the Confederate pickets. I keep a house of public entertainment and was compelled to feed them or be arrested. I also fed some of General McCall's men when in Dranesville, and came very near being arrested by the Confederate for that. None of the exiles from Fairfax can say that I had anything to do with driving them out of the county or to have them arrested. To the contrary was always opposed to it. I have a brother-in-law who had to leave his sick wife and four little children whom I have supported up to time of my arrest. I have never been in arms against the United States at any time. I have a wife and three little children at home, with no person to do anything for them. The prisoners taken with me know that I could not get a pass to go through the Confederate lines to their army. Anything you can do for me will be thankfully received. I want to be able to go home when the army advances again.
Your obedient servant,
CHAS. W. COLEMAN.
HEADQUARTERS McCALL'S DIVISION,
Camp Peirpoint, Va., December 6, 1861.
Brigadier General ANDREW PORTER, Provost-Marshal.
GENERAL: Herewith are transmitted to be held in custody and disposed of as may be directed by the commanding general two prisoners, viz: George Coleman and John [Richard] Coleman, taken at the house of John Gunnell, a squire and noted secessionist. * * * Herewith are also sent two colored men, the property of John Gunnell, named David Johnson and John Jackson, whose disposition is to remain with the family but who were brought in as being available as laborers in the support of the enemy.
GEO. A. McCALL,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
OLD CAPITOL PRISON, Washington, January 1, 1862.
Honorable W. H. SEWARD:
I have now been confined in prison for nearly two months and for what charge I have not been able to learn. It is true I fed the Confederate pickets, and what would have been the consequence had I refused? I keep a public house. The meals were called for by the pickets who paid for the same with their own money. You can see I was compelled to do it. I never left my home at the advance of the Union troops as a good many of my neighbors did. I remained at home hoping that I would be left inside the Union lines and free to express my sentiments. This I failed in. I know a good many Union men in the upper part of Fairfax and lower part of Loudoun Counties who are waiting patiently and praying for an advance of the Union army. Mr. Gracey, of the New York Thirty-fourth, who was wounded on Lowe's Island near Dranesville, was left at my house for two weeks and was attended to by me, who afterward made his escape from Fairfax Court-House and got back to Washington, can tell you whether he thinks me a Union man or not. When General McCall was in Dranesville in October he could only find four men in the village and I was one of that number; and if I had been such a rebel I would not have been found in the village at that time, hearing that he was advancing two hours before he arrived.