War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0208 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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it too warm for him. Coming here and being refused a pass into Virginia on account of his sentiments and antecedents having been made known before him, he in defiance of the constituted military authorities here crossed the river into Virginia on a fraudulent pass and was hovering on the outside of one of the most vulnerable portions of our entire lines at the time of his arrest. I see but one prudent course to pursue in this case, and that is to keep him in close confinement until the end of the war for the Union when there will no longer be any danger in violent secessionists going at large on fraudulent passes.

All of which is respectfully submitted by your obedient servant,



Washington, D. C., February 5, 1862.

Brigadier General A. PORTER, Provost-Marshal.

GENERAL: In the case of William Oswald Dundas, a prisoner confined in the Old Capitol Building, I have the honor to report as follows:

Said Dundas was sent to this office on the 1st of November last by Brigadier General L. P. Graham, stationed between this city and Bladensburg, Md., with a statement that he had been in the habit of leaving his home in the neighborhood on horseback early in the evening and returning sometimes late at night; that when challenged he would represent himself as "officer of the road," and would use tantalizing and insulting language, asking the sentinels why they did not arrest him, &c. ; that the inmates of the house where he lived had been suspected of being secessionists, and that on previous occasions signals had been made from said house; that at time of his arrest Dundas attempted to force his horse past the sentry challenging him, but did not succeed in so doing; that on being delivered by the arresting sentinel to the officer of the guard Dundas represented himself as a gentleman of means and one who had a right to go where he chose; that in answer to the inquiry why he was always away from his home at night in the present unquiet state of the country, knowing that the roads were lined with picket and grand guard, he said that he went to visit the neighbors; that as his time was his own he could use it as he chose; that in answer to the question whether he was in favor of our Government he said he was not; that he would never be with a Government that oppressed his country; that finally in answer to the question whether he was a secessionist he admitted that he was.

On examination at this office on the 1st of November Dundas stated that he was twenty years of age, and resided about four miles from Washington on the old Bladensburg turnpike; that he was a farmer and lived on a farm owned by his mother; that on the night of the 31st of October he was returning from Mrs. Wood's, who resided two miles from where he did, and when arriviof the road he was challenged by a soldier who was on guard; that he answered he was a "resident of the road," and not "officer of the road," as had been reported; that this was the first time that he had ever been stopped by the guard at that place; that when he was brought before the major (De Zeng) he told him the same in regard to himself as he stated on this occasion; that he admitted to those arresting him that he was a secessionist as he admitted on the present occasion, but had never taken any part with the secessionists against the Federal Government; that he had friends in the South but had no relatives in the Southern Army;