John W. Burson was arrested in Washington September 11, 1861, and committed by Justice Donn to the District Jail and from thence was transferred November 1, 1861, to the Old Capitol Prison. The charges against Burson were that he was a spy, disloyal to the United States Government and in correspondence with persons in the rebel arm. It appears from the evidence taken before Justice Donn that Burson was removed from the Navy Department where he had held a clerkship for his disloyl sentiments, and that he refused to take the oath of allegiance; also that he was writing constantly and in correspondence with the rebels. A number of letters were found upon Burson at the time of his arrest written by one B. F. Lum, formerly of Washington, who joined the rebel army. These letters prove that Burson was regarded by Lum as true to the rebel cause and that a constant communication was kept up between them. The letters and the evidence taken before Justice Donn are it is stated on file in the office of the provost-marshal of Washington. The said John W. Burson remained in custody at the Old Capitol February 15, 1862, when in conformity with the order of the War Department of the preceding day he was transferred to the charge of that Department.
Alfred Nettleton was arrested in Washington and September 11, 1861, was committed by Justic Donn to the District Jail and from thence was transferred November 1, 1861, by order of Brigadier-General Porter to the Old Capitol Prison. The charges against Nettleton were that he was a spy, disloyal to the United States Government and heave aided and assisted one Lum to leave Washington for the purpose of joining the rebel army. It appears from the evidence taken before Justice Donn that Nettleton was removed from the Navy Department where he had been a messenger on account of his disloyal sentiments; that he was associated with one Burson, known to be in correspondence and sympathy with the secessionists and that he had been heard to say, "Damn the Union the South will ship hell out of us. " In a letter written to J. W. Burson dated at Wethersfield, Conn., August 13, 1861, Nettleton says he was glad to hear that the Yankees got defeated at Bull Run; "it would have suited me if every mother's son of them had been left dead on the battle-field; that he is coming to Washington in the course of three weeks and perhaps may go farther South. The letter above referred to with others and other evidence against Nettleton are said to be on file in the office of the provost-marshal of Washington. The said Alfred Nettleton remained in custody in the Old Capitol Prison February 15, 1862, when in conformity with the order of the War Department of the preceding day he was transferred to the charge of that Department. - From Record Book, State Department, "Arrests for Disloyalty. "
Statement of Alfred Nettleton.
WASHINGTON, Monday, October 14, 1861.
I am thirty-nine years old; was born in Middle Haddam, Conn., have no wife, but two children staying with my father in Hartford County. I was messenger in the Navy Department, Bureau of Construction, last Administration; resigned 20th of April fearing I would be removed and went home to my friends; remained until the fore part of September; returned here and was arrested the 11th of September charged with being in correspondence with the rebels; complaint made by one John
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