War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 1292 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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HDQRS. CITY GUARD, OFFICE OF THE PROVOST-MARSHAL,

Washington, January 17, 1862.

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: I had the honor to receive from you with your request indorsed upon each for examination and report upon the respective cases therein mentioned three several communications* signed respectively by the following persons named, to wit: Kate Farr on behalf of J. B. Farr, William B. Day on behalf of himself, Charles W. Coleman on behalf of himself.

I also had the honor on the 13th instant to make a report to you in the case of said John B. Farr, but while making up said report I had not in my mind the order made by Major-General McClellan November 27, 1861, commanding that all the prisoners in custody suspected of having participated in the murder in August last of two U. S. pickets near Dranesville, Va., be held until a trial could be had in their cases and that the evidence in each case found be reported to him.

I have the honor here to repeat what was stated in the report made to you in the case of J. B. Farr-that some time during the month of August last a midnight attack which had been previously planned by several of the citizens of the village of Dranesville and vicinity was by them made upon a squad of Union pickets who were on duty at Lowe's Flats, near Dranesville, killing two and wounding one, and afterward committing upon the dead bodies such acts of inhuman and sacrilegious nature that they will challenge the civilized world to furnish a parallel.

The following are the names of the persons now under arrest and confined at the Old Capitol Prison who are suspected with a large array of evidence against them of the murder and acts of barbarity aforesaid: John B. Farr, John T. Day, William B. Day, Charles W. Coleman, John T. De Bell, R. H. Gunnell, John Coleman, Philip Carper and James Farr. In view therefore of said order of the commanding general I beg most respectfully to return without further report the three communications aforesaid inclosed herewith.

I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. PORTER,

Brigadier-General and Provost-Marshal.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE POTOMAC,

Washington, January 30, 1862.

Brigadier General A. PORTER, Provost-Marshal.

GENERAL: The commanding general directs that the following-named prisoners, viz, John T. De Bell, case reported by E. J. Allen January 14, 1862; Dr. William B. Day, case reported by E. J. Allen January 17, 1862; John B. Farr, case reported by E. J. Allen January 13, 1862; Dr. John T. Day, case reported by E. J. Allen January 18, 1862; C. W. Coleman, case reported by E. J. Allen January 24, 1862; R. H. Gunnell, case reported by E. J. Allen January 25, 1862; Philip W. Carper, case reported by E. J. Allen January 25, 1862; John Coleman, case reported by E. J. Allen January 25, 1862; James W. Farr, case reported by E. J. Allen January 27, 1862, who stand charged with the murder of Federal pickets in August last and with persecuting

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*See ante.

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