War of the Rebellion: Serial 121 Page 0848 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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among others, as have been made by this Bureau "as to the grounds, facts, or accusations upon which Jefferson Davis, Clement C. Clay, jr., Stephen R. Mallory and David L. Yulle, or either of them, are held in confinement." In regard to the case of Davis, I have first to report that it is understood he is held imprisoned by the Government upon a charge of treason, committed in many of the States of the Union through the operations of his armies, but that the disposition of this charge has been in no manner committed to this Bureau. In the investigation, however, of the charge of his complicity in the assassination of President Lincoln it has been for some time engaged.

On May 4 [2*] last a proclamation was issued by the President in which it was set forth that it appeared from evidence in the possession of the Government that the murder of President Lincoln had been "incited, concerned, and procured by and between" Davis and other persons named, and in which, to the end that justice might be done, a reward of $100,000 was offered for his arrest within the limits of the United States, so that he could be brought to trial, as well as rewards for the arrest, with the same view, of sundry other of his alleged co-conspiratos. Within a short period after the issuing of this proclamation he was captured by a detachment of U. S. troops, and was thereupon committed to imprisonment at the military at which he is still confined. It is understood, therefore, that it is upon the charge set forth in the President's proclamation of May last, as well as upon the charge before alluded to, that he is now held in military custody. Since his arrest, indeed, several of his alleged accomplices in the assassination have been brought to trial thereof before a military commission composed of officers of high rank and reputation in the service; and this commission, after a very patient and thorough examination of testimony, not only convicted the accused and sentenced them to death or to a confinement in the penitentiary, but arrived also at the deliberate judgment and so declared that Davis was directly implicated in their crime, and guilty, with them, of the murder of the President, and the attempted or proposed murders of other chief officers of the Government. Of the facts upon which the charge against Davis of complicity in the assassination of President Lincoln no report has heretofore been presented by me other than one of a verbal character, consisting of an exhibition to yourself and the President of certain depositions, with such explanatory remarks as were though proper to be made. But believing it to be within the scope of the resolution of the House of Representatives, if not required by its very language, to present such points of the testimony in the possession of the Government as will indicate tryly its character and force, I have now the honor to submit the following statements:

From published articles in the newspapers of the South, as well as from official communications recently discovered among the archives of the so-called Southern Confederacy, and from the testimony given upon the late trial of the conspirators, it is to be inferred that the project of an assassination of the heads of this Government was, during the continuance of the rebellion, entertained and frequently proposed among the enemy, and especially among these who constituted the highets administrative circle at Richmond. An example of the newspaper articles alluded to is presented, in the course of the testimony specified, in the advertisement of December 1, 1864, in the Selma, Ala., Dispatch, of George W. Gayle, offering for a sum stated to "cause the lives of Abraham Lincoln, William H. Seward, and Andrew Johnson


* See Series I, Vol. XLIX, Part II, p. 566.