War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0402 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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to the Government of the United States, and was liable therefore to be captured wherever found. But he was not in any sense to be regarded as a felon, holding ashe did the military commission of the State of Virginia and in the execution of her military and naval orders. State of Virginia and in the execution of her military and naval orders. If he was regarded in any other light than as a colonel in t he service of the State then he was in the langugage of the Constitution of the United States entitled "to a speedy and a public trial by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime [shall have] had been committed, which district [shall] should have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation, to be confronted with the witnesses against him, to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense. " Notwithstanding this express clause he has now been confined for eighteen months, and not one of the provisions contained in its has been attempted to be complied with.

The only cause that I have seen assigned for his incarceration was announced in a paper printed in the city of Baltimore on the 9th of july, 1861, immediately after his arrest, in w hich it is tated "that Mr. Richard Thomas and five or six other persons were arrested on board the steamer Mary Washington as she was coming up the bay yesterday. The charge against them we beliueve to be that they were concerned in the seizure of the Saint Nicholas a few days since. The party were coming up to the city as passengers when they were pointed out by two spies on board the boat, and as she reached the wharf at Fort McHenry the boat rounded to and they were delivered up to the officer in command. " If his offense was the seizure of the Saint Nichoals that seicure was accomplished by a justifiable stratagem by naval and militahis State in company with Colonel Zarvona, and with a design to carry out a bolder and more daring military and naval enterprise the success of which would have been beyond doubt if Virginia's action had not been thwarted by circumstances beyond her control. When the Saint Nicholas was taken Colonel Zarvona was an officer appointed by and in the service of Virginia, and was in flagrante bello engaged in a hostile act and entitled to be considred if taken as a prisoner of war, and if taken afterward for the offense then committed he could only be so c onsidered and so treated.

Under the cartel for the exchange of prisoners entered into between the Governments of the United States and the Confederate States all prisoners of war were to be exchanged upon certain agreed terms. Why Colonel Zarvona has not been exchanged under this agreement it is for the Government of the United Staes to explain. Why he has been subjected to indignities that no other prisoners have been compelled to undergo is not for me to consider. It is sufficient for the exeuctive of this State to be apprised of the fact to induce him for the sake of humanity and for the sake of the usages of civilized nations to ask that this State for his obedience to orders emanating from her authority.

It is proper under all the circumstances of this case that I should inform you distinctly of the course I have taken and the policy I intend to pursue.

Independent of the forces which have been contributed by this State to the armies of the Confederate States Virginia has a force of her own operating under the command of Major General John B. Floyd, by whom there have been captured 201 prisoners, most of whom have been brought to the city of Richmond for safe custody. From these prisoners I have taken two of the officers belonging to the Fourth Regiment