while fresh in the memory of those in whose custody he had been placed. Changes in the officers at the prisons, the large number of prisoners of war as well as others in confinement there and the clerical error in the name as explained by Mr. Baxter account for the difficulty which has existed in tracing him. While sparing no effort to guard the interests of the Confederacy in the life struggle in which we are engaged it is my earnest desire and purpose that the personal rights of the citizen shall be as jealously observed as in time of peace so far as is consistent with the safety of the State.
JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
JASPER, TENN., January 6, 1863.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President of the Confederate States of America.
SIR: I take the liberty to inform you how I have been treated by the Federal forces for my opinions' sake. On the 1st of last May eighty-three men belonging to General O. M. Mitchel's division came from Bridgeport, Ala., and pillaged my store of every article of any worth, and on the 5th of June last General Negley sent ten soldiers (Federal) piloted by one of our tories and demanded $500 in cash and my person. The captain said he was directed by General Negley if I did not pay the $500 to take property to that amount. Not getting the cash they took $900 or $1,000 of property, some the relics of my deceased wife to her little son. They took me from a sick bed and made me march with troops trained without anything to eat except crackers and bacon; no tents to lie in or blankets to cover with, but was compelled to lie on the cold ground without any covering whatever. From our homes we were marched near Chattanooga, Tenn., and put in a filthy stable; from thence to Shelbyville, Tenn., and put in a slaughter-house, 140 feet deep without ventilation and a hospital above head with large cracks in the floor, and nothing to eat but crackers and hot water which they termed coffee. General Negley issued an order prohibiting the ladies or citizens of Shelbyville from furnishing us with any article of diet whatever saying we were furnished with the same rations that the Federal soldiers were, which was false. From thence we were taken to the State Penitentiary and incarcerate with thieves, murderers and assassins and such men as do God and man's laws at defiance set (for no crime save my love and devotion to my home and native South and her constitutional rights), where I remained near four months, while my little children were robbed of everything they had to eat and scared and insulted by a brutal soldiery, they having come twelve miles to do it. I never lived in their lines. General Negley sent his cavalry six miles from his road of travel to rob and arrest me. He killed one of our citizens by marching him while sick for no cause except his opinions' sake, and other citizens of our country have been sent to Camp Chase, and are there now, if alive. Their names are William H. Ballard and Claiborn Gott. Neither of us was ever connected with politics or the army. I understand that General Negley was taken prisoners at Murfreesborough. If so, please give orders concerning his case.
With sentiments of high regard, I am, President, yours, devotedly,
P. S. -For my veracity I refer you to Generals John B. Floyd and John B. Gordon; Colonel P. Turney, First Tennessee Regiment; Dr. J. G.