The Library of Virginia >> Exhibitions >> Working Out Her Destiny
Letter from Thomas Husband to Governor Francis Harrison Pierpont. 12 December 1866. Manuscript. Office of the Governor, Letters Received, Francis Harrison Pierpont, RG3, Acc. 37024. Library of Virginia. (050057-5/6)
Mistaken Identity

City Jail
Portsmouth Va
13th of Decr 1866

His Excellency
Hon. Francis H. Pierpont
Governor State of Virginia,
I most respectfully and humbly appeal to you in reference to bestowing upon me your clemency in exercising your pardoning power in my behalf. I suppose ere this you have had information concerning my case, which I sincerely hope you will give your earliest, and proper consideration. I do not deem it neccessary to state here the whole circumstances pertaining to the case, as by the petition that has been presented to you, you can fully judge if I am deserving of having my freedom. I say Sir with an honest heart, that the assault was made under the impression that the Woman was a prostitute, and as soon as I found, and was convinced that she was a virtue women I desisted and gave her my protection against the other parties, which the testimony in the case will show. I know not the reason I was confined over four months before a trial was granted me, because I suppose, I was a Union Soldier, and the punishment by law was so small that by keeping me confined would double my punishment. Your Excellent I do not in the least hesitate saying that there has been a great deal of injustice done my by keeping me confined so long before trial. No doubt you are well informed of the bitter feeling that exists in this part of the country against Union Soldiers, and therefore must know that there is very little justice exhibited in behalf of such persons when in charge of this city’s rulers. In my opinion it appears very unjust for a jury of “Ex–Rebel Soldiers” to condemn a man who has stood by his country in the time of need, for such men composed the jury in my case. I take the liberty of addressing you in this manner, because I am well informed that you are a man that appreciates justice to all persons. I would further more state than I have a mother, and sister who are in very reduced circumstances, and me being confined, is a great misfortune to them, for they depend on the compensation I receive from the “Corps” for subsistence of life. Hoping Sir that you will grant my release, and accept the heartfelt thanks of an unfortunate young man I have the honor to be
Most Respectfully Your humbler
Thomas s. Husband
U. S. Marine Corps