~ Kentucky POWs ~

General William Nelson's Charges against Hon. R. H. Stanton

CAMP KENTON, Near Maysville, Ky., October 7, 1861.
SIR: On the 2d instant I ordered the arrest of Hon. R. H. Stanton, formerly Member of Congress from this district, and with him six other active secessionists and sent them down to Cincinnati, Ohio, to the care of General Mitchel. This man Stanton is the head of secession in Northeast Kentucky. He is the depositary of money for fitting out men from this and adjoining counties for the Southern army. He was actively engaged at the time of his arrest in establishing and maintaining nightly drills of armed traitors. He is in regular correspondence with Richmond, Va.

He received and announced to his traitor friends a message from Breckinridge but the day before his arrest to this effect: That he (Breckinridge) would be back at Prestonburg on or about the 10th of October and would assume command as general, and that all the companies willing to serve under him would meet at that spot; and further that the main body of Beauregard's army would winter in Kentucky and that they (the secessionists) need not be afraid; they would be supported. As many as eight mounted messengers have left Stanton's house in one night. He has harbored in his house an officer of the Confederate Army. Two hundred and fifty-nine armed men of this neighborhood have gone to Prestonburg under his advice and aid. He is the soul of the rebellion in this part of Kentucky. After becoming satisfied of his doings I arrested him and sent him to General Mitchel and he is now at Camp Chase.

My object in writing is to request that he may be removed farther from the scene of his villainies. He is too close to us still. He is a man of wonderful intellectual energy, personally truculent and cowardly but morally a very Catiline. His arrest has struck secession dumb here.

Very respectfully,

Source: O.R.--SERIES II--VOLUME II, p. 916

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