Their detention had been already adjudged and ordered by the proper tribunal, appointed by law, to wit, he general officer commanding the Trans-Mississippi Department, and a further investigation to that end was practically a useless consumption of the time of the court.
Third. The court had jurisdiction to order their detention, without bail, only in the case that the charge of treason was made good; whereas the military tribunal has jurisdiction to order detention on many other charges than treason.
Fourth. Under the orders of the major-general commanding, Captain Cone could not consistently do otherwise.
For these reasons, I concurred with Captain Cone in submitting the case without going into the merits and without the introduction of testimony, as did also my associate, Mr. Ford.
I take pleasure in saying that throughout the long and somewhat complicated proceedings, the major-general commanding was ably represented by Captain Cone, firm and decided, yet urbane and courteous. Submitting with grace to the civil tribunals, at the same time maintaining the rights of the military authorities, and attaining his object in the end.
I also take pleasure in bearing testimony to the prompt action, unremitting vigilance, and uniform urbanity of Major Sparks, commander of post.
I also assure the major-general commanding that the supreme court manifested every disposition to extent every courtesy to the major-general commanding and the military authorities.
Trusting that the action of the counsel for the military authorities will meet the approval of the major-general commanding.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CHAS. L. ROBARDS.
Harrisonburg, March 30, 1864.
His Excellency Governor WILLIAM SMITH:
GOVERNOR: Under instructions from General J. D. Imboden, I forward to you this morning the following prisoners: Aaron Bechtol, Jos. S. Wheat (these men are members of the bogus Virginia Legislature, were captured by Major O'Ferrall during a recent raid into Morgan County, W. Va.), Robert Finn (this man is the Commonwealth's attorney for Morgan County under the bogus government), S. M. Shrives (citizen of Morgan and a member of the Union League of Western Virginia). Attention is called to the order of General Imboden, inclosed within. You will please receipt for them.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. R. NUNN,
Lieutenant and Provost-Marshal.
Per W. S. ROHR,
MARCH 31, 1864.
The within-named parties sent to Castle Thunder.