War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0686 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, September 20, 1861.

Colonel MARTIN BURKE, Fort Hamilton, N. Y.

COLONEL: Mr. Ross Winans, of Baltimore, who has been or wil be transferred to Fort Lafayette is an aged person and as it is understood rather infirm. I will consequently thank you to cause his confinement there to be as lenient as you conveniently can compatible with his safe-keeping.

I am, colonel, your very obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, September 21, 1861.

Major General JOHN E. WOOL, Fortress Monroe, Va.

GENERAL: I have received your letter of the 18th instant relative to the political prisoners in your custody. In reply I would recommend that they be allowed decent fare and the privileges of air and exercise compatible with their safe-keeping. They must be watched during their confinement and be allowed to receive no visitors not authorized and when visited a commissioned officer must be present.

I am, general, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

FORT McHENRY, September 21, 1861.

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, State Department:

Colonel Morse telegraphed me to know whether Mr. Rasin could be offered the oath a second time. I answered Numbers If a man is so indifferent to the clemency of the Government [as] to refuse when it is first tendered I think a longer confinement will not be injurious to him. A strong interest is felt for Ross Winans who is an old man and very infirm. He did not as has been alleged vote for the Wallis resolutions and has faithfully kept his parole. If the Government knows no special reason to the contrary I think he might safely be discharged instead of Mr. Rasin.

JOHN A. DIX.

STATE DEPARTMENT,

September 21, 1861.

Major General JOHN A. DIX, Fort McHenry, Baltimore:

You will please discharge Mr. James U. Dennis from custody.

WM. H. SEWARD.

FORT McHENRY, September 21, 1861.

WILLIAM H. STEWARD:

Mr. Dennis has taken the oath of allegiance. Mr. Rasin has declined to take it. I am very glad the latter was offered his discharge on condition of taking it. The indulgence tendered to him will strengthen the Government and his refusal to accept it indicates the justice of his arrest. * * *

JOHN A. DIX.