War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0409 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

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simply the expression of sentiments hostile to the policy of the United States Government in the employment of negro slaves as soldiers.


Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.

[Third indorsement.]


Columbus, Ohio, October 24, 1863.

Respectfully referred to Colonel Hoffman, Commissary-General of Prisoners.

The order from the Secretary of War was to have Major Webber closely confined in the Ohio penitentiary. He has therefore been placed in a separate cell, but is allowed to exercise some five or six hours each day. His cell is not near enough to those of the other rebel prisoners to allow him to have any intercourse with them. *


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

WASHINGTON, October 22, 1863.

To His Excellency the PRESIDENT:

I beg permission to lay before you the inclosed telegraphic dispatch received by me this morning in relation to the case of Doctor Wright, who is under order to suffer execution to-morrow morning.

To proceed with the execution under such doubt as to the fairness and impartiality of his trial as is now thrown upon it would destroy the moral effect of the proceeding and would be productive rather of sympathy for the accused than horror at the criminality with which he stands charged.

I received, after the court was organized and before the introduction of any evidence as to the question of guilt or innocence, information that a state of facts existed such as indicated in the dispatch, and which precluded the chances of an impartial trial, but was restrained by a pledge of secrecy and confidence from making any use of the information communicated to me.

How, however, I entertain the belief that proof can be exhibited to establish the fact that the trial was not before such a tribunal as could be safely instructed with the liberties and lives of the people.

I remain, most respectfully,



NORFOLK, VA., October 22, 1863.

Honorable L. J. BOWDEN, National Hotel:

I have the signed certificate of a commissioned officer, U. S. Army, declaring that a number a of the military commission which tried Doctor Wright expressed himself unfavorable to that individual before the prisoner was arraigned or he had heard any of the testimony.

Answer immediately.


Attorney-General of Virginia.


* It is improbable, from this indorsement, that Webber's letter to Seddon ever reached its destination. No further action is found.

a Doubtless intended for "member. " The military commission consisted of only three members and a judge-advocate. - L. J. BOWDEN.