War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 1511 SUSPECTED AND DISLOYAL PERSONS.

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have been addressed to me and by me have been laid before the War Department. Mr. Walker and Mr. Benjamin have declined to discharge him, and in consequence of a recent letter from him I obtained the permission of Mr. Benjamin to lay the case before you, so that it may be finally decided and his imprisonment or his importunities put an end to. To his first letter I wrote a reply which was sent to him by the War Department and I have now the honor to place before you a copy of that letter and reply, with his last letter to me, as containing a full statement of the case on both sides. Bishop Atkinson took much interest in his case when he was here and urges hid discharge, and has written a letter about it to Bishop Burgess in the event of the prisoner's discharge. While I defer sincerely to the decisions of the honorable Secretaries I yet confess that it seems to me that it would do more good than harm to discharge the chaplain and publish his letter.

With the highest respect, I am, most truly, yours,

JAMES LYONS.

[Inclosure No. 1.]

RICHMOND, VA., August 16, 1861.

JAMES LYONS, Esq.

MY DEAR SIR: Understanding from the Secretary of War that my conversation with yourself at Manassas is the cause of the present detention here I hasten to send you a line of explanation and apology. If in anything that I said I gave cause for offense to you I apologize for it now as a Christian minister and a Christian man. I Had no intention of giving offense to yourself or to the Government; merely to reply frankly to the questions asked me as to why no troops came across the Potomac, &c.

Personally I never had and have not now any animosity to the South. I have always been a pro-slavery man and a Democrat of the Southern school, as a sermon preached January 4 of this year and subsequently published by request will testify. The clergy whom I have met here (Bishop Atkinson, Doctor Quintard, of Tennessee, and others) will testify how I labored and prayed for peace to the last; and at the last a place as chaplain was offered me and I only accepted on the written advice of my bishop. His advice I have followed in always making the minister superior to the officer as is shown by the fact that I brought my surplice with in my trunk and used it. Trying still to do my duty I remained behind our routed troops to minister to the wounded and dying, trying to save some should among them. For this act of humanity and religion I was paroled at Manassass and came down here by order of General Beauregard (Colonel Hatch telling me that it would make no difference as to my parole), expecting to be sent home via Fortress Monroe. Here I was paroled and again arrested and upon your kindness I throw myself, asking a release for humanity and religion's sake.

Since I have been here my views of the state of the conflict have changed. Finding how grossly we were deceived in being led to think that there was a Union party here who asked our protection; finding a united South and a people thoroughly in earnest, I desire to have nothing more to do with it but to labor and to pray for peace and peaceful separation, and I write this with my own hand and over my own signature, to stand as witness for me. I am, sir, a non-combatant and a clergyman of the Episcopal Church; of unblemished character, as clergymen of the South who know me will testify. I am out of health; a severe cold has settled on my lungs and my imprisonment will only result in death by the disease that carried away my father, mother and