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Letter from J. P. Benjamin to John J. Byrd about W. H. Byrd being a spy. September 22, 1861.

WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, September 22, 1861.

Mr. JOHN J. BYRD, Augusta, Ga.

SIR: I am instructed by the President to make a reply to your letter to him of the 13th instant. I exceedingly regret to inform you as a father that an examination of your sons case has taken place through a commissioner specially appointed for that purpose, a gentleman of the highest character and reputation, Hon. James Lyons, of Richmond, and has reported unfavorably to your son. Mr. Lyons reports his belief that your unfortunate son is guilty; that he is an agent and a spy of Lincoln. Under these circumstances justice and a regard to the safety of this people demand that he should be held in the closest confinement, and with the deepest sympathy for you we are compelled to perform this duty and to refuse his discharge.


Acting Secretary of War.

Related Document:Memoranda on arrest of W. H. Byrd, Georgia. 1862

SOURCE: Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series 2, Volume 2, pg. 1383

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