War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0463 EARLY EVENTS INMISSOURI, ETC.

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Question. from what place and course did prisoner come at the time last told?

Answer. Was coming from right, due south, toward his residence, going north.

Question. Was any one with the prisoner at the time last stated?

Answer. No, sir.

By a MEMBER OF THWE COURT:

Question. Who told you about the road having been torn up?

Answer. I don't recollect. Several came into the post-office which was kept by Mr. Petty and talked about it.

Question. What was Mr. Petty doing at the time you saw him before day?

Answer. Riding along the road.

Question. How did you happen to be up and about at that time?

Answer. I had a sick child. I went out to the wood pile to get some wood and saw him coming along riding a yello horse and spoke to him.

Here the defense rested.

At the request of the prisoner the court here adjourned at 4 p. m. until 6 p. m. sameday to enable the prisoner to prepare statement in his defense.

LEWIS MERRILL,

Colonel Regiment Merrill's Horse, President Military Commission.

ROBERT A. HOWARD,

First Lieutenant, Merrill's Horse, Recorder, Military Commission.

MONDAY, March 3, 1862 - 6 p. m.

Court met pursuant to adjourment, all the members present.

The prisoner presented the following statement which at his request was read by the judge-advocate:

Defendant voluntarily states to the court he is entirely innocent of the charges preferred against him. He respectfully represents that on the morning of the 21st of December last, being the day succeeding the night on which the North Missouri Railroad was destroyed, he left his residence early in the morning (perhaps about two hours before day) intending to go to the town of Sturgeon, some sixteen miles distant, for the purpose of transacting some business wholly of a private nature with a Mr. Cross, the then postmaster at that place. On the way he met with the witness Patton as stated by him in his testimony. Proceeding on his way to Sturgeon when within about six miles west of that place (this was between 8 and 9 o'clock) he learned that there was a body of Federal troops in Sturgeon and that he would probably be arrested if he should go on whereupon he turned around and returned straight home where he remained all the evening seeing divers persons who came in the post-office, this being mail day. Neither did the witness Gosling, Crosswhite and Schooler nor any mortal see defendant on that morning at Riggs' pasture, nor at the fight named by them. They are either innocently mistaken as to the man or they have sworn falsely, and I fully believe they were mistaken from the fact that he had only a passing acquaintance with eitehr of them. He had no company of men there or at any other time. Hecolemnly avers that he dod not attempt to destroy the North Missouri Railroad or any of its property in any manner, shape or from at any time and under any circumstances; nor has he aided or abetted in so doing; nor has he incited or in any way influence any one so to do. The injury to the road was accomplished without his knoewledge and the announcement of the fact of its destruction was to him the first notice that such intention existed.

W. F. PETTY.