War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0600 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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influence remain our of the State if they are not in it now. It is understood that Doctor Robinson is in Richmond at this time though he may be nearer home. If you will allow me to suggest a course in regard to his friends seeking his release it would be not to discourage them but to hold out the expectation that he will be permitted to return shortly on taking the oath of allegiance, and it ought not to be less than the one prescribed by Congress.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX,

Major-General, Commanding.

Major General JOHN A. DIX, Fort McHenry, Baltimore:

The act of Congress requiring an oath of allegiance was approved the 31st of August last.

W. H. SEWARD.

WASHINGTON, October 10, 1861.

The Honorable SECRETARY OF STATE.

DEAR SIR: For months past there has been a regular mail to and from Virginia via to Great Mills Post-Office. This office is situated about six miles from the Potomac River in Saint Mary's County, Md., and eighty-three miles from this city. The plan was to inclose all correspondences intended for Virginia (under cover) to some well-known secessionist residing at the Great Mills Post-Office and by these parties forward to Virginia. On the 5th instant I applied to the honorable Secretary of the Navy and was promptly furnished with a small steamer and a number of men sufficient to carry out my intentions. We proceeded to the locality mentioned above and seized all the mail matter in said office, also one unopened mail bag. On examination I find a large number of letters addressed to parties in Virginia dna other parts of the South, also letters coming from Virginia to parties in Baltimore, Washington, Philadelphia, &c., the most important of which accompany the report.

The postmaster at Great Mills seems to have made his office a respository or depot for this contraband correspondence although he professes to be a very strong Union man. We arrested one John S. Travies, a resident of the above-named locality, and brought him a prisoner to this city. Travis is charged with carrying the mails to and from the Great Mills Post-Office into Virginia. This morning I received a telegram from Major-General Dix, at Fort McHenry, stating that the provost-marshal of Baltimore would furnish me with an abundance of proof-against Travis. I shall detain him until such proof arrives. The post-offices at Leonardtown and Ridge Road I think should be immediately seized. I have positive infomration that an extensive Southern correspondence is now being carried on through these offices. The honorable Assistant Secretary of the Navy rendered very prompt and valuable assistance in the above matter.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. C. BAKER.