I am confident that the retention of these men as prisoners for a few days will have a wholesome effect, and will tend to restore quiet in the vicinity of Accoting by convincing the enemy that the practice of capturing unarmed men is one which can be followed by both sides.
Mr. Nevitt (one of the men arrested) frankly admits that he is a secessionist; that he has sufficient influence with the enemy to secure the discharge of parties arrested by them; that he has been to Fairfax and secured the release of some of his Union friends. All this he freely admits. There is no doubt about his position. Mr. Lee occupies the same position. He admits that he is opposed to the Government; that his house is often visited by the enemy, and that some of his family are in the army. I think the position of both is sufficiently defined by themselves to justify the Government in relating as hostages for the good statement of their neighbors and our friends who are now in the hands of the enemy. I have therefore placed them in the charge of the provost-marshal at Alexandria to be held until further orders.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. SLOCUM,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers.
Respectfully forwarded to the commanding general for his information.
I recommend that these two men be sent to Washington for imprisonment until further orders. I have no doubt that through information given by them arrests of Union men in the vicinity of Acoting have been made.
W. B. FRANKLIN,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
WASHINGTON, October 6, 1861.
Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, &C.
SIR: I have the honor to transmit to you a copy of dispatch* from Her Majesty's consul at Boston, as well as a copy of a letter and an attested copy of an affidavit which accompanied it.
I beg to recommend to favor consideration the request to which they refer that the master of the British schooner Revere, who is supposed to be detained at Fortress Monroe, may appear at Boston as a witness for defense of the vessel before the prize court at that city.
I desire also to direct your attention to the unusual manner in which the master and crew of the Revere appears to have treated, and especially to the fact of two the crew having been kept (as it would seem very unnecessarily) in irons.
I request you to be so good as to return the attested copy of the affidavit to me.
I have the honor to be, with the highest consideration, sir, your most obedient humble servant,
* Not found.