Civil War-Date: Mulatto Woman Defends Treasury Official from Bribery Charges; Accuser Charged with Lewd Conduct

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4 pp, 9 3/4" x 8", war-date letter on official "Treasury Department, Office of the General Agent" stationary, by Treasury Agent Wm. P. Mellon, Cincinnati, Ohio, Oct. 1, 1864, to Sec. W.P. Fessenden. Handwritten original period copy, possibly the defendant's copy.

In part, "...I have just learned that Assistant Special Agent Wm. Burnett, of Natchez, Miss., is still in confinement under a military arrest without knowledge of the charges against him. Mr. Burnett is a son of the late Judge Burnett, and this is as much as can be said in favor of the family relations of any man in the West...I cannot believe he has been guilty of any misconduct for which you would reproach him. I am ignorant as to what charges are made against him...The facts as near as I can learn them are as follows.

"In the latter part of August, he learned that a Captain Oldin, A.A. Agent of General Brayman, Commanding at Natchez, had accepted a bribe for some official act, and he promptly communicated the fact to Major General Canby, or Dana. That upon investigation it was admitted by Captain Oldin, who was placed under arrest. That thereupon Captain Oldin made charge against Mr. Burnett. That he made arrangements with a lewd woman, named Wells, in Natchez, to go to Vicksburg, and made these charges against Mr. Burnett, to General Dana. That not knowing the character of Mrs. Wells, General Dana, ordered his arrest. That under this order the Custom House and Mr. Burnett's office were seized, together with all the records, money & c. and placed in the hands of the Military, and Mr. Burnett was placed in close confinement...If the officers of your Department can be thus treated, they will at least feel reluctant to give bonds or to perform their duty independently. Yesterday, a Mulatto woman of uncommon intelligence, whose truthfulness and honesty are well vouched for, came before me, and made the enclosed affidavit...I respectfully suggest that such an order be issued by the President or Secretary of War as will release Mr. Burnett and prevent the recurrence of such an outrage in the future..."

Folds, light toning. Overall in excellent condition. Nice WAR-DATE piece.

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