HEADQUARTERS DIVISION OF THE POTOMAC,
Washington, August 14, 1861.
Honorable SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War.
SIR: I respectfully invite your attention to the case of A. R. H. Ranson, styling himself a lieutenant of the Army of the Confederate States. This gentleman is one of the prisoners surrendered with the command of Colonel Pegram to the forces under my command just after the battle of Rich Mountain, Va., and subsequently released on parole. He was the adjutant of Colonel Pegram's regiment, and on account of the feeble state of the health of that officer was permitted by me to accompany him to Fort McHenry, to which place he was ordered pursuant to the instructions of the General-in-Chief. Mr. Ranson was directed to report to General Banks on his arrival in Baltimore, but the general having been removed from that station he has come to this city, where he now is.
Mr. Ranson's bearing and conduct since he became a prisoner to our arms have been of the most exemplary character, and if consistent with your views I shall be gratified to receive authority from you to permit him to return to his home in Virginia via Fort Monroe.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
WAR DEPARTMENT, August 15, 1861.
Major-General McCLELLAN, Commanding:
The action of the rebels in regard to citizens of loyal States has been such as to prevent compliance with your request. Citizens that have passed the lines on missions of mercy have been thrown into prison and unwarantably detained. Until some change is made by the rebels no privileges can be extended to citizens of Southern States.
Secretary of War.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, August 16, 1861.
Major-General DIX, Fort McHenry, Baltimore:
Richard K. Meade, of Virginia, late minister to Brazil, is expected to arrive at Baltimore soon. Secure his papers, arrest and send him to Fort Lafayette.
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
Washington, August 17, 1861.
Lieutenant Colonel MARTIN BURKE, U. S. Army,
Fort Hamilton, New York Harbor.
SIR: * * * I have also to inform you, in relation to some letters from Mr. Howard, that the Department of State sees no objection to letters unsealed being received and dispatched by the prisoners, or to their purchasing such newspapers as may be for sale in New York City.
I am, sir, very respectfully,
E. D. TOWNSEND,