War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0633 THE MARYLAND ARRESTS.

Search Civil War Official Records

Resolution offered in House of Representatives July 31, 1861. *

Resolved, That the arrest and imprisonment of Charles Howard, William H. Gatchell and John W. Davis and others without warrant and process of law is flagrantly unconstitutional and illegal; and they should without delay be released, or their case remitted to the proper judicial tribunals to be lawfully heard and determined.


Fort Hamilton, New York Harbor, August 2, 1861.

Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Hdqrs. U. S. Army, Washington.

SIR: Inclosed you will receive a paper marked letter A, and also thirteen letters+ written by the State and war prisoners in Fort Lafayette to their friends including one to be the honorable Secretary of War. ++ The letters in my opinion are calculated more or less to inflame the public mind of Maryland if published, and iI thought it my duty and I thought these transmissions if at all should go through your office. It is my intention if you think it right and desire me to do so to say to those prisoners if they hereafter have any complaint to make with regard to the officers including myself about anything or have any dissatisfaction with regard to quarters or subsistence that if they will put it in writing I will send it to Washington.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant-Colonel, U. S. Army, Commanding.



August 6, 1861.

Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War.

These letters are evidently intended for publication and being calculated to inflame the public mind by misrepresentations I recommend that they be returned to the writers.

Respectfully submitted.


[Inclosure A.]


August 1, 1861.

[Bvt. Lieutenant Colonel MARTIN BURKE.]

COLONEL: I herewith send you twelve letters written by the prisoners received here yesterday from Fort McHenry. In my opinion some of them are of a very inflammatory nature, and if they should find their way into the press of Baltimore as it is evidently the intention of the writers they should it would be detrimental to the Government. Therefore I submit them to your inspection before forwarding hem according to their directions. The writers you will see complain of the restrictions placed upon them and of accommodations which they receive. The restrictions are the same as those placed upon the prisoners confined here previous to their arrival and which in my judgment is the only


*Offered by Mr. May, of Maryland. Speaker Grow decided it to be inadmissible under the rules.

+Not found.

++See paper marked "Sub-inclosure," p. 634.