of shelding innocent blood yet upon the authority of these high names we must conclude that the ultimate good resulting from the law of ratliation will justify it. Numerous horrid acts ad the wailing grief that must otherwise be entailed upon a whole country by the same authority calls for reataliation even if it presents the appearance of erring resentment.
The right of an exchange of political prisoners has been acknowledged by the governor of Ohio, who at the instance of General Wise released about thirty such for the release of Mr. Waggener, of Mason County, a member of the Wheeling convention.
In directing your attention to the matters which induced my former letter it is not necessary to allude to the dead, as in the case of poor Riffle, of Braxton County. He was a man about sixty years of age and as it was supposed without an enemy, but had voted for secession. For this act he was arrested, handcuffed with his hands behind his back, and with a rope securely tied around his neck, he was tied to a wagon and compelled to walk in its rear for ten miles in the direction of the prison designed for his incarceration, until the Ohio lieutenant without resistance on the part of Riffle shot and killed him. From the horrors of this act which is well authenticated I am constrained to turn in sympathy to the condition of the living now confined in cow-sheds near Columbus, Ohio, in all the wretchedness which hunger, nakedness and the neglect of their own Government can inflict. They too may share the fate of Riffle. They number about 100 and are of the highest respectability.
The Confederate Government had many political prisoners and has several yet. These self-styled Union men cannot be found guilty of any overt act of treason by reason of the impracticability of obtianing witnesses from beyond the enemy's lines competent to establishtheir guilt. The case of Roberts, of Roane County, recently discharged by your order, is a striking illustration of the implicy of indiscriminate discharges without seeking for information. Roberts it is stated upon good authority had passed into our lines as a witness for his son in a criminal prosecution, and by perjury attempted to acquit him of a rape upon the wife of a sodlier in our army. The son was found guilty and imprisoned, from which impirosnmen the has been rescued by the Federal army. The father because of his sympathy with Black Republicanism and of his having taken a seat as a member of the Wheeling convention and voted to divide the State was arrested and sent here. Witnesses could not from the very nature of things be procured, and as far as I am informed were not sought for; and with all this black could of guilt upon his skirts he is set at liberty without condition upon the score of humanity I presume, and because ours is a Government of law. He was a Northern adventurer engaging in the politics of virgiia, and has now returned with a quasi indorsement of the Government. Does not the safety of the country require that such a man should be kept in custody, law or no law?
The case of C. Mollohan, a resident of the State of Ohio, is anohter illustration of the fallacy of your doctrine. He had formerly been a preacher and resident of Virginia, preaching Abolitionism wherever he went. Such was his boldness in that respect that he was arrested under our laws against insurrection upon complaint of his own brother. After his release he moved to Ohio, and upon the breaking out of the war he returned as a spy upon our movements, and was arrested by the military authority and confined in the jail of Roanoke, from which he was released upon your orders because no witnesses appeared to testify agai Did humanity forbid his retention?