When we learned an armed body of men had assembled at Clift's for the purpose of resistance-the people in the country being much alarmed-some of his original Southern personal friends desired he should go over there and use his influence to get them to disperse. He consented to do so and informed me of his intention but I opposed his going fearing it might bring him into trouble from the Union people. He replied that his neighbors were anxious for him to go and as he was reflected on to some extent for former Union sentiments he felt it his duty to do all in his power to arrest the evil. He remained only a few hours at Clift's, stayed over night at Colonel C. D. Luttrell's and returned there the day he was at Clift's. Colonel Luttrell who is an out-and-out original Southern man approved of and encouraged his mission to Clift's. He was there several days before the forces moved on Clift's camp and at home as they passed his house. So soon as he returned from the camp he informed me he could no nothing with them and I came into town and so informed my Southern friends. He even said it was dangerou\s to speak of peace to the motley crew.
I do not desire as you know to have any man released who in any way encouraged rebellion; but Bradford I know is an innocent man and is a good Southern man and so shown himself from date named and I would therefore be glad to see him released.
FRANCK W. LEA.
CLEVELAND, TENN., January 8, 1862.
[Colonel CHARLES M. McGHEE.]
DEAR SIR: James B. Bradford, of this county, was arrested some time since and sent to Tuscaloosa. Mr. Bradford was originally a Union man but I know of no other charge that has been brought against him. Since the separation of the State from the Federal Government he has consistently recommended submission to the will of the majority of the people of the State. This I have heard him frequently do in the presence of Union men and secessionists. Mr. Bradford neither attended nor encouraged any of the meetings held in East Tennessee of a hostile character and I am satisfied he disapproved of the whole of them. I do not believe he ought to have been arrested but such was the excitement here at that time that but little was said about it by Southern rights men.
Now that everything is calm and quiet it is believed by the original secessionists of whom I am ne that Bradford ought to be released. You know that I would be the last one who would screen any one who had any connection with Toryism in East Tennessee. I am satisfied, however, that Bradford had nothing to do with it and was arrested simply because he had been a Union man. In view of these considerations I respectfully submit whether it would not be better for our cause and justice be more perfectly subserved to have Mr. Bradford released or brought back and tried? If he is guilty let him be punished. If he is innocent you will agree with me that he ought to be discharged. You have only inquired of me as to Mr. Bradford. I might perhaps give you the names of others who have been submitted to equally as great outrages by the petty personal prejucices of some of our recent converts who are now in brief authority.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
SAML. A. SMITH.