War of the Rebellion: Serial 121 Page 0687 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

Search Civil War Official Records

the rebutting testimony to the particular fact of his conviction for forgery wholly unjustified by all the long-established rules of evidence in criminal trials.

Though the evidence referred to was permitted by the court to be introduced-yet being, in fact, inadmissible-the subsequent conviction of the accused is to be accepted by this Bureau as a proof that the court, in obedience to the rules of evidence, ultimately and very properly disregarded it in their deliberations on the case. Considerable testimony was further offerd by the defense to the worthlessness of Shanks' general reputation in his native State of Texas. The witnesses to this point, however, were themselves Texans, shareres in the rebellion against the institutins of thier country, and therefore ddeserving of little credit when testifying in the interests of one who is known to have been in former years a leader in their armies, to have taken part in some of the most desperate of their projects, and to have entered herat and soul-himself a foreigner and with no natural stimulus to participation-into the vastest struggle for the overthrow of free institutions and the perpetuation of hopeless slavery which thye world has ever known. It has been repeatedly held by this Bureau, and the opinion is still adhered to, that the testimony of men in sympathy with the Confederate cause is to be regarded as nearly or wholly valueless when given in the interest of one who has shared in their sympathies, and whose punishment for crimes common to him and to themselves they are anxious to avert. Ti is belived, therefore, that the court was justified in the rejection of this testimony when forming their conclusions upon the merits of the case. And when we further take into consideration the fact that the members of the commission had the advantage of a personasl inspection of the witnesses, and could judge of their credibility by a multitude of signs which wholly escaspe the observation of him whose duty it is simply to read the written record, it is believed that there can be no justification for a reversal by this Bureau of conclusions arrived at after a most protracted and toilsome investigation by a tribunal composed of officers of the rank and high intelligence which the members of this commission are known to possess.

Grenfel, it was shown, had come to Chicago direct from a small town in Southern Illinois, where he had spent some months in shooting game. He had been for a long time in the service of the Confederacy, but had finally retired from it; had reported to the Secretary of War at Washington in June, 1864, and had been permitted to go at large by the latter after a careful investigation of his conduct and purposes. The evidence of a witness named Langhorne, touching a previous visit of Grenfel to Chicago at the time of the meeting of the Democratic convention in August, is entitled toa certain weight. Langhorne swears that it had been intended by the rebel agents in Canada, with the co-operation of the sons of Liverty, to make an attack upon the city at that time; that a number of armed men and large sums of momey were sent from Canada for the purpose, and that then, as at the November attempt, Grenfel was to take charge of the expedition. Langhorne says in reference to a plan to free the Camp Douglas prisones in August:

I traveled in company with Colonel Anderson from Toronto to Chicago just before the Chicago convention of last August. We remained all day in the Grand junction Depot. the party I was with got on at Jackson, and when we arrived at Chicago Colonel Grenfel was on the train. I had never seen him before on that trip from Toronto, Canada West. the party I was with were Colonel Anderson, Bell, and Doctor Smith; Grenfel was with others, I suppose.