(vidette post) where he was taken. He came over to Marshall's to bring him some meat which he had sold him. He has not seen a Federal since the 22nd of August, when he went to Alexandria after his horse which had been taken from him on the advance. He was taken prisoner by the enemy on the 16th or 17th of August and released same day. He gave them no information during his imprisonment. His wife has not been to Alexandria since its occupation nor has she been more than a mile from home in twelve months. His daughter married in Baltimore. Has not heard from her since the war began. His other children are small. His oldest son is in the C. S. army. He has one or two nephews also. His wife and three small children are now at home with no one to look after or protect them. He protests that he is true to the South and is willing to leave it to his neighbors. He was taken Wednesday, 20th instant, and brought to Colonel Robertson. I file the papers sent with this man. His examination concurs with the statement in the papers. He says he went through the pickets to deliver some beef he had sold to one Martin. Whether be ever passed them at other times does not appear. He has a son and two nephews in the army. Mr. Huntt says his charcter for veracity is not very good. He voted for secession. A large discretion must be vested in our commanding officers. It is necessary to the safety of the army. In this case there is a specific offense which if overlooked might result in great mischief to our forces. I am not sufficiently acquainted with the minute details of our position or with the facts alleged against this man to form and opinion on the question: (1) Whether this man's confinement has been a sufficient punishment for his offense? (2) Whether he might mow be released without endangering the safety of our operations? I would advise that the military authorities at Manassas be writtetion on these questions.
Issac Hall. - Born in Fairfax County; lives near Occoquan; was always a Southern man; voted for secession; owns a farm and slaves. Never had any communication with the enemy. Yankees once stole one of his slaves but the boy escaped and returned home. Mr. Huntt, Mr. Thomas and Doctor Mason proved his character is good, and he has seven nehpews in our army. He was sent here from Manassas with an order dated November 14, in which it is said Major Boyle will forward the five men to Richmond, noting Bayless as a dangerous character, understood to have been specially active in communicating with the enemy. The other four person it is not considered safe to have about our lines. No specific charge is made against Hall. I am satisfied he is a Southern man of good characte, and his feelings are with our case. On what grounds he has become and object of suspicion to our officers I do not know. From the evidence before me I do not see anything charged against him which would prevent his immediate discharge on a writ of hebeas corups. While I feel a large discretion must be vested in our officers, yet that discertion must be reconciled to the rights of the citizen, and I know of no mode of doing so but to require with each prisoner sent here there should be a statement of some fact which justifies the arrest and detention, with the evidence to sustain it. In this mode each case may be reached and the proper prosecutions be instituted. In the present case the continuance of this man's confinement for anything I can see would be simply an exercise of arbitrary power on suspicion. I recommend his discharge.
Peyton Hall. - Nephew of Issac Hall; a young man who has been trading to our camp his summer. Has a brother and several cousins