War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0610 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

convert the elective franchise into an engine for the subversion of the Government and for the encouragement and support of its enemies. In futherance of this object I request the judges of election of the several districts and precincts of the State in case any such person shall present himself and offer his vote to commit him until he can be taken into custody by the authority of the United States. And I call on all good and loyal citizens to support the judges of election, the U. S. marshal and his deputies and the provost-marshal of Baltimore and the police in their efforts to secure a free and fair expression of the voice of the people of Maryland and at the same time to prevent the ballot boxes from being polluted by treasonable votes.


Major-General, Commanding.

BALTIMORE, November 4, 1861.

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

MY DEAR SIR: At the instance of some of the immediate personal friends of Mr. Wallis I have prepared a statement embodying the substance of several interviews between him and me in relation to the probable action of the Legislature of Maryland upon the question of secession from the Union; and the statement was applied for and prepared for the purpose of being forwarded to you.

Shortly after the arrest of Mr. Wallis* and others I went several times to Washington for the purpose of having with you if the opportunity should occur a full and frank conversation in relation to all the citizens of Maryland who were detained as prisoners of state. Your numerous engagements prevented me from seeing you although besides calling at the Department I called repeatedly at your private residence.

I have always said and have said truly I am sure that the various arrests made in Maryland by the orders of the heads of the department were made on the basis of representations which the officers of Government were not at liberty to disregard and for the full investigation of which before taking action thereon there was neither time nor opportunity. But I wished to say in the desired interview that I was myself satisfied from may personal knowledge of many of the gentlemen who had been arrested that they were unjustly accused, and that I had the fullest confidence that you would come to that conclusion if the cases were fully investigated, and I meant to ask on behalf of al that the case of each of them should be examined as early as possible; that is without any delay not actually unavoidable. I desired also to state to you so far as I could do so from personal knowledge some of the reasons which induced me so earnestly to desire the liberation of gentlemen from unnecessary detention at the earliest practicable moment. Failing to find you disengaged I had on the occasion of my last visit a brief intervietant Secretary of State, by whom I was assured that all the cases would be examined without unnecessary delay.

I should be wanting in candor if I did not say that there are undoubtedly in Maryland a great number of persons who sympathize strongly with the South. I deeply lament that such is the fact. At the same time I have always believed that the great body of our people are loyal in their feelings, and that there never was a moment when Maryland could have been forced into secession, even if the


*See p. 667 for arrest of Wallis and other members of the Maryland Legislature.