War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 1499 SUSPECTED AND DISLOYAL PERSONS.

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dence and could not be read upon his trial until he was connected with it by competent proof, such as finding if upon him or proving by the bearer or writer that it was for him and that the statements contained in it were true. Here there is no such proof. The letter was not found upon him; the writer is not known, and the bearer of it was set at liberty by the Government.

I am of opinion therefore that he should be discharged, but as he is now laboring under some excitement very naturally against our Government because of his imprisonment, and the moment is a little cirtical possibly, I respectfully suggest that he be paroled and for the present restrained to the limits of Richmond until the further order of the Secretary of War.

* * * *

Respectfully submitted.

JAMES LYONS.

RICHMOND, December 16, 1861.

Honorable JAMES LYONS, & c.

MY DEAR SIR: I supposed that when you decided upon my case after the full, patient and careful examination which you gave it that your judgment upon me would be carried into effect, and I have been much surprised to learn that my continued detention here is not because of your judgment against me but because I am regarded as an "alien enemy" under the decision of Judge Meredith on the 6th of July last. If I comprehend what is the meaning of "alien enemy" it is that one is a citizen of one of the State now at war with the Confederate States owing allegiance to it. This is certainly not my case. But if it was am I under the circumstances liable to detention on this ground? I had supposed that the only alien enemy not combatants so liable were persons who had failed to avail themselves of the President's proclamation of August 15, or since that time found within the Confederate frontiers. I have not understood that even in regard to such persons the Government meant to imitate the policy of Napoleon I toward the English in France.

To imprison non-combatants indefinitely at the risk of life, health property is so cruel and unprofitable a thing that I had hoped the monopoly of the practicle might be left to Mr. Seward; and this the more that the recent release with passports of Mr. Eagle, of New York, arrested in Western Virginia at the end of September, seems to warrant the belief that the Confederate Government is disposed to conform itself to other than Federal precedents. But I belong to neither of the classes above mentioned. I came here openly and honorably early in June. I was on my way out of the country when I was causelessly and frivolously arrested in Georgia June 18. Coming again to Richmond voluntarily at my own expense that I might leave the Confederacy honorably as I had entered it I was arrested here June 24 and vilely incarcerated. I sought my liberty through a writ of habeas corups July 6. I was then pronounced an "alien enemy", and as such with no specific charge against me remanded to a felon's jail there to await the pleasure of the governor of Virginia. I repeatedly in various ways and in vain sought a hearing from that functionary or from any other authority. When the President's proclamation appeared if found me a prisoner in these circumstances, unaccused, unexamined. I at once requested to be sent out of the country under the proclamation. But in vain.