War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0178 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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relate to the representation which I felt it to be my duty to address to you with regard to the treatment to which seamen belonging to the British schooners Revere and Louisa Agnes were subjected by officers of the U. S. Navy. It is not my purpose on the present occasion to make any observations on their contents. I hasten, however, to inform you that they have only reached me to-day lest I should be deemed guilty of discourtesy in not having acknowledged the receipt of them until so long after their dates.

I have the honor to be with high consideration, sir, your most obedient humble servant,


413 BROOME STREET, N. Y., December 16, 1861.

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary of State.

DEAR SIR: On the 28th of November I received from you the papers (which I had asked for) in the case of A. Da Costa, a prisoner in Fort Warren. I have held his case waitinf for the evidence taken before George G. Bull, U. S. commissioner, Detroit. The testimony was directed to me as C. Hawley, and was advertised and hence the delay. I make this report and send the evidence* taken on his arrest, and also the papers remitted to me by you.

It appears that he was arrested without any vaild grounds. His statement to me accords exactly with the report from Detroit. If he had or has treasonable designs they are unknown. But he to me declined to take the oath required, from which it is fairly to be inferred that he is not loyal in his opinions or designs and therefore I cannot recommend his release. Yet I think if set at liberty and should go to Havana or Vera Cruz he would do no harm. He is an itnelligent, good-looking, good-tempered man, and would perhaps count in some exchange of prisoners. With these papers in your files you have all the proof in the case likely to be had.

If the British lion should bite as well as roar the prisoners in Fort Warren might be in danger from British shell.

Yours, respectfully,


Chief Clerk.


Washington, December 16, 1861.

The major-general commanding directs that hereafter all deserters, prisoners, spies, "contrabands" and all other persons whatever coming or brought within our lines from Virginia shall be taken immediately to the quarters of the commander of the division within whose lines they may come or be brought without previous examination by any one, except so far as may be necessary for the officer commanding the advance guard to elicit information regarding his particular post; that the division commander examine all such persons himself or delegat such duty to a proper officer of his staff, and allow no other persons to hold any communication with them; that he then immediately send them with a sufficient guard to the provost-marshal in this city for further examination and safel-keeping, and that stringent orders be given to all guards having such persons in charge not to hold any