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Letter from J. Looney Taylor to Jefferson Davis seeking pardon. Sullivan County, Tennessee. January 10, 1862.

BLOUNTVILLE, TENN., January 10, 1862.


President of the Southern Confederacy.

SIR: I am charged with treason toward the Government of the Confederate States for which I make an appeal to Your Excellency for pardon. I will give you the details of my case in full. At the time of the gathering up of the Union men in Eastern Tennessee I went into camp and took the office of issuing commissary. I staid in camp two days when the regiment left for Kentucky, and I being unwilling to go with them started home, and on my way home I learned that some soldiers were lying in wait for me to kill me. On receiving this information I left in search of refuge. I went to Kentucky. On arriving there and finding out Lincoln's policy in full it became so obnoxious to me that I returned to Tennessee though not to my home.

I have turned aside to await an answer from Your Excellency. I have given you the case in full. You can examine it and see whether I am guilty of a crime worthy of death or not. If it please you to pardon me, I am then willing to take a position in your army; and if not I will again return to the North but I much prefer the South to the North. I await your answer with patience.

Your humble servant,


Hilton's Post-Office, Sullivan County, Tenn.



It may be well to consider the propriety of a general order or proclamation to cover such cases as this.


SOURCE: Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series 2, Volume 2, pg. 1412

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