War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0928 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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pass upon your attention. I have never been allowed to know the exact charges upon which I have been now three months confined, but General Leslie Coombs, of Kentucky that General Nelson's charged against me were of having had meetings and consultations at my house in aid and encouragement of the rebellion, and also that I had some agency in procuring arms for the intended resistance to the Government in that quarter. If it be true that such charges are made against me I can only say that they are in every particular false and untrue without even the shadow of a foundation in truth. No such meetings or consultations were ever held at my house at any time by anybody nor would I have for a moment permitted it. No arms to my knowledge were ever procured or sought to be procured by me or any one else of whom I knew nor was any resistance to the Government ever intende or contemplated that I know of. The whole story is a fabrication. Fortunately for me two gentleman of the highest standing and resctability, Mr. Hiram Bassett, teller in the Maysville Bank of Kentucky and now grand master of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, and his farther, James Bassett, esq., lived at my house at the time and have actual personal knowledge that these charges of General Nelson are false. They werepresent at home all the time I was myself and no such meetings could possibly have occurred without their knowledge. General Leslie Coombs, now in washington, knows both these gentleman and can bear testimony to their light character and integrity. I refer to them as well as to all my neighbors in vindication of myself against these foul families. You are too just to permit a citizen to be unjustly oppressed if you can prevent it and I appeal to you again to interfere and either direct my absolute release or grant me a parole that I may have an opportunity of vindicating myself in some satisfactory way against what I again assure you are utterly false and groundless charges.

With the higheve the honor to be, your obedient servant,

R. H. STANTON.

FORT LAFAYETTE, December 22, 1861.

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: General Leslie Coombs, of Kentucky, informed my brother a few days ago that he had heard in Kentucky that the charges made by General William Belson against me were of having held meetings and consultations at my house in aid and encouragement of the rebellion; also that I had some agency in procuring arms for the intended resistance to the Government in that quarter. My word against that of General Belson may not be of mych weight in my present situation, but I beg nevertheless to say that if such are the charges upon which I am held a prisoner there is not one word of truth in them nor the shadow of foundation in truth for even a suspicion of the kind. There never was a meeting or consultation for such a purpose at my house or any other place that ever I attended. I never invited any living soul there for that purpose nor did even any person come not would I have permitted it.

It is equally false that I had any agency inprocuring arms for the "inteded resistance to the Government in that quarter. " No arms so far as I know ever were procured for sucha purpose or sought to be procured,