War of the Rebellion: Serial 121 Page 0978 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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It is to be observed that the military commision, after a long and patient investigation, were brought to precisely the same conclusion in regard to the complicity of Davis, Clay, and their confederates, in the plot of assassination, as was expressed by the President in his proclamation; thus by their serious and final judgment as a judical body fully sustaining the action of the Executive. The manner and the measure of the guilt of these parties, as declared by the President, has thus become matter of solemn record, and this record stands unimpeached.

In view of the facts, comparatively recently made known, which, in discrediting the testimony of certain persons brought forward by Sanford Conover to depose to the complicity of Davis in the assassination, have tended also to discredit him own testimony as a witness upon the trial of Payne and his associates, it becomes proper in conclusion to add that at the date of my said report of May 2, 1865, the existence even of Conover was not known to me, nor did it become known till some days after the trial had commenced. His evidence therefore formed no part of the testimony referred to in this reprot as "under consideration" by this Bureau, and did not, of course, enter into the judgment formed and expressed by me thereon. In this connection also it may be well to note the fact that the testimony of this witness thus discredited did not bear at all upon the question of the guilt of the parties condemned by the commision as immediately concerned in the assassination, but was corrobarative only of the evidence of Montgomery and Merritt as to the general conspiracy in Canada.



FORT MONROE, VA., December 19, 1866.


Fort Monroe, Va.;

SIR: I respectfully report the health of state prisoner Jeff. Davis to be gradually but surely improving.

Your obedient servant,


Acting Assistant Surgeon, U. S. Army.

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington City, December 20, 1866.

Brigadier General J. HOLT, Judge-Advocate-General:

GENERAL: I deem it my duty respectfully to submit the following report as an appropriate addenda or finality to the vindication of yourself from the calumnies connected with the Conover testimony as heretofore published: The letters, &c., which were made the ground of these calumnies and which appeared as original matter in the New York Herald, and were afterward copied by the rebel sympathizing papers, were, with the exception of two brief notes written by yourself, pronounced authoritatively at the time to be sheer fabrications, manufactured and skillfully adjusted in dates, statements, &c., to sustain this infamous raid on the character of the Bureau of Military Justive. Still the Herald editor continued the publication of these and similar letters as genuine, with opprobrious imputations, and declared that he was in no way indebted to Conover for these documents. On the 23rd of September, 1866, as appears by the note now