EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, August 2, 1861.
His Excellency the PRESIDENT OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES.
Mr. PRESIDENT: I have the honor to inclose for your information copies of two letters and one original from the mayor of Lynchburg in reference to a man by the name of Gross, who was arrested as a suspicious person by that officer and after confinement of some weeks was sent on to this Department. Upon examination had before the governor he was discharged upon taking theoath of fidelity tothe Commonwealth of Virginia and to the Confederate Government. These oaths were administered by his honor the mayor of Richmond. Themayor of Lynchburgnow writes (see original) that Gross was taken prisoner at Manassas. If such be the case I have deemed it proper that you should be furnished with this page of the prisoner's antecedents.
I am, Mr. President, your obedient servant,
S. BASSETT FRENCH,
Aide-de-Camp to Governor of Virginia.
[Inclosure Numbers 1.]
LYNCHBURG, May 26, 1861.
His Excellency JOHN LETCHER.
DEAR SIR: A man who calls himself George Gross, a mill right by profession, was arrested about ten days ago in the county of Bedford and brought before me as a supicious character. Upon an investigation of the case it appeared that Gross was raised at the Noth, but resides at this time in the country of Fairfax, about twenty-four miles from Washington City, having pruchased a farm there in December last. He has a patent right for certain machinery for mills and has done work for sundry persons in and near this city. He was here in January last and did some work for William Scott, who resides about ten miles above this city. When arrested he was on his way to Scott's walking. It appeared in evidence that whilst at Scott's in January hestated that he was a Republican, and contended that the party did not contemplate waging war against slavery where it existed but was biterly opposed to its extention. He claims now to be a Republican. Having expressed such sentiments I thought that he ought not to be allowed to travel through the country and committed him to jail. I would take it as a favor to be advised by you as to the best course to bepursued with him.
With high regard, your obedient servant,
WM. D. BRANCH,
P. S. -For three years previous to settling in Fairfax Gross resided in the city of Washington.
W. D. B.
[Inclosure Numbers 2.]
LYNCHBURG June 18, 1861.
His Excellency JOHN LETCHER, Governor of Virginia.
DEAR SIR: Having to send one of our officers to Richmond onbusiness I have thought it best to put under his charge George Gross (in relation to whom I wrote you some time since) to be carried before you that he may get a permit to go to Fairfax, his present place of residence. In my letter I advised you of the ground upon which he was arrested and detained. Mr. Gross may intend no harm, but I don't