War of the Rebellion: Serial 121 Page 0964 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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to New York in charge of the sergeant-at-arms to procure the attendance of the witnesses whose depositions had been taken with those of Campbell, Snevel, and others. He left that officer on arriving at the Astor House and could not afterward be found. At your instance and under your directions I again went to New York, May 15, with Campbell and the sergeant-at-arms to subpoena the other witnesses and procure their attendance before the Judiciary Committee. Snevel, McGill, Wright, and Patten were found and subpoenaed, and I returned with Snevel to Washington. The others failed to appear. Snevel was examined by the committee and fully corroborated Campbell as to the falsity and fabrication of the depositions. Again referring you to the copy of my report to the Judiciary Committee, inclosed, which furnishes in greater detail the action taken by me while acting under your directions and instructions, I beg leave to state in conclusion that, in my judgment, the bace calumnies with which traitors, confessed perjurers and suborners, are pursuing you are as preposterous as atrocious, and will result in increasing instead of lessening the enduring confidence of all true-hearted and honest-minded men in your eminent fidelity and faithfulness as a governmental officer, and your undoubted loyalty as a citizen.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,




Washington, D. C., September 11, 1866.

Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to state that recently charges of the utmost gravity, affecting my official integrity and conduct, have been preferred against me before the country, to the effect that while acting as Judge-Advocate-General and as judge-advocate of the military commission which tried the assassins of the late President I suborned testimony which was used upon that trial and secured the conviction of Mrs. Surratt, one of the prisoners, against whom, as is alleged by the accusation, there was no testimony whatever; and further, that in the depositions of certain witnesses produced by Sanford Conover and examined before the Bureau of Military Justice I united with said Conover, or had knowledge of the crime which he committed, in the fabrication of the evidence which they thus gave, such evidence having reference to the complicity of Jefferson Davis and Clement C. Clay in the assassination of President Lincoln. As these accusations, utterly false and groundless as I pronounce them to be, and as they are believed to be known by those who have given them utterance to be, are of the gravest import and directly call in question my official integrity, and must, if credited, destroy all confidence in me as a public officer and in the Bureau over which I preside, it seems to be a solemn duty on the part of the Government to have them investigated and a record of the truth made. My official honor and that of this Bureau, as well as that of the military service with which I am connected, imperatively demand this. I seek and challenge the severest scrutiny of my official conduct, in all the matters to which these atrocious accusations relate, which can be instituted in the interest of truth and justice. I therefore respectfully but earnestly ask that under the Articles of War a court of inquiry, composed of officers of high rank and national reputation,