War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 1328 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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tain Hill. It apperas that Hoxie was afraid of an attemtp at rescue if he did not put a long distance between himself and the place of his theft, and therefore hired a conveyance and pushed on to Viola in Mercer County. Here our informant saw them Satruday morning. Hill was in chains and was compelled to lie down on the floor witha guard over him. OUr informatn inquired into the nature of the offense and was told that Hill was a runaway military prisoner who had beenb caputred in a house of ill-fame in Davenport. Subsequently, however, Mr. Hill gave our infromant the particulars of the arrest and Hoxie's villainy.

During the recital Hoxie threatened his prisoner with severe punishmen tif he did not shut his mouth. Mr. Hill said that all he asked for was his rights guaranteed to him under the Constitution of the United States-a fair and impartial trial-but that now he was beyond the reach of his friends he had no hopes of being heard until the Government reached his cse, which may be in a mnoth, and perhaps not in a year. Hoxie told our informant that he must keep a close mouth in Davenport regarding what he had seen and heard, but the scamp mistook his man when he undertook to frighten our informant into silence. What surprises us is that Mr. Hill should so tamely submit to the outrage of being carried off after having been released by course of law from the custody of the marshal. Hoxie in Hill's presence acknowledged that he stole his prisoner from the jail-at least so our informant says. Hill would have been justified in letting daylight into Hoxie and then returning to stand his trial, and he should have done just that very thing. From what we can learn the proper tools for his release were offered him by more than one individual during the morning the party tarried in Viola.

These paragrpahs contain but a single truth. I was in Viola on Saturday morning. Hill was not in chains and never had been. He was not compelled to lie down on the floor. No one was told that Hill was a runaway military prisoner who had been captured in Davenport, but the bystanders were told that he had been indicted as a traitor and that I held him a military prisoner under an order from the President to deliver him to Fort Lfayette. I did not threaten to inflict severe punishment upon him or in any other way restrain his statements. The charge that he had been cleared of crime by a jury of his countrymen is simply false.

The only action that has ever been taken in his case was by the grand jury which indicted him. The Attorney-General saw proper to nolle that indictment and discharge him from civil custody for reasons which wee doubtless satisfactory to him. The proper Department issued the order to take him into military custody and I executed the order. General Banks refused to obey a writ of habeas corpus issued by Chief-Justice Taney and General Dix-not only refused to obey a writ issued in a similar case, but issued an order of rthe arrest of the attorneys who sued it out. I held Hill as a military prisoner, and with such examples did not feel disposed to stop and discuass with every pettifogger between Des Moines and Fort Lafayette the powr of the Commander-in-Chief and those acting under his orders to disregard the writ, when it is sought to be interposed in revolutionary times for the relief of such prisoner. It was my business to obey an order issued by the proper Department in the manner authorized by approved precedents and not to discuss constitutional law and the powers to be exercised by the Government when engaged in a contest with domestic traitors the issue of which involves the very existence of the Government.

I arrested Hill and took him to Fort Lafayette and have nothing to regret in connection with the transaction. If any similar orders shall be directed to me in the future they will be as promptly executed. If secret sympathizers with or open partisans of traitors can draw any consolation from this assurance they are entirely welcome to it.