TO GENERAL HALLECK.
Washington, May 10, 1806.
". . . Things in general stand badly, and the rebels are by no means subdued. Johnson has revived them. I had recently a letter from a Charlestonian in which the writer speaks of " Northern disunionists,'' and the great hopes of the South having been revived by that noble President. N. B. This was, and no doubt is still, a rank secessionist. ... I delivered, yesterday, a very long report to the Committee on the Judiciary, of the house. They wished for information on three special points, namely: whether I had found in the arehives any proof that the secessionists in Canada acted by order of the Richmond government and were paid by it; whether there was any evidence that Jefferson Davis or the Richmond government knew about the assassination plots ; and whether there was any circumstantial evidence confirming things which appeared in the trial of Lincoln's assassins. ... I wish, of course, that men like you could read the report, and the copies of the many letters I sent along with it. Some two hundred and seventy thousand letters have been examined for this and other purposes. There remain, I suppose, about sixty thousand to be examined and briefed. . . . The West Point Bill has passed the house. I believe there is no appropriation for a chair on the Law of War in it. ... The trial of Jeff. Davis will be a terrible thing. Volumes—a library — of the most infernal treason will be brought to light. Davis will not be found guilty, and we shall stand there completely beaten. The time was lost and ean never be recovered. . . .
I found a paper containing the report of a committee of the Richmond congress to their secretary of war, of 1862, informing him that the prisons of the Union soldiers were beyond description loathsome, and that the committee could stay but a few moments in some of the apartments. But what use is it to find such things if I or some one else cannot publish them now. In less than ten years the archives will exist no more. . . .
I had this moment a letter from Attorney-General Speed. It contains a passage which will be of interest to you. He says: " The professional mind in America made rapid progress in the right understanding of the laws of war; but now other questions of instant and practical use will engross it, and I fear it will either remain stationary or retrograde. To 'correct that evil — for evil it would be — there should be an earnest and able teacher of those laws at West Point. There the laws of war should be primary, and international law incidental. A chair with such a title in that institution would arrest and hold the professional and public attention to the subject, or greatly contribute to it." ... I believe Speed knows nothing of my proposition of such a chair. . ."