War of the Rebellion: Serial 121 Page 0852 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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means to carry the plan into execution at once. All the gentleman present were understood to be engaged in it. I then left Mr. Davis' office, the other persons remaining. Before I did so, however, Mr. Davis said I must arrest certain persons present in the drinking saloon, supposed to be blockade-runners, who had heard Mr. ---'s declarations. I made an attempt to find them, but failed to do so.

The witness then being further interrogated by me as to whether he knew why this scheme was not carried out at the time, replied:

I do not. I left General Winder's service soon afterward, and was not again in a position to be informed of what was going on in connection with the proposed capture.

From this and other testimony it is quite clear that this plan was abandoned only when on the point of being attempt to be carried into effect, and that it was abandoned solely for the reason that it was judged to be attended with too great hazard and uncertainty. And considering the crime which was afterward concerted and perpetrated, it is deemed very apparent that the main feature of this plan, which purported to contemplate only the kidnaping of the President, was a mere pretext employed to draw into the enterprise those who otherwise would have hesitated to engage in it. For it is manifest that Davis must have been aware that an undertaking of the character designed could not have failed to lead to an immediate pursuit and an attempt at rescue; and that thus the very contingency upon the happening of which the life of the President was directed to be taken must necessarily have occurred.

We now approach the part borne by this chief traitor in the actual crime with which closed alike his own career and that if the rebellion. As early as the summer of 1864 Jacob Thompson said to the Government witness, Montgomery, that he had his friends, Confederates, all over the Norther States who were ready and willing to go any lengths to serve the cause of the South; that he could at any time have the tyrant Lincoln and any others of his advisers that he chose put out of his way, and that they would not consider it a crime when done for the cause of the Confederacy. Upon this conversation being repeated to C. C. Clay he fully assented to the declarations of Thompson. The conspiracy, however, in Canada did not assume any definite form until the month of November, when something like a programme for the assassination seems to have been arranged, and a Captain Kennedy appears to have been looked to as the one who was to lead in its execution. This will be more clearly seen by reference to an extract from the deposition to be found cited in the accompanying report made by this Bureau in the case of C. C. Clay. Kennedy was subsequently transferred to the duty of burning the city of New York, which with his associates he soon thereafter attempted, and in the attempt himself soon reached the gallows. Booth seems to have succeeded him as a leader of the band who were actually to do the work of murder. He was in Canada in frequent and intimate association with the principal conspirators, and this position, it is fair time to presume from the testimony, was accorded to him by all.

About this time, in consequence of the annoyances to which those who had been engaged in the Saint Albans raid were exposed, from prosecutions and otherwise, some feeling of dissatisfaction with the rebel Government had grown up among the conspirators, and an unwillingness was manifested to enter upon the enterprise of the assassination of the President unless they could have an express and specific authorization for their acts from Richmond, and a satisfactory assurance of complete protection from the rebel authorities. It is true, as detailed by Doctor Merritt, that in February, 1865, George N. Sanders had in his possession and read to his co-conspirators an informal