Again, in the last letter which I received from them (though they wrote others that did not reach me) they say:
WASHINGTON, N. C., April 22, 1861.
Your predictions concerning our State I am ashnamed to confess have come to be realized, for the disunionists have or are about to plunge our good old State into this unholy war against our wishes and better judgment. It is hard for us to fight against the Star Spangled Banner, that whichfered, bled, died and won for our enjoyment. I say it is hard for me to fight for breaking down the best Government that ever existed and against our Federal rights, but it seems it must be so. We cannot be neutral and remain here, and I have not the means to get away with my mother and family.
Again, in the same letter he closes by saying:
I have not the heart to write more, for our whole community is all excitement. I have done all that I could to evade the fatal blow, but all to no purpose. I have got to put on the secession harness; it will chafe hard but I will kick it off when I can.
I answered this letter immediately tendering them the means to bring the family on to New York, but they did not receive my letter. All letters between us were intercepted after the passage of their of the 22nd of April. These men are mechanics, ship carpenters by trade, and if liberated contemplate seeking employment in this State and get their other brother, mother and sister (the balance of the family) away from Washington, N. C., to new York the first opportunity that offers.
If not inconsistent with the interest of the Government you will do me a great favor by procuring an order for the release of the said John W. and Ezra E. Cornell, now prisoners of war at Castle William, on Governor's Island, N. Y.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 14, 1861.
W. L. MARSHALL, Esq., Baltimore, Md.
SIR: Your letter of yesterday has been received. In reply I have to inform you that General Dix is charged with the decision of questions relative to the expediency of allowing former residents of his military district to return thither from places within the lines of the insurgents. In regard to the domestics to whom you refer I have to state that since the permit to which you refer as having been granted by General Scott it has been determined to grant no others of a similar character. This decision I am sorry to say cannot be deviated from.
I am, your very obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
FORT HAMILTON, N. Y., October 14, 1861.
Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
SIR: In obedient to your request of the 10th instant I herewith have the honor to inclose a list of the prisoners now confined at Fort Lafayette. I have sent a copy of your letter to the commanding officer at Fort Columbus in order that he may complete the list by giving the names of those confined at that post.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,