W. G. Brownlow was absent from Knoxville where he resides. Very soon some friend or friends of his approached me on the subject of his return to Knoxville and I had several interview with the son of Mr. Brownlow who was intercefor his father in the premises. During several days Mr. Brownlow's son was very was importunate in calling upon me and making solicitations in behalf of his fahter of some sort or another. In the beginning the letter of Mr. Brownlow to General Carrol dated November 22 and received about the time of my arrival was handed to me and dicsoussed between myself and the son of Mr. Brownlow. In this letter Mr. Brownlow stated that he was willing and ready at any time to stand a trial upon any points before any civil tribunal but sought protection from troops and armed men on a return to Knoxville, denying at the same time having had any connection with arming men oe with armed bodies of men or with bridge-burners or bridge-burning. General Carroll also handed to me his reply to this letter.
In the several interview between the son of Mr. Brownlow and one or more of his friends and myself Mr. Brownlow's innocence of any treasonable conduct was vouched as the basis of any disposition to be made toward him and I stated to Mr. Brownlow's son who was acting for his father that if he came to Knoxville he must submit to the civil authorities.
Finally about the 4th of 5th of December. I think Mr. Baxter, a friend of Mr. Brownlow, together with his son called me and Mr. Baxter delivered to me an open letter from yourself brought by him dated November 20 and referring to Mr. Brownlow's departure beyond our lines. Thereupon and on the solications made to me in behalf of Mr. Brownlow I directed my assistant adjutant-general to inform Mr. Brownlow in writting that if he would come to Knoxville within a given time I would give him a passport and send him with an escort beyond our lines. I designed this escort to convey him directly through our lines so that he could see nothing of our lines and fortifications. At the given time Mr. Brownlow came and I made arrangements with him as to the time and manner of his departure which were satisfactory to him. I designed sending him off the next day but he desired to stay over a day and on that day before his departure was arrested with a warrant by the civil authorities on a charge of treason.
Mr. Brownlow addressed a not to me stating his arrest and that he had come hom upon my invitation and calimed to be under my protection. As I had stated explicity to Mr. Brownlow's son who acted for his father and who went after and did conduct his father into town that if he came he must submit to the civil authorities and as his innocence of any treasonable conduct was considered in the arrangements for him I directed one of my aides to reply to his note to the effect that in view of all the facts I could not interfere with the civil authorities so as to protect him from and investigation by them of charges made in their tribunals against him which I clearly understood from himself and his friends he would not seek to avoid.
Of course if the civil authorities release Mr. Brownlow I shall proceed at once to give a passport and send him with and escort beyond our lines.
I remain, ver respectfully, yours, &c.,
G. B. CRITTENDEN,
Major-General, C. S. Army.