aged others to do so, but on thecontrary exerted myself to restrain the young men of my county from going off to the rebel army, and practical proof of this fact I am informed is on record in the State Department.
I was, however, most earnestly opposed to the sending of arms into Kentucky, and believed tat the arming of one political party against the other could result in no good and was only calculated to engender trouble. I was opposed also to the invasion of the State by either the Federal troops or the Confederates and advocated in good faith the perfect neutrality of Kentucky, believing if the war could be kept from within her borders it would not only save her from a terrible calamity but place her in such a position as would enable her to mediate between the parties and bring about a restoration of peace and re-establishment of the Union. I sincerely believed if when in your letter to Governor Magoffin you left the matter of the withdrawal of the Federal troops from the State to the Union Representatives of Kentucky they had agreed to a withdrawal both armies would have been withdrawn and the State not only saved from the horrors of war, but in a position by her wise counsels to have brought about a peaceful settlements of the national troubles. In accordance with these views I voted. My views in this respect may have been unwise and errouneous but they were at least sincere. Because I entertained and advocated them I was I suppose considered a secessionist.
I never did acvocate the secession of Kentucky and no man lives who can truthfully say I did. I know that I have been misrepresented and maligned to the Government. It can only have been done by men who are my personal foes. I declare to you upon the honor of a gentleman that I never had a thought of disobeying any law of their the State or General Government or taking part in any rebellion eitheragainst the State or Federal Government. When the legislature of Kentucky after Governor Magoffin's receipt of your letter refused to request the withdrawal of the Federal troops and established a different policy, I considered the questions which before that had divided the people as finally settled and as a good citizen I deemed it my duty to submit to and obey the laws which the constituted authorities of the State had enacted in pursuance of that policy. I did obey the laws and never had a thought of doing otherwise.
General Nelson when he caused my arrest knew nothing personally of my disposition or sentiments. I feel satisfied if he had known my real views, conduct and intentions I would not have been arrested. He doubtless acted from the representations of others who misled him. It was natural to suppose that because I was earnestly opposed to arming one party in the State against the other, opposed to making Kentucky a bloody battlefield and in favor of neutrality that I was therefore a secessionist and rebel. I was neither, and at the time of my arrest was giving cheerful obedience to the laws, quietly pursuing my ordinary business and with no thought or intention of disloyalty either to the Federal or State goverment.
I have signified my perfect willingness to take the oath of allegiance and have never doubted that my public and private character were a sufficient guarantee that I would keep it in good faith. It seems, however, that I cannot be released and am kept a prisoner here. Those arrested with me have all been released upon taking the oath of allegiance and I cannot comprehend the reason why I am made the solitary exception to a rule which it seems has been applied to all others against whom no charges of crime are alleged, which I understand is true as to myself. I appeal to you justice and humanity to causeme to be