PELEG CLARKE'S CASE.
I have now to refer to the testimony of Peleg Clarke, of Fredericksburg (see proceedings of December 8), who alleges that he informed me of the presence of a rebel officer within my lines, and that, being so informed by him on several occasions, I took no steps to arrest him; and, further, that mails, salt, sugar, coffee, boots and shoes, and small-arms were suffered to be taken from Fredericksburg through to the enemy; that sentinels on post in Fredericksburg were prohibited by the inhabitants of the homes they guarded from getting water to drink or taking shelter on their porches when it rained, and that notorious rebels were allowed to enter our lines.
Everything which Peleg Clarke testified to, except the matter of the rebel officer, occurred when I was far away from Fredericksburg and after I had been relieved from the command of the department.
He says as follows to the question:
When did these occurrences-bad treatment of soldiers by citizens and rebels allowed to enter our lines-take place?
Answer. Those that came under my observation were in July. I can't give the several dates-about 6th, 8th, or 10th.
Question. Between what dates or periods were these supplies you have referred to, such as shoes, salt, &c., allowed to pass through the lines at Fredericksburg?
Answer. About the same time I speak of; just prior to that.
Question. Do you know of any practices such as you have stated occurring prior to July last?
Answer. I left there about the 27th of May, I think it was, and returned the fore-part of July, that is, early in July, and knew of no such thing until after my return.
Question. Do you know if General McDowell was ever informed by yourself or others of these occurrences; that is, of irregular mails, supplies, &c., having passed to the enemy?
Answer. I do not, sir.
Colonel Schriver, chief of staff (proceedings of December 9), being asked to state to the court the rules established by General McDowell for the government of the town of Fredericksburg and for granting passes to and fro-
Answer. The subject was with General King, who had full powers in the case. King also had the government of the town.
Question. Did General McDowell, save in some exceptional cases, interfere and in person take charge of the subject-the government of the town or intercourse with its inhabitants?
In continuation Colonel Schriver states that my headquarters were established near Fredericksburg the 4th or 5th of May and removed from there the 26th of May, Front Royal being the destination when we left, and that they were not again established at or near Fredericksburg, and that he never knew of any cases having been reported to me either before or after my headquarters were at Fredericksburg of persons passing supplies of salt, shoes, sugar, &c., or passing noted rebels through the lines; and, further, that I "refused license to trade or establish shops in Fredericksburg because the rules of the blockade would be violated thereby."
It will be seen that during the time Peleg Clarke states these things to have been done, to wit, in July, I was not near the place. It will be also recollected that I was superseded by General Pope June 26.
On the subject of trade, General Wadsworth (proceedings of December 17) being asked-
Do you recollect if General McDowell did not write or telegraph you to discourage the coming of traders to Fredericksburg at the time his headquarters were opposite that place?