War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0892 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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would be destroyed by this retrograde movement at a time when the invading enemy is still upon the soil of the State. This is the general if not the universal sentiment.

I believe it was J. B. Clay who wrote you urging the discharge of Grubbs. Upon inquiry I am assured that his case is of a most aggravated character. The appeal I believe is made to you in the name of his wife and children, whom, however, he himself did not hesitate to abandon in order that he might scour the country for the purpose of persecuting Union men. Dr. T. S. Bell, of Louisville, is acquainted with the facts and I have asked him to communicate them to you. The doctor is one of the purest, truest and most gifted of the friends of the Government in our State and whatever he says on the subject may be accepted as worthy of all credit.

Very sincerely, yours,



Lexington, November 9, 1861.

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

DEAR SIR: In compliance with the request contained in your communication of the 29th ultimo I have endeavored to ascertain whether or not there is sufficient reason for detaining William Grubbs as a treasonable or dangerous person, and as the result of my inquiries would report: That W. Grubbs is between fifty and sixty years of age, poor, with a family; that he is by universal consent a bad and worthless man, and that when arrested he was about attempting to join Zollicoffer; that he is of no value to his family on account of his worthlessness. Being so low in moral and mental attributes I think it dignifies him far too much to retain him as a state prisoner unless you can confine him in some penitentiary and set him to work. I do not regard him as dangerous to the Government but as very disagreeable to all his neighborhood, and hence no effort was made by any one to have him released in Louisville.



DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, November 16, 1861.

M. C. JOHNSON, Esq., Lexington, Ky.

SIR: Your report in the case of William Grubbs has been duly received and I thank you for attending to the request so promptly

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Assistant Secretary.

NEW YORK, November 24, 1861.

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary of State.

SIR: I wish to make report to you in relation to several political prisoners arrested in Kentucky who are in my judgment proper cases to be considered together.

First. William Grubbs, of Madison County, Ky. ; fifty-five years old; has no property; has a wife and two children; no education and little intelligence. He is disabled in the right shoulder and could not be