War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0039 SUSPECTED AND DISLOYAL PERSONS.

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in the proper quarter. Meanwhile, however, I would remark that it seems so improbable that anything which the mariners on board captured vessels would be likely to have would tempt the cupidity of those who may have had those persons in their power that this charge may in advance be pronounced as of questionable foundation.

I have the honor to be, sir, your very obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

HEADQUARTERS DIVISION OF THE POTOMAC,

Washington, August 6, 1861.

Colonel A. PORTER, Provost-Marshal, &c., Washington, D. C.

SIR: The general commanding directs that you have in charge the surveillance of all persons in this city who are disposed inimically to the Government. You will exercise a wise discretion in making arrests, and all cases will be reported directly to these headquarters.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. V. COLBURN,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

STATE OF OHIO, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,

Columbus, August 7, 1861.

Honorable SIMON CAMERON,

Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.

SIR: There are now and have been for some time a number of prisoners at Camp Chase who were arrested in Western Virginia under orders of commanding officers. I desire to know what are the principles governing their discharge. There are among them men who may properly be set at liberty, and you will please advise what steps may properly be taken for that purpose and on whose authority discharges may be issued. I have not taken any charge of these prisoners but have in all cases on their arrival here turned them over to the U. S. officers. I am pressed every day for papers granting discharges and I trust you will give this your attention.

Very respectfully,

W. DENNISON.

HEADQUARTERS DIVISION OF THE POTOMAC,

Washington, August 7, 1861.

Brigadier General A. PORTER,

Provost-Marshal, Washington, D. C.

GENERAL: I am directed by the major-general commanding to say that in addition to your other duties he desires you if possible to intercept all letters and communications sent to or coming from Virginia otherwise than through the proper channels. He desires also that all persons supposed to be in correspondence with or who are disposed in any way to aid the enemy be carefully watched. Much discretion should be used in arresting such persons. You are authorized to employ citizen detectives to aid you in performing the above duties.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. V. COLBURN,

Assistant Adjutant-General.