FORT LAFAYETTE, NEW YORK BAY,
September 30, 1861.
His Excellency the PRESIDENT.
SIR: I have the honor to submit to Your Excellency for consideration the following statement of facts:
On the 27th of June last I was taken from my bed at my dwelling in the city of Baltimore about 3 o'clock in the morning by an armed body of about 1,000 or 1,200 men and conveyed to Fort McHenry. The officers commanding the military referred to had no warrant for and as they informed me did not know the cause of my arrest. General Banks informed my counsel that I was not taken on any specific charge but merely detained as an act of military precaution, and also requested the commanding officer of Fort McHenry to make the same statement to me and that it was done by a special command of Your Excellency.
Whilst at that post I contracted the fever resulting from the malaria incident to that locality at certain seasons with which I suffered for upwards of a month, and whilst still laboring under its effects was transferred to this place. On my arrival here notwithstanding my debilitated condition I was placed in a casemate on the ground floor paved with brick with just space enough for my bed between the gun by my side and the partition of the apartment in which have been incarcerated with me as many as between thirty and forty other prisoners at the same time thus rendering the atmosphere most offensive and pestiferous.
Among other effects of the fever increased by my present confinement I am suffering with prostration of the bowels and required to repair to the only convenience for the purpose by the sea-side outside of the fort ten and twelve times in the twenty-four hours in all kinds of weather. I am locked in my prison room from 6 p. m. till 6 a. m. and only allowed to take with me one tumbler of water for use during that period. Whilst suffering great agony from the promptings of nature and effects of my debility I am frequently kept for a long time at the door of my cell waiting for permission to go to the water-closet owing to the utter indifference of some of my keepers to the ordinary demands of humanity. I am compelled to obtain at my own expense the mere substantial provisions which I require because the fare prescribed for the State prisoners is not fit for one in full health much less for a person in my present condition.
These facts were brought to the notice of the U. S. marshal of this district who in company with the chief (Kennedy) of the New York police visited the fort about a week ago, both of whom pronounced my lodgings entirely unsuitable and contrary to your instructions and that both fare and lodgings should be changed, since which I have heard nothing on the subject.
Believing that such treatment as I have received cannot meet with the sanction of the President of the United States I have deemed it proper to address you this communication with the view of respectfully inviting your attention to the facts referred to.
I am, very respectfully, sir, your most obedient servant,
GEORGE P. KANE.