War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 1490 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, April 23, 1862.

Examined and approved. Respectfully referred to General Winder to be carried out as recommend within.


Secretary of War.

Case of William Henry Hurlbert*.

RICHMOND, June 24, 1861.

General R. E. LEE.

GENERAL: Nothing but the pressure of a weight of misrepresentation which is too hard for me to bear moves me to intrude my personal troubles upon you in the midst of all you official troubles. But I met you once in circumstances so agreeable that I venture to hope you may not have utterly forgotten me, and in the name of our dead friend, Mr. Veron Childs, as well as of his daughter who charged me with kindly messages for you at her house in Baltimore, I write to you ask you to grant me but half and hour in which to tell you how it is that I find myself in the hands of the sheriff, charged with playing the spy in a country to save which from the horrors of war has been my sole aim and passion for long months past.

I saw the Hoffmans in Baltimore on the 4th. I passed the Confederate lines at the Ferry with a note of introduction from Robert McLane to General Johnston. I went on to my sister in Charleston, and was dencouced by newspapers because I once was an editor of the New York Times in the days when your brother-in-law respected and aided my efforts to make that journal a journal of decency and truth. I am subjected to his unnameable disgrae. Once more left me beg you to spare time for such expl nations of all this wretchedness as I cannot here inflict upon you, and believe me, with sincere respect,

Your most fatifhul friend,


RICHMOND, July 6, 1861.

General R. E. LEE.

GENERAL: I refer you to my letter to you (in regard to the case of Bryan+ submitted to you by General Huger) upon the subject of General Holmes' comminication++. Unless he can be arrested as a spy or proceeded against by the civil authorities according to the opinion given by me in Bryan's case his case should be submitted to the governor, who if the party be a citizen of a State not in the Confederate Government may apprehand and secure him under the code of Virginia, chapter 17, section 6, page 118. This is the clause under which Hurlbert has been arrested, and the habeas corpus has been denied by the judge of this circuit. If the charge against a party be for a legal offense and the arrest is by legal authority the habeas will not release the party where he is detained for the prosecution which is


* Throught these papers the compiler has spelled this name "Hulbert", which is proper, except in the report of James Lyons, at p. 1497, where his use of the name "Hurblut" is allowed to stand for obvious reasons. The family name was Hurlbut, but for reasons of his own the prisoner, long previous to this event, changed his name to Hurlbert. - COMPILER.

+ See p. 1361.

++ Not found.