to sustain his false charge against me. Could not "S." have been content with suppressing that portion of my letter which explained its last paragraph, without forging an addition to it? Moreover, the version of "S." makes me use worse grammar than is my wont. In addition to his attempt to show me to be a felon, does he desire to take from me "the benefit of clergy?" When this letter of mine appeared in the Washington Chronicle, in 1868, I addressed a communication to the National Intelligencer, which was published in that paper on the 29th August, 1868, explaining the circumstances under which it was written, and showing very clearly that the latter paragraph of it did not relate to soldiers at all. In that communication I stated what I now repeat—that some three hundred and fifty political prisoners had arrived at City Point, and being anxious not to detain the Federal steamer, I wrote to General Winder to send all the political prisoners he had in his charge, as well as soldiers; that it was as to these political prisoners that I wrote the last paragraph in the letter; that it so manifestly appeared from the context; that every word in the paragraph was true, both as to the class received and those sent off; that not one Confederate soldier in service was received at that time; that scarcely any one of the three hundred and fifty had been in prison a month; that all of them had been recently arrested as sympathizers with the Confederate cause; that those sent off were miserable wretches indeed, mostly robbers and incendiaries from Western Virginia, who were Confederates when Confederate armies occupied their country, and Unionists when Federal troops held it, and who in turn preyed upon one side and the other, and so pillaged that portion of the State that it had almost been given over to desolation; that they were men without character or principle, who were ready to take any oath or engage in any work of plunder; that I then reiterated what I had before written—that they were "a set of miserable wretches;" that the Federal soldiers who had passed through my hands knew well, I hoped, that I would not have applied any such phrase to them; and especially so if the calamities of prison life had prostrated them, and that inasmuch as in my letter I had referred to an arrangement which I had made, I must have referred to the exchange of political prisoners which I had just negotiated, and not to the exchange of military prisoners, which was negotiated by the cartel.
After this full and frank explanation of the letter, nothing more for some seven years was heard of it until it was revived in a false, forged and garbled form by "S." a few weeks since.
Before its publication in the Chronicle, it had, however, appeared in the famous Wirz trial—whether in its true or false form, I do not know. In this respect the letter was more fortunate than I was, for I was not permitted to appear. Wirz had summoned me through the proper channel as a witness in his behalf. I went to Washington in obedience to the summons, and was in attendance upon the court-martial. While in such attendance my subpoena