with coal for Key West. Captain Edge is quite a young man, and dependent entirely upon his wages for the support of a family. He either had to give up the command of the ship or obey the orders of his owners. Captain E[dge] had been trading for a long time with New Orleans, and is highly estemed here by a large number of our shipping merchants. At the request of several of those friends I write you merely to ask that you will be kind enough to intercede so far as to see that Captain Edge is placed in as comfortable a position in his prison as the regulations of the Government will permit, and if there are any prisoners sent this way his friends would be glad to have him here, and they would provide for him in prison at their own expense.
Yours, very truly,
WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, September 22, 1861.
Mr. JOHN J. BYRD, Augusta, Ga.
SIR I am instructed by the President to make reply to your letterto him of the 13th instant. I exceedingly regret to infrm you as a father that an examination of your son's case* has taken place through a commissioner specially appointed for that purpose, a gentleman of the highest character and reputation, Honorable James Lyons, of Richmond, and has reported unfavorably to your son. Mr. Lyons reports his belief that your unfortunate son is guilty; that he is an agent and a spy of Lincoln. Under these circumstances justice and a regard to the safety of this people demand that he should be held in the closest confinement, and with the deepest sympathy for you we are compelled to perform this duty and to refuse his discharge.
J. P. BENJMAIN,
Acting Secretary of War.
Richmond, Va., September 26, 1861.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.
SIR: I have been a prisoner of war at Richmond in close confinement now for more than two months without asking the privilege of once leaving my quarters. So far as I am aware there are no charges against me, unless it be that I am a member of the U. S. Congress. If, however, I am mistaken in this regard I desire to ask the reasonable courtesy of a hearing before yourself, or such other officer as you may please to desigante for that purpose.
I am, sir, with great respect,
RICHMOND, September 26, 1861.
I, Clark Rodman,+ from Wakefield, Washington County, R. I., respectfully beg to state that during the month of May last a friend of mine in Buckland, Prince William County, Va., informed me by letter that J. B. and R. H. Hunton, of that place, engaged in the manfuacture of woolen clothes were desirous of procuring the services of a man
*See pp. 1432-1434 for report in case of W. H. Byrd.
+See p. 1465 for report in case of Rodman.