War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0297 Chapter XXIV. GENERAL REPORTS.

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Answer. I recollect receiving a communication of that sort from him.

I utterly refused any one my permission to open trade in Fredericksburg.

There remains now of Peleg Clarke's testimony what he states in relation to Little, whom he says was a rebel adjutant.

He states he spoke to me three times about Little; once in the Lacy house hall as I was passing through to go out of the house, when he says, "General McDowell seemed to be engaged and in a hurry to attend to other business. It was with difficulty, after waiting some time, that I saw him at all."

"The second interview," he says, "was on the west portico of the house; does not remember that any one was directly present; General McDowell's men were all busy and passing by."

"The third interview," he says, "was on the east steps of the Lacy house," and there was at the foot of the steps, I suppose, some 20 or 30 men on horseback.

In the first interview he states he did not mention that Little was in the rebel service. The last time he saw me I was evidently about to mount my horse, as my escort was at the door. In both cases where he states he referred to Little's character no one was with us. He alone can testify what took place, and by the rules the court has adopted I have been unable to establish anything as to the character or the light in which he appeared to me at the time referred to.

The court has restricted me in this case to establishing the general character of the witness for truth and veracity in the community where he resides; a rule inapplicable in his case, as his place (Fredericksburg) is in the hands of the enemy. I did not, however, seek to establish anything as to his general character for truth and veracity.

In a campaign a general in command of an army is approached or has occasion to see and receive statements from men of all kinds, of every degree of intelligence, of every degree of reliability. The weight he may give to the statements he receives will vary with the individual and the circumstances under which he comes before him. The story of of an intelligent negro or a stupid one, a deserter, a prisoner, a rebel officer, a rebel citizen, a Union man, one of his own men, or one of his own officers, or one of his own personal staff, would each, depending on the subject, receive different degrees of credit. In one case a story might be believed when the same story told by another would be utterly discredited. What, therefore, I wish to bring before the court was the light in which, from what had taken place concerning him, Peleg Clarke appeared to me during these moments in which he succeeded in catching me whilst busy in attending to the wants of a large force, concentrating and preparing it for an offensive movement against the enemy. He was living in Fredericksburg when the war broke out; had had transactions-under compulsion, he states-with the rebel army; had sold them supplies; had property marked "Confederate States" in his ware-house; was known in Fredericksburg as a Union man, and came to our troops as soon as they arrived.

He had his private grievances, his claims for compensation, his wrongs, and other personal matters to attend to. I had appointed a governor of the town, and in addition had assigned a general commanding a division to the special duty of attending to all these details, that they might not interfere with the main object of my being there.

Yet Mr. Clarke persisted in coming to me, and therefore saw me with difficulty and in the casual way he describes. My recollection of him is simply of a man annoying me with what seemed far more closely