War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0192 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

HEADQUARTERS, Baltimore, January 19, 1862.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: I have the honor to inclose a letter from Mr. McPhail, the deputy provost-marshal of this city, and one from Mr. Franklin, the chief of the detective police in Philadelphia, in regard to William T. Wilson. * The identity of this person with the Wilson engaged in Saint Mary's County in carrying on illicit trade with Virginia is in some doubt, though I am strongly inclined to believe they are different persons. By Mr. McPhail's letter you will perceive that William T. Wilson had a quantity of quinine concealed on his person destined unquestionably to Virginia. He was arrested on one of the Patuxent boats on which he had taken passage for Saint Mary's County. A letter of which I inclose a copy+ was also found on him. It was open when it came into the hands of the police as well as the larger envelope in which it was contained and which was believed to have had within it other letters.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX,

Major-General.

[Inclosure.]

OFFICE OF PROVOST-MARSHAL, Baltimore, January 15, 1862.

Major-General DIX.

DEAR SIR: About the 1st of November Mr. Reynolds of our force received information from Mr. John Fowler that a certain William [T.] Wilson, and Englishman, was carrying a Confederate mail and goods with Captain Alston, of Saint Mary's County, to Virginia by way of Blay Creek to Ragged Point. They occupied a log cabin with a Mr. Bradburn on Blay Creek.

On the morning of the 19th of December as I was examining the passengers of the steamer Weems one of my officers brought two men to me who had been avoiding us. I ordered them to be taken to the side of the boat and searched. Upon Wilson was found a bottle containing about four ounces of morphine and an English passport that disclosed his names as W. T. Wilson. Upon Mr. Krengle, the other party, nothing was found of a contraband character. They were conveyed to our office and there underwent another search when there was found in the hat of Wilson done up in a bladder filling about one-third of the hat crown a quart of quinine. These were the only articles secreted about him. He had a large navy revolver and holster, the holster much worn as if used on horseback, which agrees with the report of Fowler who stated the he always carried the mail on horseback from Alston's and always at night. I also inclose you a copy of the letter+ found upon the person of Wilson; it was inclosed in a rough envelope which from its size indicated more inclosures. I was unable to find who opened it but supposed it to be Wilson who destroyed a part of its contents. Besides the letters we have two photographs of two females and a small lace collar and cuffs.

Fowler of whom we obtained the information is now engaged in teaming about Washington and Alexandria. Mr. Reynolds of our force thinks he would be able to find him and thus remove our doubts.

Respectfully, yours, &c.,

J. L. McPHAIL,

Deputy Provost-Marshal.

---------------

*Franklin's letter omitted.

+Not found.

---------------