if our enemies, assured that this rebellion was to be a failure, were seeking, under the plea of humanity, to prevent the thorough eradication of treason from our land, in order that its roots may remain and bring forth a new crop of rebels, to again attempt our destruction.

My reply, in my limited sphere, to these officious people, is that the treatment of those who plotted and carried on this rebellion is an internal matter which concerns ourselves solely, and is the business of those charged to execute our laws, and of nobody else; that the masses who have been led astray, I doubt not, will be treated as erring brethren, who have already been punished severely enough by the calamities of the war into which their chiefs betrayed them, but [Page 87] that their political leaders will, doubtless, receive the same punishment, if captured, that would be meted to treason in any other country.

I have the honor to be with great respect, your most obedient servant,


Hon. W. Hunter, Acting Secretary of State, &c., &c., &c.