War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0002 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

Oct. 11, 1861. - The Secretary of State, Honorable William H. Seward, replies to Lord Lyons, transmitting a letter of explanation from the Secretary of the Navy.

Arrest of J. R. and F. D. Flanders, editors at Malcone, N. Y., for disloyal utterances.

14, 1861. - The President authorizes the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus on any military line between Washington and Bangor, Me.

26, 1861. - The General-in-Chief directs the transfer of the political prisoners in New York Harbor to Fort Warren, Boston Harbor.

Nov. 8, 1861. - The Confederate Commissioners, James M. Mason and John Slidell, arrested by Captain Charles Wilkes, U. S. Navy.

15, 1861. - Brigadier General E. V. Sumner, U. S. Army, arrests William M. Gwin, Calhoun Benham and J. L. Brent, of California.

Feb. 14, 1862. - President Lincoln issues Executive Order, Numbers 1, transferring the power to make extraordinary arrests from the State to the War Department.

27, 1862. - Secretary Stanton appoints Major General John A. Dix, U. S. Army, and Honorable Edwards Pierrepont a special commission to examine state prisoners.

President Davis suspends the writ of habeas corpus in Norfolk and vicinity.

March 13, 1862. - President Davis suspends the writ of habeas corpus in New Orleans and other parts of Louisiana at the request of Governor Moore and others.

April 8, 1862. - President Davis suspends all civil jurisdiction and the writ of habeas corpus in the Department of East Tennessee.

9, 1862. - A court of inquiry ordered in the case of Honorable John Minor Botts, of Virginia, arrested as a suspect by the Confederate authorities.

May 3, 1862. - President Davis suspends the writ of habeas corpus in portions of Western Virginia.

Miscellaneous Union Correspondence, etc., Relating to Political Arrests During the First Year of the War.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, May 16, 1861.


Agent of the New York and Virginia Steamship Company,

Washington, D. C.

SIR: I have received your letter* of yesterday's date asking me to give you in writing my reasons for considering an acceptance on your part of Governor Letcher's proposal to purchase the steam-ships Yorktown and Jamestown, recently seized by his orders and now in his possession, an act of treason. With this request I readily comply.

An insurrection has broken out in several of the States of this Union including Virginia designated to overthrow the Government of the United States. The executive authorities of the State are parties in that insurrection and so are public enemies. Their action in seizing or buying vessels to be employed in executing that design is not merely without authority of law but is treason. it is treason for any person to give aid and comfort to public enemies. To sell vessels to them which it is their purpose to use as ships of war is to give them aid and comfort. To receive money from them in payment for vessels which they


*Not found.