War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0372 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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HDQRS. CITY GUARD, PROVOST-MARSHAL'S OFFICE,

Washington, D. C., October 21, 1861.

Brigadier General A. PORTER, Provost-Marshal.

DEAR SIR: I have the honor to report that on the 15th of the present month I made and submitted to you a report in the case of Thomas Hitchcock, a political prisoner then and now confined in the city jail; that since the making of said report and in obedience to an order of yourself to me execute an order of the Secretary of State dated October 16, 1861, and addressed to you I proceeded to the city jail of Washington, D. C., for the purpose of having said Hitchock released from custody upon his taking the oath of allegiance; that upon arriving at said jail I was informed by the keeper of the jail, Mr. Wise, that according to his understanding of the evidence against Hitchock released from custody upon his taking the oath of allegiance; that upon arriving at said jail I was informed by the keeper of the jail, Mr. Wise, that according to his understanding of the evidence against Hitchock there was good ground for holding him in custody still; that I went to the office of Justice Thomas C. Donn, the committing magistrate, and there found such evidence against Hitchock as convince me that he should not be discharged until I had further reported on the case to you. Accordingly I took the responsibility of leaving him still in the city jail. The following is a copy of a letter addressed to you by Justice Donn which with the accompanying evidence, the substance of which I herewith embody, I received from said magistrate:

WASHINGTON, October 19, 1861.

Brigadier-General PORTER:

SIR: Inclosed you will find the testimony taken by me in the case of Hitchock. There could have been other testimony adduced as I was then informed, but the country being in possession of the enemy where the scene was enacted and the man who was shot having left the Army and gone home, taking said testimony with the attending circumstances and his general character as detailed to me by others caused me to make a report to Brigadier-General Mansfield and subsequently to Colonel Hamilton that I thought he was a dangerous and recommended his imprisonment. You can judge from the testimony whether his punishment has been sufficient or not.

Respectfully,

THOMAS C. DONN,

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

William H. Sherman (citizen) swears that up to the time of the vote when Virginia seceded from the United he had always believed Hitchcock to be a Union man, but that at that election he voted for secession and has been a secessionist ever since.

Lieutenant William McLean, Second U. S. Cavalry, swears that he knows Hitchock; that he was arrested charged with carrying information to the enemy; with shooting pickets and hunting up Union men and causing them to be driven from their homes. There was a rumor at the time of Hitchock's arrest that a man named Walker was driven from home on account of his Union feeling and as deponent was informed Hitchock was looking for Walker with a gun in his bands and that another man was seen in his company, and that in consequence Walker had to flee to the pines for protection and shelter and that Hitchcock and his nephew were, as he (Lieutenant McLean) was informed, the principal parties; that he was ordered to arrest Hitchock and did so, and that Hitchock thereupon denied having a gun on that day.

Taylor Sorrell (citizen) swears that Hitchock came with another man to his father's house [and] the other man had a double-barreled gun. They inquired for Walker (who had been driven away by the disunionists): they made particular inquiry after him. "The report is general, 'swears Sorrell, "that Hitchock is running about hunting up Union men. " Sorrell swears further that he saw Hitchock on the day of his arrest with a double-barreled gun in his hands.