The undersigned being charged with having and reading a letter in Maryville during the 4th and 5th days of November past purporting to say that the railroad bridges were to go burned take this method of testifying to the public that there is not one word of truth in the entire statement; that we have neither seen, handled, read or heard read any letter on that subject from any quarter whatsoever. We further state upon our oaths that neither of us has received from or addressed or conveyed to any person in Kentucky or connected with the Federal army during the entire summer and fall any private letter touching the war or the troubles growing out of the war. We also testify upon our oaths that we had no knowledge whatsoever of any purpose or plot on the part of any persons or party to burn the bridges; had we been apprised of such a movement we should have protested against it as an outrage.
Subscribed and sworn to this 2nd of December, 1861.
W. G. BROWNLOW.
W. T. DOWELL.
Personally appeared before me, and acting justice of the peace in and for the county of Blout and State of Tennessee this 2nd of December, 1861, James Cumming, W. G. Brownlow and W. T. Dowell and made oath in due form of law that the allegations set forth in the foregoing statement and subscribed by them are true.
Justice of the Peace for Blount County.
KNOXVILLE, December 6, 1861.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:
W. G. Brownlow arrested to-day for treason on a warrant issued by the Confederate States commissioner and drawn up by muself. Will write you the facts in full that prompted his arrest in a day or two. Hope you will postpone your decision until you hear them.
J. C. RAMSEY.
KNOXVILLE, TENN., December 7, 1861.
Honorable JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President Confederate States of America.
SIR: I heartily concur in what is said in the accompanying letter by Doctor Ramsey and Mr. Tibbs, the member-elect to the permanent Congress from the third district of Tennessee. In addition to what is therein stated I must be permitted to express my utter surprise at the fact that the Secretary of War should have ordered that Brownlow be permitted to leave Secretary of War should have ordered that Brownlow be permitted to leave East Tennessee and indentify himself more effectually with the forces of Lincoln in Kentucky. This surprise results more from the fact that but a day or two since I was in Richmond and had a full and frank conversation with Mr. Benjamin in reference to the state of affairs in East Tennessee and he did in no manner allude to the propriety of grating such a passport to Brownlow.
I have but recently been elected to the permanent Congress from this (second) Congressional district (as Mr. Tibbs has been from the third) and upon my return from Richmond I found the citizens and soldiers almost unanimously indignant at this order in Brownlow's behalf, and to my utter astonishment the report prevailed that I while at Richmond had secured such an order.