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M. L. Bonham, the governor of South Carolina, on Aug. 10, 1863, ordered the provost-marshal's court for Charleston district to be convened, for the trial of such slaves as had been captured on James and Morris Islands ‘in arms against the lawful authority of South Carolina, and free negroes of any of the Southern States connected with such slaves.’ Governor Bonham appointed the attorney-general, J. W. Hayne, and A. P. Aldrich to prosecute, and Nelson Mitchell and Edward McCrady, lawyers of eminent ability, to defend the prisoners. Meanwhile, Jordan, representing General Beauregard, satisfied that should the prisoners be enslaved or executed, retaliation would fall alone upon the military forces of the Confederacy, was active in impressing this view upon others. His statement is that the provost-marshal was an army officer, and that he (Jordan) sought him out and informed him that, having consulted Nelson Mitchell, the latter held that the captives were not
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