War of the Rebellion: Serial 121 Page 0796 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

WASHINGTON, November 14, 1865.

Honorable EDWIN M STANTON, Secretary of War:

SIR: With this I hand you a statement, &c., of the facts and reasons for asking from you the discharge from confinement of Mr. Winder. I take this mode, knowing the extreme value of your time, which, if irregular, you will please excuse fromthemotive. I will be att he Department to- morrow and next day, with the hope of receiving an early decision from you.

With high resept, I am, your obedient servant,


Of Counsel.


WASHINGTON, November 13, 1865.

Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

SIR: Having visited Ricahrd Bagley Winder,a prisoner in the state Capitol Prison,under the pass yu so promptly caused to be issued to me as his counsel, I have the honor to address you requesting his release, fromtehfollowing acts, which you will find in the affidavit inclosed,and also for the following reasons:

And first as to the facts stated in his affidavit. That he is a prisoner of war as stated. i have seen the original certificate inhi possession,and the conditions of the said paroled are correctly stated in the affidavit, as is also the oath of allegiance taken by him,which clearly to my mind entitles him to the bgenefits of the President's amnesty proclamation,he coming under none of the reservations contained therein. As to the time of his entrance as a prisoner ifn the Capitl Prisn, that is verified by the examination of the register of the prison made by me. These material facts being established, I have the honor to give the reasons why it appears to me his immediate release,as requested, should be promptly granted. Mr. Richard B. Winder, though, with other,is named as connected with the late Henry WIrz in his trial, I cannot find any testimony whateverbringing him in complicity iwthhis acts, but the contrary; and as the commission under whcih he was tried, convicted,a nd executed has been disslved, I cannot think that the Govnerment still retains Mr. Winder as a prisoner to be tried under such commission,a ndif not, I cannot conceive what other charge of complint there can exist against him. The other averments in his affidavit I firmly believe to be stricly true,and if doubted can be made more satisfactorily clear by prouf, if required,and if demanded will be promptly supplied. As it may be supposed that Richard B. Winder is a son or near relative of the late General John H. Winder,of the late Confederate Army, so called, that is a mistake, he being a very distant relative and never under his command, on his staff while at Andersonville, or subordinate to him in his particular department of military command. This can be proved to you, if required, to your entire satisfaction.

Under all these circumstances and facts, I think it perfectly consistent with justice and the policy laid down for his action by the President to ask you, sir, for his prompt discharge from confinement,and that he may return to his home and remain there undisturbed under his parole, as contracted by the conditions of the convention by which he became a prisoner of war, as has been done in so many thousands of analogous cases. But to remove all objections to his immediate release,if the Government of the United States has really any serious intention at a future time to bring Richard B. Winder to a trial on charges as yet