War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0050 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records


New York, August 31, 1861.

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: In order to be able to perform the service you sometimes require of me it will be necessary in future to have the revenue department at this post instructed to allow my officers opportunity and some facilities for boarding the incoming ships, steamers especially, before the parties sought for have time to escape or to transfer papers, &c., intrusted to their charge. In two cases lately I have been refused any such aid. In one case I applied in person at the office of the surveyor (on 20th instant), the collector at the time being at Newport, and the surveyor also absent from town, Mr. Benedict, the deputy surveyor, acting. I made a request to allow two of my detective to go on board of the revenue steamer in order that they might have the best opportunity to arrest a person expected on the steamer Edinburg due that day who was suspected of being an agent of the rebels. My request was declined. I specially urged it on the ground that the person for whom I was in search was a near relative to the boarding officer who had charge of the steamer, but without avail further than to refer me to this very boarding officer. Being anxious to secure the arrest of the person I then went to the steamer and made the request of Mr. Lowber, the boarding officer, which he declined unless ordered to comply by his superior officer; a very proper position for him to take. It became necessary for me then to have recourse to the quarantine department, at great inconvenience and loss of time, by which I was enabled to get my men on the ship but not until after the brother of the person for whom I was in search had been on board inquiring for his brother. He was not on that ship.

Another case has since occurred presenting points which I think should not be withheld from you. On the 23rd instant I received a telegram from you of that date directing the arrest of Edward Daley, of South Carolina, expected to return shortly from Europe. On the 27th instant, by telegram from Sandy Hook, I learned that the steamer City of Washington was on her way up, and immediately dispatched two officers to board her and look for Daley. I did not direct them to apply to the revenue department, but as under the last administration no obstruction to our officers was offered they very naturally went to the Barge Office to obtain passage to the ship on the revenue steamer. The report of Mr. Eustace, copy of which is inclosed, will show that they were so obstructed in their proceedings that Daley may have very easily evaded them by remaining on board the ship or by landing at Castle Garden with the second-class passengers. I have to request that my men may be furnished with suitable facilities for boarding incoming vessels, especially when they are in the discharge of duty imposed on them under orders from the executive department.

Very respectfully, yours, &c.,




NEW YORK, August 27, 1861.

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Esq., Superintendent of Police.

SIR: In obedience to your order, in company with Officer Tiemen, I proceed with telegram from the Honorable W. H. Seward, Secretary of