War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0962 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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to Captain Ferguson's case, however, may have been wholly unnecessary as it is not for any crime or offense that Captain McKee has committed that he is condemned to suffer. Certainly no humane or Christian tribunal ever had the sentence of death executed even upon a guilty criminal without sorrowing over the necessity which required it. How much deeper must that sorrow be when the dread sentence is to be executed upon one who has been guilty of no offense but has to die for another; and who would not in sorrow see the innocent suffer? May I not then in view of the innocence of Captain McKee implore you to spare his life? He has a wife and two innocent, helpless babes, all dependent upon him for a support and who will be left in helpless widowhood and orphanage. If you should deem it proper to hold him a prisoner of war and modify the sentence to that extent it would be infinitely better it seems to me for all concerned. But a reversal of the judgment and that Captain McKee may be exchanged is most sincerely asked, and it this I believe our whole community without distinction of parties concurs.

Very respectfully,



ABINGDON, June 6, 1863.

President DAVIS:

The writer or the within letter, the Honorable B. J. Peters, is a true Southern man. I have known him long and well. The bearer of this, Doctor Hannah, is likewise a true man to the South and has done much for us and suffered much. While I cannot concur in the Honorable B. J. Peters's opinion of McKee's character I will respectfully ask that the President will cause the execution of the sentence on Captain McKee to be suspended, for the present at least. I ask this for the personal security of our people at home. Doctor Hannah will give the President full information in regard to out situation, and he is every way reliable.


MOUNT STERLING, KY., May 30, 1863.

We, the undersigned citizens of Montgomery County, Ky., learning of the fact that Captain Samuel Mckee, of the Fourteenth Kentucky Cavalry, now a prisoner at Richmond, Va., is soon to be executed by the Confederate authorities, by way of retaliation, because Major-General Burnside did on the [15th] day of [May], 1863, execute Captain Corbin, of the Confederate Army, would most respectfully entreat the Confederate authorities at Richmond to spare the life of Captain Samuel McKee and to release him form the sad fate which we learn awaits him. Captain McKee though decided in his political course was ever kind and lenient to those who may have differed with him in political sentiments. Captain McKee is a gentleman of high social standing in our midst, and his Southern Rights friends of this community, many of whose names are appended below, offer up this petition humbly to the Confederate authorities at Richmond, Va., to spare the life of Captain McKee, of the Fourteenth Kentucky Cavalry, and hold him merely as a prisoner of war, of which you have a perfect right.


The Father of Captain Franklin Ferguson, of C. S. Army.



(And 8 others.)