his labor in the event of his success than in the event of his failure to discover the testimony which he alleged existed; nor had he authority to give to the witnesses any other assurance than that they should not be personally compromised for speaking the truth. He only had reason to believe, and was so assured, that all expenses would be paid and that a fair compensation for the services performed--both in view of their importance and of the extreme danger to which it was supposed they might expose him--would be made, but nothing beyond this.
Although but two of the witnesses, to wit, William Campbell and Joseph Snevel, have been found and produced, and have declared the falsity of their depositions, yet, considering the conduct of this agent of the Government as exposed and explained, it is believed that the same discredit which seems to attach to these two depositions of Campbell and Snevel should attach to all the testimony given by the witnesses brought to the Bureau of Military Justice for examination by Conover. Both Campbell and Snevel were subjected to a rigid cross-examination by the committee in reference to their past lives, the places of their residence and business, the names of their employers, &c., extending through a series of years, the purpose being, through an inquiry into the particulars furnished by their answers, to test the accuracy of their statements upon these collateral matters, and thus arrive at a proper estimate of their general credibility.
The narrative thus given by Campbell of his past life has, I learn informally from a member of the committee, been found to be false in many particulars. It is not known that the sketch given by Snevel of his life has as yet been submitted to the same test. While this investigation in which the committee is engaged may result in impairing, or even destroying, the general credibility of these witnesses I deem it my duty with the convictions I entertain--produced in large degree by the conduct of Conover--formally to withdraw these depositions for the present from the consideration of the Government; and should nothing hereafter occur to remove these convictions the depositions, with your consent, will be wholly rejected.
The witnesses whose depositions under this view are withdrawn are the following: John McGill, William Campbell, Joseph Snevel, Farnum B. Wright, Sarah Douglass, Mary Knapp, W. H. Carter, and John H. Patten. Of these witnesses McGill was mentioned by name in the report of the Bureau to yourself under date of the 6th of December, 1865, while John H. Patten, W. H. Carter, Sarah Douglass, and Mary Knapp were referred to by name, and their testimony commented upon in the supplementary report to yourself under date of March 25, 1866. In the report to yourself of January 18, 1866, the names of Farnum B. Wright, William Campbell, and Joseph Snevel were not given because it was supposed that the report might be sent to Congress and in the then condition of the investigation it was not deemed advisable to make the names of these witnesses public. Their testimony, however, was given at length, with the date of their depositions, with the fact that they had been taken before this Bureau. The recognition, therefore, of the testimony assailed and now withdrawn will be certain and easy on examining these several reports, a careful study of which, excluding from consideration this rejected evidence, will serve to show how strongly and impressively the findings of the military commission against Davis, Clay, and others are supported by other oral and written proofs which, though denounced by traitors and those sympathizing with the rebellion, have not been sufficiently contradicted.
It is proper to remark that no discredit has attached to the numerous depositions and affidavits taken before this Bureau and elsewhere for