course my services in that direction will not be required. Probably you have also sufficient evidence to convict Davis, Clay, et al., without the testimony--I should say evidence--I proposed to adduce, the witnesses I proposed to produce, and the facts that you could educe under my suggestion from certain disloyalists. If it is all so I am glad. But will you not be kind enough on receipt hereof to inform me by telegraph, directed to Fifth Avenue Hotel, whether or [not] I can be of further service to the Government? If I cannot be of further service I propose to go to Mexico, and my last day, if you do not desire more of me, in New York will be next Friday or Saturday.
I hope I can be of further service. I more than hope that I shall hear from you (by telegraph) before Saturday. If I do not I shall assume that I can be of no further service and act accordingly.
Your obedient servant,
P. S.--This is the fourth letter that I have written you without having received a reply. I do sincerely hope that I may receive an answer to this, if not to those that preceded it.
It will be observed that the writer speaks of this as he "fourth letter." If other than this and the previous one of 26th of July were written they did not reach me.
I laid the substance of the assurances contained in these letters before you, and probably read extracts from the letters to you, and asked that I might be authorized to send for Conover to come to Washington with a view to a conference with him and to his employment as an agent of the Government in the collection of the testimony, should it be deemed advisable to do so, which authority you gave me. I accordingly wrote to him and he came on to Washington, and after an interview with me I recommended to you that his proposition should be accepted and that he should be engaged as a Government agent to find and collect the testimony of the existence of which he professed to have knowledge. To this you assented and he was accordingly so employed. He then went to New York, taking with him transportation from that city to Washington for a Mr. McGill whom he represented to be an important witness. On the 14th of August he telegraphed me from New York that he had found McGill and would start the night of that day for Washington, of which telegram the following is a copy:
Brigadier-General HOLT, Judge-Advocate-General:
I have found McGill and start to-night; failed to find him in time to leave last evening.
18 Claremont avenue, Brooklyn.
Subsequently Conover and the witness who called himself John McGill arrived in Washington, and on the 17th of August the latter, under that name, gave his deposition before this Bureau. The striking character of his evidence confirmed the impression previously entertained of the ability of Conover to find the witnesses of whom he claimed to have information. He proceeded South without delay, with authority from me to make diligent search for the witnesses and to report from time to time the progress he was making. His first communication to me bore date Richmond, Va., August 24, 1865, and is as follows:
RICHMOND, August 24, 1865.
DEAR SIR: I have been in this city since Saturday, and although I have not succeeded in reaching any of the parties sought for I have received such information of the whereabouts of some of them as will enable me to find them. I shall not fail,