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Memoranda on arrest of Samuel Clothier, Lewis County, Virginia.

Samuel Clothier. Born in Winchester, Va., and lived in that vicinity till he was twenty-one. Went to Lewis Connty, Va. Was taken at foot of Powell's Mountain, in Nicholas County. Says he went from home to the post-office. While from home a company of Northern troops on the way to Cross-Lanes impressed his wagon and team and his son as driver. Says his son was in bad health, and he could not procure his release except by taking his place. He was promised his release at Sutton. Was taken on to Cross-Lanes and Gauley. There he was discharged on the urgent solicitation of friends from his county, whose teams had also been impressed. On his return a party of scouts from Meadow Bluff arrested him. His team was confiscated and he was sent here as a prisoner. Says he had always been a Democrat, but voted against secession. Never had had anything to do with the Wheeling government. Voted for Jackson Arnold to come to the legislature in Richmond. Arnold was not elected, but went to Wheeling. He is willing to take the oath of allegiance, and as far as he can support the South. Belongs to the old Methodist Church. Did not see cause to quit it when it split. James Bennett, surveyor of Lewis County, former member of the legislature, testifies: Clothier has always been a man of good character for veracity. Had the character of a Union man. his sons, who were of age, were acting as guides and pilots for the Northern troops. Has no doubt if Mr. Clothier takes the oath of allegiance he will firmly adhere to it. He thinks in the present condition of that county Mr. Clothier's discharge on taking the oath will be beneficial. His connection is large and divided. He thinks Mr. Clothier if discharged will procure the release of several secessionists who are prisoners. Has known Clothier thirty years. Mr. J. M. Bennett, auditor of Virginia, has known Clothier near twenty-five years. Says he is a man of truth and honor. If he takes the oath of allegiance will adhere to it. Says he thinks his release will have a good effect. Concurs in the reasons assigned by James Bennett. Mr. Brannon, State senator, has known Clothier twenty years. Says as a man he stood high in society. Is a man of truth. Says when our difficulties occurred he was considered from his associates identified with the Union party. Says Clothier belongs to a church which has created most of the difficulties in that county. Mr. Brannon concurs with Messrs. Bennett in the opinion that Clothier's release now will be beneficial. Rev. Mr. Crooks, a Southern Methodist preacher, who was two years ago preaching in Lewis County, concurs in the opinions of Clothier's character expressed by the other witnesses. He and Clothier belonged to different churches. Has been absent from Lewis County two years, and can express no opinion on the effect of his release. Believes if he takes the oath of allegiance he will firmly adhere to it. In this case the circumstances under which Clothier was arrested make him clearly liable to be held as a prisoner. The question of his release is therefore one of mercy and policy. Of this question I am not able to judge from information before me; but as the three gentlemen who recommend his release are all leading men in this region, men of character, intelligence, influence and actively identified with our cause in that county, in deference to their judgment and as a matter of mercy and good policy I recommend his release on taking the oath of allegiance.

SOURCE: Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series 2, Volume 2, pgs. 1462-1463

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