War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0734 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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stances personal to myself and which I ought no longer to resist [to yield], and in so doing protest against the legal right of the Department of State to make such a demand of me.


WASHINGTON, January 25, 1862.

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: Being satisfied that Messrs. Maxwell and Miller, members of the last Legislature of Maryland from Cecil County, and now confined at Fort Warren have neither the power nor the disposition to interfere in any way with the operations of the Government in putting down the rebellion and that they may with perfect safety and indeed with advantage to the Union sentiment of Maryland be discharged from custody I am induced to apply for their release.

They have declined to accept of a discharge upon condition that they would take the Congressional oath though I have authority for saying that they would gladly accept of a parole such as was granted to Mr. Davis, of Baltimore, and others.

I would respectfully suggest to the Department that they be granted a parole say for thirty days or longer, and at the expiration of that time that leave be given General Dix further to extend it if in his judgment it should be proper for him to do so. I am sure that no harm will or can result from such a manifestation of clemency on the part of the Government but that such a course would tend greatly to strengthen the power of the Union organization in Maryland.

These men are both young, have but little personal influence and are entirely harmless in their county where the Union majority was over 2,000 in a vote of 4,000. Many of their friends and relatives are loyal men and would be gratified at their release. They will doubtless give every reasonable assurance that they will in no way interfere in political matters as against the Government.

I am a resident of the same town and county with them and have known them for many years and am therefore competent to speak ofeasing them. Notwithstanding my long acquaintance with them I assure you that no consideration of a personal character could induce me to solicit their release if I di not honestly believe that it could be granted with perfect safety.

Though I fully justified the Government in arresting them at the time and in retaining them ever since yet I now honestly believe that a longer confinement is entirely unnecessary.

The names of the parties in whose behalf I write are James W. Maxwell and William R. Miller, of Elkton, Cecil County, Md.

With great respect, I am, your obedient humble servant,




Washington, January 29, 1862.

Respectfully referred by the Secretary of State to Major-General Dix for his opinion thereon with a request to return these papers.