Letter from William Delay to Mississippi Governor Charles Clark; November 27, 1863

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Oxford Miss. Nov 27th 1863.

His Excellency Gov Chas Clark,

Sir: At the request of a number of prominent citizens ofIllegible here, I make for your consideration the fol-lowing Statement, and ask your opinion at your earliest convenience.

A Lady and her aged father from Calhoun Co. recently visited their relations in De Soto Co. and while there, pur-chased a barrel of salt from their relatives paying the money for the Same -- they had no cotton. On their return home their wagon team and salt were seized by our troops, confiscated and turned over to the Govern-ment. These facts as Stated, were proven to Gen Lee, who is here, and he refused ot give up anything, alleging that it was the order of Gen Johnston, and must be carried out, showing that if a citizen on this side of the Tallahatchie river crosses over and purchases articles of cit-izens with money, on the other side, their prop-erty is liable to confiscation. There have been several cases similar, occurred [Underline from "There to occurred"] here recently, and civil process issued by the citizens to recover the property and in every instance over ruled and disregarded by the military authority. Can the civil law be enforced, or can the mili-tary authorities over rule and disregard all civil law?

Yur answer will be anxiously looked for here at an early day.

I have the honor to be very Respectfully, Your Obt Svt Wm Delay.

Hon Chas Clark Gov. of Miss.

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Wm Delay. Nov. 27th 1863.

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Copy Meridian Dec 9 1863 Referred to Major Gen Lee who is respectfully re-quested to report the facts in this case --

J. E Johnston General

Hd Qurts [Illegible] Miss

Grenada Dec 22 1863

Respy referred to Brig Genl Chalmers for his investigation and report.

By Command of Maj Genl S D Lee L W Holt AAG

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Hd Qurs Chalmers Cav Near Como Jany 6 1864

The facts stated are about true so far as I Know -- The case was examined and settled by Maj Genl Lee and he knows more of it than I do - Genl Lee simply enforced the orders of Genl Johnston that were plain and unmistakable

Jas R Chalmers Brig Genl

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Hd Qurs Jackson Miss Jan 19 1864

The two Telegrams en-closed, will explan all the facts -

My orders were to confiscate all goods & c coming into our lines from Enemy's or in other words [Underlined] to break up the trade in North Miss with the Enemy -- Brig Genl Chalmers could [Underlined] not get the confiscated Stores adjudicated on by the proper Judicial officers

Respectfully forwarded S. D. Lee Maj Genl

Respy [Illegible] to Gov Clark

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