War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0745 THE MARYLAND ARRESTS.

Search Civil War Official Records

with no evidence to justify the act except the following paragraph found in the Baltimore American of that morning to which my attention was called by them for the first time:

ARREST OF MARYLAND SECESSIONISTS.

The Boonsborough Odd Fellow says that on Tuesday night Daniel Deckart, editor of the Hagerstown Mail, was seized by agents of the General Government and sent to Fort McHenry. General McKaig, of Allegany County, and two others whose names we have not heard were also taken in charge. They are in hot pursuit also of Mr. Gordon, of the same county.

I was taken by them to Washington City where my person and baggage were subjected to a most rigid search which lasted about two hours and in the course of which my clothing was stripped from my ly examined, and all my private papers and letters including those from my wife were read from beginning to end and offensive comments made upon them in my presence, and some of them taken from me and have not yet been returned. Finding nothing upon my person or among my baggage to justify my detention and no witness appearing to show probable grounds of suspicion I supposed that I would be released without delay. In that, however, I was disappointed. Instead of an honorable discharge and such atonement for the outrage already committed upon me as I had a right to expect I was confined in one of the political prisons of that city for six days, closely guarded by armed soldiers and refused the privilege of changing my soiled clothes in which I had been traveling for four days previously.

While thus detained I made daily inquiry of the officers in command as to the cause of my arrest and detention and through them as far as possible demanded to be informed of any accusation that might be against me and an opportunity to have an investigation of the same. This privilege, however, was refused, and to the present time I have no knowledge of the cause of my arrest and detention except so far as I have already stated.

On the fifth day of my imprisonment I was informed that I could be released if I would take an oath binding myself among other things to support the Constitution and Government of the United States against all enemies whether domestic or foreign and that I would bear true faith and allegiance to the same, any ordinance, resolution or law of any State convention or Legislature to the contrary notwithstanding. Knowing that I had done no act that would not bear the most rigid legal scrutiny and that my arrest and detention were wholly unlawful I refused to submit to the additional outrage or to bind myself to support a government outside of the Constitution. On the next day I was told that informal charges had been made against me in which my loyalty to the Constitution and laws of the United States had been called in question but that I could not have a hearing or be confronted with my assusers. I was also told that I could be released if I would take an oath that I would support the Constitution and laws of the United States and that I would not take up arms against them or give aid or assistance to their enemies. This I regarded as another attempt to degrade me by imposing unlawful conditions upon my discharge, but as there was nothing in it that required me to do any act in violation of my duty to my country or exacting anything from me that I did not intend most strictly to observe I submitted to the wrong and thereby obtained my discharge supposing that I would not again be molested so long as I kept that oath inviolate.