War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0356 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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immediate connection with the quarters of the negroes, a part of whom are confined to their bed sick with various diseases. You will pardon this lengthy letter but I am compelled to seek your assistance. I claim to be loyal to the Government and would do anything in my power to crush this rebellion. My only apology for any seeming misconduct on my part subjecting me to incarration must be that of too free use at the time of drink.

Most respectfully,



Washington, D. C., October 15, 1861.

Brigadier General A. PORTER, Provost-Marshal.

DEAR SIR: In the case of John S. Emerson, a prisoner committed to the city jail about the 2nd of July last by order of General Mansfield on the charge of being a spy, I have the honor to report in obedience to your request that it appears from the statement of the prisoner and the meager papers in the case that he is a native of Alexandria, Va., where the most of his family connections reside; that he is about forty years of age; that he has for several years past followed the business of a steam-boat captain on Southern and Western rivers, principally the Mississippi; that he left Memphis in April last on account of the suspension of navigation by the national troubles and came on a visit to his friends in Alexandria, and that he was arrested by the provost-mashal there on the 24th of June on the charge of being a spy and sent to this city where he was committed to the jail where he is now confined by order of General Mansfield. The following is the record in the case, as per copy furnished by Justice Donn:

ALEXANDRIA, July 2, 1861.

Prisoner John S. Emerson (also Lieutenant Hill) was arrested by myself on the supposition that he was a spy. He has been around the camps and inside the lines and made himself familiar with the officers and men and passed himself off as Lieutenant Hill, of the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment Company B, and that he was wounded at the fight in Baltimore at the time the regiment passed through there; and as there as no such officer in said company and he being a native of this place I arrested him June 24, and he has been inc confinement since the time of his arrest. He made it a point to go around and converse with the sentinels and try to pick up all the information he could in relation to their numbers, names of regiments, &c.


Lieutenant and Provost-Marshal.


Mr. Justice Donn will committ this man as a spy for the present.


Brigadier-General, &c.

OCTOBER -, 1861.

The above is a true copy of papers in my possession in relation to the party now confined in Washington jail. I have written in connection with the case to Lieutenant Shepard but have heard nothing relative to the case.


Justice of the Peace for Washington County, D. C.

Mr. Emerson says in his statement that he is Union in feeling; has never cast a vote for any one, having been constantly on the river and not having any permanent place of residence and consequently taking no interest in political matters; that he will take the oath of allegiance; that he does not wish to take any part in this contest; that he has no