DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, January 16, 1862.
Colonel JUSTIN DIMICK, Fort Warren.
COLONEL: Your letter of the 14th instant reporting that Mr. J. Hanson Thomas declines the parole tendered him has been duly received. In reply I have to request that you will hold him in custody till further instructions are received from this Department.
I am, &c.,
F. W. SEWARD,
413 BROOME STREET, NEW YORK,
January 16, 1862.
F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary of State.
SIR: When I visited Fort Warren in November certain prisoners chose to reply in writing to the question whether they were willing to take the prescribed oath in the event of being offered a discharge. Among them were ten prisoners from Maryland who in effect declined. I do not know whether any or all of them are still detained, but I send you their replies* as proper to be placed on file in their respective cases. They will exhibit clearly the animus of the parties at that date.
They were all undoubtedly disloyal men under thin disguises and wanted only opportunity to do harm. The time will come if it has not already when they could be discharged with prudence. Of that you can judge far better than I, having means that I have not for observing the state of political opinion in Maryland. I should say, however, on general view that when the rebel army shall have been driven out of Virginia that a general jail delivery of the ten gentlemen whose answers are inclosed would be prudent.
I will add that I do not personally know that there is a good reason for detaining them so long.
S. C. HAWLEY.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, January 17, 1862.
Major General JOHN A. DIX, Baltimore, Md.
GENERAL: Application has been made for the unconditional release of Robert M. Denison. Will you have the kindness to read the inclosed statement# and report to this Department whether in your judgment there is any well-founded reason why the application should not be granted. Please return this inclosure.
I have the honor to be, &c.,
W. H. SEWARD.
*Not found, but see p. 705.
#See Denison to Sewart, p. 723.