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[58] &c. John H. Patten—true name, Peter Stevens; lives at Nyack, near Piermont, on the North river; is now a justice of the peace there. Sarah Douglass and Miss Knapp—the true name of one is Dunham, who is the wife of Conover, the name of the other is Mrs. Charles Smythe; she is the sister or sister-in-law of Conover, and lives at Cold Spring, Long Island; her husband is a clerk on Blackwell's Island. McGill—his name is Neally; he is a licensed pedler in New York, and sometimes drives a one-horse cart.

After so ably completing his work, Colonel Turner closes his report with:

My investigation and the disclosures made prove (undoubtingly to my mind) that the depositions made by Campbell, Snevel, Wright, Patten, Mrs. Douglass, and others, are false; that they are cunningly devised, diabolical fabrications of Conover, verified by his suborned and perjured accomplices.

This practically ended the whole fiasco, but it left poor old Holt and his vindictive credulity in an awkward position. As no one would help him out of it—for there was little sympathy shown him. He undertook the task himself, and on July 3d, 1866, wrote eleven closely printed pages of what may be called an apology for his belief (191 War of Rebellion, 931). In this he set out all his correspondence and interviews with Conover and the other conspirators, and, after withdrawing the depositions, endeavored to demonstrate that he was not to blame for believing them. He is probably the only person who ever read his communication, the letters and the depositions, who reached that opinion. His report is of little value as an historical document, but as a sample of the ease with which the wish becomes the father to the thought, it is noteworthy.

This man Conover, after he was arrested, stated to Colonel Turner that his motive for his conduct in suborning this testimony was to punish Mr. Davis for having confined him in ‘Castle Thunder.’

With the motives of such a creature the world has little interest, but any one who will study the whole record will be satisfied that if money had not been furnished Conover he and his pals would never have testified, however deep his vengeful feeling.

As has been said, the idea of bringing Mr. Davis to trial before a military commission was early abandoned by every one but the credulous Judge-Advocate General. Soon after the prisoner was lodged in his casemate, President Johnson sent the Hon. Preston King, of New York, to see Judge Underwood, of the United States District

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July 3rd, 1866 AD (2)
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