War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0637 THE MARYLAND ARRESTS.

Search Civil War Official Records

all newspapers whatsoever or the unrestricted delivery to us without examination of all letters that may be addressed to us; whilst it certainly cannot be shown that such prohibitions are at all necessary to insure our 'safe keeping. " The examination of and the discretion claimed to retain letters to us from the nearest members of our families as well as the preventing us from receiving newspapers can only be regarded as measures of punishment adopted toward those who have been convicted of no offense, to whom no opportunity has been afforded for an investigation of any chartes that may possible have been preferred against them and for whose arrest as our counsel were assured by General Banks there were no other reasons than the allegations set forth by him in his proclamation, and the continuance of whose confinement he stated to be solely a precautionary measure on the part of the Government. These assurances were given by him at Fort McHenry.

I will add that whatever may be the disposition of the officer commanding the post and of those in this garrison "to treat us kindly" they are restricted in doing so within extremely narrow limits either by other orders they may have received or by the means of extending such treatment not having been supplied to them. We are isolated at a distance of 20 miles from our families and all but a few friends and with these we are permitted to have no intercourse. We are thrown upon our own resources, those of us who may have means being allowed to find at our own cost within the fort decent but very ordinary fare whilst those who cannot in justice to their families afford such expense have nothing but eh ordinary rations of the soldier which are of the coarsestuence of the delay in other departments of the service in complying with the requisitions the officers here have made we should at this moment though we have been here a week have been without a chair or table but for the courtesy of Lieutenant sterling, who seeing our state of utter discomfort has loaned to us two chairs from his own quarters, and that of the wife of a sergeant who has let us a small stand. We are informed, however, that a supply of such articles may be expected for our use from the city this evening.

Finally there are six of us confined in one room precisely similar in all respects to that described in my letter of the 1st instant, to which I beg leave to refer you.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

CHARLES HOWARD.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, August 8, 1861.

Lieutenant General WINFIELD SCOTT, Washington.

GENERAL: This Department having received information to the effect that the late police commissioners of Baltimore now confined at Fort Lafayette, New York Harbor, have taken measures to sue out a writ of habeas corpus I will thank you to direct by telegraph the officer in command there not to obey the writ. *

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

---------------

*In answer to this request General Scott repeated his telegraph of August 2 to Colonel Burke. See preceding page.

---------------