HEADQUARTERS, Knoxville, Tenn., January 7, 1862.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.
SIR: General Carroll having left this post yesterday I deem it my duty to take charge of the political prisoners now in confinement here. Their number is understood to be 130; has lately been increasing, and with others expected to be captured soon I do not see how the court-martial is to keep pace with the exigencies of the occasion. Besides that mode of proceedings is very expensive, and in my opinion an equally just and more summary disposition of those cases would be attended with hapier results to the Government. Under this conviction and acting in the spirit of the orders hitherto received by me I shall dissolve the court-martial convened by General Carroll on its determination of the few purely military cases yet to be tried, and shall proceed with the political offenses as I have heretofore done at Greeneville. If this course be not approved by the Department I beg to be promptly advised to that effect by telegraph. Captain Monsarrat who seems to be an excellent officer is the immediate commander of the post, and I judge that there will be little occasion for interference with his furnctions as such. Can any more prisoners be received at Tuscaloosa?
Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,
BLOUNTVILLE, TENN., January 10, 1862.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President of the Southern Confederacy.
SIR: I am charged with treason toward the Government of the Confederate States for which I make an appeal to Your Excellency for pardon. I will give you the details of my case in full. At the time of the gathering up of the Union men in Eastern Tennessee I went into camp and took the office of issuing commissary. I staid in camp two days when the regiment left for Kentucky, and I being unwilling to go with them started home, and on my way home I learned that some soldiers were lying in wait forme to kill me. On receiving this information I left in search of refuge. I went to Kentucky. On arriving there and finding out Lincoln's policy in full it became so obnoxious to me that I returned to Tennessee through not to my home.
I have turned aside to await an answer from Your Excellency. I have given you the case in full. You can examine it and see whether I am guilty of a crime worthy of death or not. If it please you to pardon me, I am then willing to take a position in your army; and if not I will again return to the North but I much prefer the South to the North. I await your answer with patience.
Your humble servant,
J. LOONEY TAYLOR,
Hilton's Post-Office, Sullivan County, Tenn.
SECRETARY OF WAR:
It may be well to consider the propriety of a general order or proclamation to cover such cases as this.