War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 1519 SUSPECTED AND DISLOYAL PERSONS.

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of that generous confidence and sympathy which the people of the South have only too often displayed.

I have the honor to be, gentleman, very respectfully,


Secretary of War.

[Inclosure No. 3.]

RICHMOND, August 18, 1861.


GENTLEMAN: I have just been furnished a copy of the reply of the honorable Secretary of War to a communication you were so kind as to voluntarily make asking for my release and to take me into your personal custody. The reply is based upon an entire misunderstanding of the facts of the case, and I deem it due to you who so generously made the offer of your personal honor to vouch for me to make a brief statement for your satisfaction, and with a hope that the honorable Secretary may after an examination and further reflection reverse his decision.

The honorable Secretary says:

Arnold Harris was taken prisoner in our camp at the close of a battle. He was found with the enemy, in company with those who sought our destruction, in search of the dead body, &c., knowing as he did so well from previous experience in the U. S. service the usages of civilized warfare. He did not avail himself of a flag of truce, which would have secured them safety and respect, but came a voluntary trespasser upon a field where all who are not friends are enemies.

I can show that I was not taken on a battle-field with enemies at the close of a battle, &c., nor was I a voluntary trespasser inside of the Confederate lines. I did not leave Washington until Monday after the battle at 5 p. m., when more than half the defeated army had reached the city. We lodged at Taylor's, ten miles from Washington, and arrived at Fairfax Court-House early in forenoon of Tuesday. We met no pickets, passed no sentinels, and on our arrival there I do not think there was a Confederate officer or soldier there. In a short time a Captain Jones, whom I knew, came up and informed me that Colonel Stuart, commanding the advance column, would soon arrive. When he did arrive about half an hour from that time I introduced myself to him and presented the letter addressed to General Beauregard or the Commanding General of the Confederate Army, requesting permission to cross the lines, which would explain the object of my being there. Colonel Stuart replied after reading the latter that he would forward into to headquarters at Manassas, and meanwhile he would detain us in his camp, which he was going to establish a short distance from town toward Washington. We returned with him and remained several hours, when Colonel Stuart informed us he was directed to send us forward to Manassas.

I did not see General Beauregard's reply to my application until it was published in the papers of this city. We supposed our request had been granted; that if it had been refused we would have been ordered to return. We had not come within the lines, were not voluntary trespassers in the Confederate camp, nor were we with enemies of the Confederacy. We came to the line and asked respectfully to cross. No thought of attempting to evade any of the usages of civilized warfare by getting across improperly or doing any act in opposition to the orders or policy of the Confederate Government ever entered our heads. Our mission was entirely of a personal character, and as such expected