which I have adopted is at once to release the minor cases and refer the more serious ones to the district judge of a U. S. commissioner.
The altter course is of no avail without the services of an attorney to attend the cases. The district attorney does not live here and cannot do it. I would suggest the appointment or employment of an assistant attorney and request that the subject may be recommended to the proper Department.
Very respectuflly, your obedient servant,
D. C. BUELL,
OFFICE OF PROVOST-MARSHAL, Saint Louis, Mo., December 6, 1861.
Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
SIR: I beg leave to lay before your Department the record* of a case of Joseph M. P. Nolan, a British subject confined in the military prison of this city on suggestion of F. W. Seward, Assistant Secretary. In addition to the facts presented by the record I desire to say that Mr. Wilkins, the British consul at this point, after having satisfied himself of Nolan's unquestioned disloyalty refused to interfere officially in the matter. Upon Nolan's examination he refused to give any explanation of his letter; refused to state that he would not take up arms against the Government; refused to promise that he would remain neutral during the present rebellion. Through Mr. Wilkins' friendly intercession with General Curtis and myself and with an idea that if discharged his imprisonment might have the effect of inducing him to restrain his words and acts in the future I ordered his release, accompnaying the order with a letter to the prisoner as suggested by General Curtis. His reply is contained in the letter of Lieutenant Butterworth addressed to myself, which is part of the record. I immediately withdrew the order for his discharge and he remained a prisoner.
The only motive I can possibly conceive for his conduct is the desire to become celebrated. My motive in presenting the matter at this time to the Department is that I understand that Mr. Wilkins, the Britih consul, will present the matter to Lord Lyons. He informs me that he will clearly present to his lordship the disloyalty of the prisoners and his own refusal to interfere in the matter for that reason. Mr. W. is himself a warm friend of the Government and all his sympathies are with it in the efforts to put down rebellion. I am sure he will not interpose his official position to protect a subject of Great Britain who departs from the strict neutrality ordered by the Queen.
I am, sir, very respectfully,
GEO. E. LEIGHTON,
Captain and Provost-Marshal.
HDQRS. CITY GUARD, PROVOST-MARSHAL'S OFFICE, Washington, D. C., December 6, 1861.
Brigadier General A. PORTER, Provost-Marshal.
DEAR SIR: In accordance with a request of the Secretary of State just made of you to report the facts and circumstances in the case of