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[550] captor, with the aid of the noon-day sun, could not write at all. I afterwards taught him to write a little in my school.

The question occurs: Can a boy who cannot write at all, write such papers, and sign to them an unknown name? If they had been forged by any one else, would they have been placed in the hands of a child? Could any one else have forged an unknown and unheard of name?

2. The papers were handed to me immediately after their capture, in the presence of gentlemen of undoubted integrity and veracity, before whom I can prove that the papers not only were not, but could not have been, altered or interpolated by myself. These gentlemen were with me every moment of the time between my receiving the papers and my delivering them to Lieutenant Pollard.

3. If Lieutenant Pollard had made any alterations in the papers, these would have been detected by every one who read the papers before they were given to him, and afterwards read them in the newspapers. But all agree that they were correctly copied. In short, human testimony cannot establish any fact more fully than the fact that Colonel Ulric Dahlgren was the author of the “Dahlgren papers.”

With regard to the part taken by myself in this affair, I lay no claim to any credit. I do not write this version of the affair to gain notoriety. I have made it a rule not to mention my own name, except in cases where I found that false impressions were being made upon the public mind. You know very well that my being Littlepage's captain entitled me to claim the capture of the papers for myself. But this I have never done. And, even when called upon by General Fitz. Lee to give my affidavit to the authenticity of the papers, I wrote him word that Littlepage was the captor of them. In his letter to Lieutenant Pollard, which was forwarded to me, he asked: “Who is Captain Halbach?” I replied, for myself, that I was nothing more than the humble captain of a company of schoolboys, and that if I deserved any credit, it was only so much as he might choose to give me for preserving the papers, when advised to destroy them, to avoid being captured with them in my possession, which, I was told, would result in the hanging of our little party.

I have never given the information herein contained before, because I had hoped that it would be given to the public by others, and I give it now, because I regard it as a duty to do so. My own course, after the killing of Dahlgren, was as follows: I joined those

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James Pollard (3)
Ulric Dahlgren (3)
William Littlepage (2)
Fitzhugh Lee (1)
Edward W. Halbach (1)
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