War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0644 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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Baltimore, Md., September 3, 1861.


Mayor of the City of Baltimore.

SIR: Reasons of state which I deem imperative demand that the payment of compensation to the members of the old city police--who were by a resolution of the board of police commissioners dated the 27th of June last declared to be "off duty," and whose places were filled in pursuance of an order of Major-General Banks of the same date--should cease. I therefore direct by virtue of the authority vested in me as commanding officer of the miliary forces of the United States in Baltimore and its vicinity that no further payment be made to them. Independently of all other considerations the continued compensation of a body of men who have been superseded in their functions by the order of the Government is calculated to bring its authority into disrespect, and the extraction from the citizens of Baltimore by taxation in a time of general depression and embarrassment of a sum amounting to several hundred thousand dollars a years for the payment of nominal officials who render it no service cannot fail by creating widespread dissatisfaction to disturb the quietude of the city which I am most anxious to preserve. I feel assured that the payment would have been voluntarily discontinued by yourself as a violation of the principle on which all compensation is bestowed as a remuneration for an equivalent service actually performed had you not considered yourself bound by existing laws to make it. This order will relieve you from the embarrassment and I do not doubt that it will be complied with.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.

FORT LAFAYETTE, September 22, 1861.


Superintendent Reading-Rooms.

MY DEAR SIR: You will oblige me by paying to Mr. Sperry the quarter's rent due for reading-rooms on the 30th instant on that day as I have an important payment due on the 1st that much be met. Also pay him what you can on account of fees for auction sales on that day.

Make my kind regards to such friends who visit "Change" as may manifest real interest and say to them that I demand a trial and to have an opportunity of confronting the scoundrels who preferred the charges against me before the grand jury. Mr. Hopkins and other gentlemen who I learn deprecate now the burning of the bridges should recollect but for that act there would scarcely be a house standing in Baltimore. The approaching troops from Pennsylvania that arrived twenty-four hours after would have been set upon and slaughtered by an infuriated populace beyond any power of mine to protect them--as efficient as was my force--and the whole North would have retaliated and taken full revenge.

I glory in every act of mine connected with my administration and particularly in those connected with the occurrences at that time; and if any portion of that conduct is treason the Government or the