War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0135 SUSPECTED AND DISLOYAL PERSONS.

Search Civil War Official Records

the assurances given in the proclamation to be issued by me on the 13th instant. One of the objects in view, though not stated in the proclamation, is to bring these counties back to their allegiance to the United States and reunite them to the Union on the footing of West Virginia. The first step in the accomplishment of this object is to disarm and disperse the military corps encamped within them. If these corps are in the service of the Confederates they should be made prisoners and sent to this city. A conciliatory course should be pursued in regard to those who are not under arms and have not been in the pay of the Confederate Government. It will require great discretion and prudence in bringing about the desired result; but if the people of these counties can be induced to declare their independence of the Confederates the strongest assurance may be given to them of an efficient protection by the Government.

It will be advisable to have a free and frank conference with the leading Union men as soon as you think the time has come for disclosing the wishes of the Government. In advancing into their interior great care will be necessary to guard against surprises. It is understood that the intention is to carry on a guerrilla warfare against you and that the character of the country favors it. Against this you will take the requisite precaution be carefully feeling your way. You will if possible send me a brief note of your progress every day.

* * * * *

No distinction should be made between the citizens of those counties in regard to the past. All who submit peaceably to the authority of the Government are to be regarded as loyal. If any persist in acts of hostility it is for you as commander of the expedition to decide what measures shall be taken in regard to their persons or their property, and with this prerogative no subordinates can be permitted to interfere. The notion has been far too prevalent that the persons and property of secessionists may be unceremoniously dealt with by commanders of regiments or corps and the sooner it is corrected the better.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.


Washington, November 11, 1861.

Brigadier General A. PORTER, U. S. Army, Provost-Marshal.

GENERAL: In the case of Mrs. Medora A., alias Mary E. Onderdonk, arrested at Chicago and brought here on an order of Honorable William H. Seward, Secretary of State, and now confined in the female prison, Numbers 398 Sixteenth street (Mrs. Greenhow's house), since the evening of 15th of October, I have the honor to report that I have carefully examined all the papers connected with it, including the report of John C. Miller (who was instructed with the management of the case) to the honorable Secretary of State; also various letters and a lengthy statement made by Mrs. Onderdonk to one of my operatives and which I caused to be taken since her incarceration; all of which papers are now on file in my office, and I would respectfully suggest not seeing any good grounds to sustain the charge of being a spy or otherwise treasonably implicated that she be discharged from custody.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,