War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0368 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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resolving to take no advantage of me even if its generous action should turn out to be misplaced. l submit that this view is conclusive to the result that there is no power in the court to treat me as a criminal under the second charge. But my honor is involved as a gentlemen and soldier that I clear myself of all imputation of improver action touching the peculiar relation between myself and the Government arising out of the action of the Government toward me. I recognized then and do now the delicacy of that relation, and I insist that my conduct was entirely consistent with the most romantic standard of honor. It will be conceded by the comission that it is of the essence of every breach of parole that it should be intentional; that the party chargd with the breach should have fully understood the nature of his obligation and with that knowledge broken it. Before the world I solemnly declare that I would have surendered my life before breaking intentionally any known obligation to the Government arising out of the circumstances by which I was carried to the bedside of a dying wife. Never fI any other understanding of what passed between the officers of the Government and myself than that it was my privilege to determine what should be my future relation to the United States, and that I had the time of ten days to decide the question. Torn by condlicitong motives strong and powerful in their antagonism I decided, and sent back the safeguard sent to me by the Government throught the same channel by which it came. At that moment I believed the negotiation or conference ended and that I stood on the precise ground occupied by me at the moment of the interview at Colonel Hughes' residence where I met the officer of the United States. I am satisfied now from the testimony of Colonels Brown and Hughes that they neither of those gentlemen deem me capable of violating a known obligation.

It is not important that I should analyze the processes through which my mind went before the decision was finally made. The peril which surrounded me at home was better understood by me than by the officers of the United States. I had knowledge of danger unknown to them. I remembered and shall not soon forger the scenes of Georgetown. I remember too events earlier in point of time than the day of my capture as well others more recent, coming up to the period of my final determination. I felt that the post at Sedalia was no security for me. I remembered how unavailing were the efforts of the officers of the United States to save from cold - blooded assassination Judge Richardson at Canton, and I know that my peril must be as great as his own. I did not doubt the will of the U. S. officers to save me from the hands of violence but I doubted and still doubt their power to save me from the shot of an assassin. I brokeno parole express or implied. A parole express or implied imposes no obligation except during its continuance. Whenever it expires by its own limitations or by the optioin of the pary giving it all of its obligations cease. My determination ended all parole. The time givne was for my benefit not that of the Government. If at the hour when I laid my wife in her grave I had decided not to make an arrangement with the Government at that instant all parole constructive or express expired and left me free to act as an enemy of the Government, if my judgment should so dictate. Still to avoid the imputation of error I studiously avoided taking up arms against the United States till after the expiration of the ten days. I was not in arms against the Government at Milford. I did no act and gave no counsel against the Government