TRAPPE, TALBOT COUNTY, MD., March 20, 1862.
Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington.
SIR: I have been awaiting for some time with no little degree of concern the release of the members of the left General Assembly of Maryland from Fort Warren. I was one of the members of that body and whatever may have been their real or imagined offense against the Government I feel myself bound in honor to confess that my guilt was the same with theirs both in degree and kind. Neither can I reconcile it with my own ideas of the duty which I owe both to myself and them to witness their confinement without sharing their sufferings with them.
Being engaged at the city of Annapolis in the performance of the duties of a legislative committee at the time of the reassembling of the Legislature in September last accounts for my absence from the city of Frederick then and perhaps for my enjoyment of my liberty now.
Please communicate with me at your earliest convenience and I will surrender myself to Colonel Dimick at Fort Warren at any time you may name unless my case be otherwise disposed of.
I shall regard this as my parole of honor for the performance of what I have hereby engaged to do and shall remain at this place until your communication reaches me.
I am, very respectfully, yours, &c.,
FORT WARREN, MASS., March 20, 1862.
Honorable HENRY MAY.
DEAR SIR: As the health of my wife has become so extremely delicate and the period of her accouchement is daily expected (which with her is a period of extreme danger) added to the mental anguish which she endures in consequence of my long incarceration compels me to ask of you the following favor. It is this that you go immediately and see the Secretary of War and state my case and ask for my discharge. If he is not willing to give me an unconditional release give me a parole until my wife is better of her illness. I can report to General Dix at Baltimore, or I will return here if necessary.
He surely will not refuse me this when he remembers that I have been incarcerated now over six months for no other offense than being by accident a member of the Maryland house of delegates. I would not ask this but that I have been patiently waiting for more than a month from day to ay for my discharge and yet it has not come. Others similarly situated, i. e., members of the Legislature, have been discharged upon parole from time to time. Had I violated any law or done any act hostile to the administration there would be some excuse for my detention.
I beg of you to see Mr. Stanton without delay and urge upon him my release in order that I may return to my afflicted family, for a few days' delay may be productive of results I fear to think of. Your friends are all well here.
Yours, in haste,