HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO,
Huttonsville, Randolph County, Virginia, July 15, 1861.
To the OFFICER Commanding the Forces Commanded by the late Robert S. Garnett, Esq., styling himself Brigadier-General, Confederate States Army:
SIR: As the commander of this department, I have protected the persons of all citizens of Western Virginia, except those engaged in active hostilities against the United States, and, when under a misapprehension of patriotic duty, arrests have been made because of political opinions or sympathies, I have promptly ordered releases. I have protected all private property, by whomsoever owned. My proclamations and general orders on this subject have doubtless been broth to your knowledge. I am informed that arrests have been made in Western Virginia of citizens loyal to the Government of the United States but not in arms for the support of it, and that such prisoners, or some of them, are within your control. I suggest to you the propriety of releasing all such persons, their detention being not only individual hardships, but calculated to increase the troubles of this section of the country, without contributing to any military result. Among the prisoners now within your control, and belonging to the class above mentioned, my attention has been called specially to the following names: W. M. Smith, John Brooks, Quilby Osborn, J.L. Forton, Quillers Herron, and I beg leave to call your attention to those and all similar cases.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
Major-General, U. S. Army, Commanding Department.
The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Series I, Vol. II. With additions and corrections. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1902.