error by correcting the misapprehension under which they labor. If in spite of all efforts to induce them to discontinue their acts of hostility to the Government they persist in carrying on correspondence with the enemy and in giving him aid and comfort they should be arrested and sent to Fort McHenry; but unless a case of extraordinary urgency should occur I trust it may not be necessary to make an arrest without first consulting me. I have full authority from General McClellan to act in all cases.
You will bear in mind that we are on the eve of an election in Maryland of vital importance. The preservation of this State is indispensable to the safety of the capital. It is not doubted that all your measures will be so tempered with discretion as to give strength to the cause of the Union; but while all the just rights even of those who are disloyal should be respected they should be made to feel that no act of open hostility to the Government will be tolerated for a moment.
I inclose copies of letters which have passed between Major-General McClellan, Governor Hicks and myself in regard to the disarming of military companies. * The one at Westmister has been already disarmed by a force sent from this city. All those on the Eastern Shore of Maryland are left to you, and I consider any company drilling in avowed hostility to the Government as coming within the authority given to me by Major-General McClellan and sanctioned by Governor Hicks, though not specifically named in the letter of the latter. The authority conferred on me is hereby delegated to you, not doubting that it will be firmly and discreetly exercised. It will be advisable to consult without leading friends in the counties in which you adopt these stringent and delicate measures.
You will please report to me the result of every such movement with all convenient dispatch. Should you deem the co-operation of a police force advisable in any case, please notify me and it shall be provided.
I am, general, very respectfully, yours.
JOHN A. DIX,
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 15, 1861.
ROBERT MURRAY, Esq.,
U. S. Marshal for the Southern District of New York.
SIR: This Department understands that George Parker and George A. Shackelford, two seamen, British subjects, found on board prizes taken into New York, are confined at Fort Lafayette. If their testimony should not be deemed indispensable by the district attorney and he should not be aware of any other objection it seems tome that they ought to be discharged. Please consult Mr. Smith on the subject and proceeded in pursuance of his advice. * * *
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA, &C.,
Fort Monroe, Va., October 15, 1861.
Colonel M. N. FALLS, President Bay Line Steamers.
SIR: The major-general commanding directs me to inform you that no more persons bound for Norfolk will be sent thither or allowed to land