of the citizens of the State and the permanent constitution of the Confederate States had in like manner been adopted the undersigned with others who had become prominent by reason of their opposition to those measures voluntarily addressed a communication to Brigadier-General Zollicoffer in which they pledged themselves to use whatever influence they might possess to promote the peace of East Tennessee and obedience to the constituted authorities, State and Confederate, on the part of her people. That pledge was made with a sincere determination so far as the undersigned was concerend to fulfill it according to its letter and spirit, and he has done so. And while General Zollicoffer remained at Knoxville with his command the undersigned and all other law-abiding citizens were protected; but after his departure he soon became convinced that the undersigned and his family were in danger of violence from the soldiers stationed at that place under the command of Colonel William B. Wood. Certain of those soldiers were in the daily habit of coming to the residence of the undersigned, flourishing their knives, pointing their muskets at the windows and uttering threats to take his life. The undersigned firmly believes that the soldiers were incited to act in that manner by his bitter personal enemies who sought to make the military the instrument of their private revenge. However this may be he and his family believed that his life was in danger and that his presence at home imperiled instead of securing the safety of this wife and children. He therefore yielded to the entreaties of his friends to leave home for a time and he consented to do so the more readily as he had business in adjoining counties which needed his attention. He accordingly left his home and during his absence heard of the late burning of the bridges on the railroads in East Tennessee and also heard about the same time that he was charged with complicity in that crime and outrage. The undersigned knew that the most intense excitement prevailed in the country; that the passions of the citizens and soldiery were fully aroused; and his knowledge of the history of mankind in the past taught him that in such seasons of high excitement the innocent and the guilty would suffer together. Prudence therefore dictated that he should for a time-until the passions of men should have time to cool and reason to reassume her sway-conceal himself that no occasion should occur for violence to his person.
The undersigned asserts his entire innocence of the several charges which have been invented by his enemies. He has not since the date of the letter to General Zollicoffer before referred to done aught inconsistent with the pledge it contains. He has not furnished guns to men in arms against the Confederate States as has been untruly charged by some of the newspapers in the country. He had no knowledge of the project to burn the bridges whatever and here declares that had such a design been communicated to him he would at once have given information of it to the proper parties. In a word he has done nothing which malice itself could strain into a crime against the laws of Tennessee or of the Confederate States. Neverthless he did for the reason before stated secrete himself where he believes he was prefectly secure from discovery. While he was thus safely concealed he was informed that John Baxter, esq., who was on a visit to the city of Richmond applied to the War Department for permission to the undersigned to leave the territory of the Confederate States.
He is informed further that after an interview with your excellency and the Secretary of War a letter was written by the latter to Major General George B. Crittenden a correct copy of which is submitted here-