RICHMOND, August 28, 1861.
Honorable L. P. WALKERS, Secretary of War.
SIR: I have had the honor to receive your letter of the 23rd instant inclosing a statement made by A. Judson Crnae, esq., in thecases of the following prisoners, viz: Samuel Lumpkin, Joseph Rawlings, Simon Schermerhorn, B. Kimball and Bellville or Bellfield, with instructions to make inquiry and report in each ase. I have the honor to state that I have searched the Adjutant-General's Office andthe War Office and can find no documentary evidence in any of these cases. Yesterday, however, I saw General Magruder, from whose jurisdiction these prisoners were sent, and from him I learn that except Lumpkin these are all dangerous persons andought not to be at large; that there canbe no doubt but they would as two others have already done immediately go to the enemy with whatever information they might have to communicate. General Magruder will as soon as he returns to Yorktoiwn send a full statement in each case. I will therefore withhold the report until General Magruder's communication is received.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO H. WINDER,
WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, August 30, 1861.
Honorable J. RANDOLPH TUCKER and JAMES LYONS.
GENTLEMEN: Brigadier General John H. Winder, of the Confederate service, in charge of the prisons and prisoners of this Government, in a communication addressed to this Department on the 26th of August, says:
There aremany cases among the prisoners arrested as suspicious persons and for other causes which I feel satisfied would be released if their cases wereexamined. Knowing that your time is so much occupied that you cannot give them attention I take the liberty to ask you to consider the propriety of establishing a commission or of directing the C. S. commissioner to examine these cases and to prepare and digest them so that you can at once decide them without the labor of wading through theinvestigation. By this course justice would be done and a great saving of expense to the Confederate States. The case of the Howard family is peculiarly hard.
It is desired by this Department to know whether you would undertake the commission indicated by General Winder. An early response is requested.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully,
L. P. WALKER,
Secretary of War.
RICHMOND, August 30, 1861.
Honorable L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War.
SIR: I respectfully beg leave to lay before you the case of the Howard family, arrested and sent from Manassas with the following remarks, viz:
William Howard, an Irishman. He has lived sixteen years in Maryland and five years in Virginia. He was sent here by Colonel Stuart without any evidence against him. I have examined the case, and I am under the impression that his arrest is the result of a pesecution on account of his having killed a man named Monroe some time ago in self-defense.