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Lyles Mason Tennison

Confederate Memoranda on arrest of Andrew Tennison, Fairfax, Virginia. 1862

Andrew Tennison.-Says he was born in Fairfax; believes he was arrested from a malicious charge preferred by Henry Sartain. Says when the Federal troops were going to Bull Run they took him and Joseph Lyles prisoners, destroyed his garden, and used his parlor as an office. Afterwards, when the confinement of his wife was approaching, she begged him to go to the store and get her some rice and other articles. On his way met Horace Edsall guiding a party of Federal soldiers under command of Colonel Taylor. Edsall said prisoner was a good secessionist and could guide part of them and he would go with the others. Colonel Taylor with part of the men told him to go to the brick house. He tried to beg off, saying if Sartain saw him he would be sure to report him. Taylor then drew his pistol and threatened to shoot him if he did not guide them. He submitted and went with them to the brick house. They brought him back to the railroad and discharged him. Sartain saw him on the way and told General Stuart prisoner was guiding the enemy. Says he is a Southern man in his feelings and went with Virginia. Refers to Capt. Murray Mason, of the Navy, as a man who knew he was a Southern man. Says he is a Southern Methodist and never agreed with the Northern men. Mr. Huntt gives him a good character. I think this case cannot properly be investigated here. If evidence exists to fix improper intercourse with the enemy on the prisoner it must be found at Manassas. No specific charge is made against him. If the prisoner is to be judged on his own statement then all that statement must be taken and on his statement his guidance of the enemy was compulsory. I advise he be returned to Manassas with direction if there be other proof against him to have it taken and the facts on which he is detained ascertained. If there be no specific charge against him of criminal connection with the enemy he ought to be discharged on the ground that his long imprisonment is a sufficient punishment for a venial offense. If there be criminal conduct which amounts to an offense against military law he ought to be turned over to a military tribunal for trial. If the offense be against the civil laws he ought to be turned over to the civil tribunals for trial. I would suggest that in every case in which a prisoner is hereafter sent to headquarters at Richmond a statement of the facts and names of the witnesses be sent with him.

SOURCE: Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series 2, Volume 2, pg. 1447

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