War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0640 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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How far such treatment is in accordance with the instructions of the Government as expressed by the Department of State and with the assurance given to me personally by yourself or with the promises voluntarily made by Major General John A. Dix and Major William W. Morris I leave it, sir, for you to judge.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,


FORT HAMILTON, N. Y., August 12, 1861.

Lieutenant Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Headquarters of the Army.

SIR: There is an attachment issued for my person for refusing to obey the writ of habeas corpus issued for the bodies of the Baltimore police commissioners confined at Fort Lafayette. The following is the copy of a telegram just sent by me to General Scott:

FORT HAMILTON, N. Y., August 12, 1861.

Lieutenant-General SCOTT, U. S. Army:

There is an attachment issued for my person and it is reported that a posse will try to execute the writ and take the prisoners from Fort Lafayette. Shall I resist or what course shall I pursue?




[Washington,] August 12, 1861.

Colonel MARTIN BURKE, U. S. Army, Fort Hamilton:

Hold your prisoners to the extent of all your means of defense.



Washington, August 13, 1861.


SIR: Lieutenant Colonel Martin Burke, U. S. Army, has been assigned to the command of Forts Hamilton and Lafayette for the purpose of supervising the safe custody of the political prisoners and prisoners of war confined in the latter fort. In accordance with

the wishes of the honorable Secretary of State instructions of which the inclosed are copies have already been given in relation to the said prisoners. I beg leave to suggest that the letters written by the prisoners to their friends having a political rather than a military bearing should be sent to the Department of State for examination to ascertain whether they may be properly forwarded to their address, or if not what should be done with them. Applications for permission to visit the prisoners should be submitted it is supposed to the same Department.

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