War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0260 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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of War to be released from custody on his parole of honor, &c., has been referred to yourself for a report I have the honor to report as follows:

Said Offutt was sent to this office from General Banks' division on the 20th of January last, he having crossed the river from Virginia near Harper's Ferry and having gone into Virginia by the way of the Eastern Shore about the middle of October last, being then from Baltimore. My operatives inform me that Offutt was one of the notorious Marshal Kane's policemen in Baltimore, who from their leader down took such an active part against the Government in that city at the commencement of our national troubles, said Kane being now confined in Fort Warren as one of the most dangerous traitors in the country. Offutt stated to one of my operatives in Virginia that he had had a hand in the murderous assault on the Federal troops in Baltimore on the 19th of April last, and he exhibited portions of Federal military equipments as corroborative evidence of his participation in that ignominious affair. He also stated that he had come into Virginia for the purpose of aiding the rebels all he could against the Federal Government.

My operative thinks there is no doubt but that Offutt has come from Virginia as a spy for the rebel Government, and that from his extensive acquaintance on this side of the lines and his avowed hostility to the Government and sympathy with the rebels he is a spy of the most dangerous stamp. While on examination at this office Offutt also recognized one of my operatives who had seen him in Virginia and who happened to be present here at the time. Being misled as to the character of this operative here he (Offutt) stated to him privately that the statement he (Offutt) had made at the office in regard to military affairs in the South was not true. The fact of his having seen this operative at these headquarters from which he might also infer the character of an associate operative now in Virginia renderssafe for him to be set at liberty, as in case of his return to Virginia he would not only carry all the military information he could get to the enemy but might seriously interfere there with the secret service of this office and endanger the lives of my operatives on duty there. In consideration of this double dangerousness of this man therefore I have to recommend that as a most imperative military necessity he be kept in secure confinement until the close of the war for the Union.

All of which is respectfully submitted by your obedient servant,


WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, March 11, 1862.

JOSEPH DARR, Jr., Provost-Marshal, Wheeling, Va.

SIR: I am directed by the Secretary of War to acknowledge the receipt of your report* of the 7th instant in relation to the cases of Samuel Shippard, James H. Nay and Dr. J. Devies. I am also directed by him to request you to report to me the names of all political prisoners at present in confinement at that post, together with the proofs upon which they are held.

I am, sir, &c.,


HEADQUARTERS, Baltimore, March 12, 1862.

P. H. WATSON, Assistant Secretary of War.

SIR: I wrote yesterday to Judge Pierrepont suggesting to him to come here immediately with a view to a view to a meeting at an early day at


*Not found.