Illegal Arrests 1861, Mason County

General William "Bull" Nelson
No more flagrant outrage upon the rights of citizens was perpetrated during the war, than the arrests made at
Maysville, Kentucky, on the 1st of October, 1861, by General. William Nelson. They were not made because the exigencies of the military service or the safety of the country demanded them, but because a few political leaders, to whom General Nelson had surrendered himself, expected to promote their party interests, by getting rid of the most influential Democrats in the community. General "William Nelson was at that time recruiting his brigade in Mason, and the adjoining counties, and had established a camp a short distance from Maysville. His headquarters
were in the city, where he was surrounded by his counsel of advisers, a few men who had been the life-long
enemies of the Democratic party. These men made out a proscription list for General Nelson, embracing about twelve of the leading and most influential Democrats of the city, and urged their arrest and departure from the State.
On the morning of the 2d of October, 1861, two hundred armed soldiers, from the camp, under General Nelson's orders, were marched into the city, and stationed at the market- house. Squads were sent out, and the following gentlemen, whose names had been selected by the political coterie who controlled General Nelson, were suddenly seized and placed in custody of the armed force at the market-house : the Hon. Richard H. Stanton, James H. Hall, Washington B. Tottle, Benjamin F. Thomas, Wm. Hunt, Isaac Nelson, George Forrester, and William T. Costoe.
Mr. Stantou had been an influential and leading Democrat, who represented his district in Congress, from 1849 to 1855, '

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