War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0366 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

cept him on his return and warn him to avoid a Northern port. Your friendly advice is solicited for himon this mission. I saw Governor municated to you by messenger. He is satisfied that any precipitate action on the part of our friends will react and damage us. The State is unarmed with a border of 700 miles exposed to a furious foe. That such is the case is the fault neither of the governor or of our party but of those false leaders and imbeciles who preferred party advantage to the safety of our Commonwealth. Our military organizations are being perfected but we are badly armed, and I regret to say that other companies are being enrolled hostile to the South and I fear equipped with Federal gold. The governor is trying, however, to intrust our State arms only with the loyal men. The Journal and Democrat are Lincoln papers. The sentiment of the Southern States' rights men is opposed to taking action until Kentucky is armed and organized. I cannot say that my judgement disapproves of this however my heart may point. An unarmed people is a mob. Trust a little to time and be not distrustful of men who have so much as stake as the Kentucky patriots. Four hundred men left here yesterday for Virginia. I learn from Colonel John S. Williams (known as Cerro Gordo Williams), lately a citizen of Southern Illinois, that he has been compelled to abandon his large estate there and that Kentuckians are no longer safe there. He has come home to excite our people to war.

The Saint Louis Arsenal has in it about 1,800 regulars, and some 8,000 German are armed and equipped in its immediate vicinity. Colonel Steaurt (late paymaster) is the authority for this. He also informs us that Cairo has a strong body of troops stationed there who compell all boats to round-to. The roads to Saint Louis are in the hands of the Illinois (Lincoln) volunteers. In consequence of this Major Clark remains here. We hope to have his assistance in organizing our artillery and ordnance here. In Nashville he was waited on by citizens for the same purpose. Tennessee will secede immediately. If I can be of service to the cause of Southern rights you can command,

Yours, with very great respect,

WILLIAM PRESTON JOHNSTON.

RICHMOND, VA., July 28, 1861.

Honorable L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War, Confederate States.

SIR: On or about the 1st instant according to current advices my son Edward S. Ruggles returning from California by a public steamer was treacherously pursued and on his arrival in New York arrested and detained under the instructions of Mr. William H. Seward, the secretary of State of the Federal Government, and has been since then held in duress and cut off from all communication with his friends. My son is a youth of seventeen, of excellent repute, not in public employment and under the customs of war recognized by civilized nations could not be justly in duress by any Government claiming to represent a free people realizing the ordinary impulses. As my son was an acting midshipman at the late Naval Academy, on political [grounds] he resigned at the time of his departure for the Southern Confederacy. I respectfully ask that he may be restored to his home and his liberty by an early exchange or by the exercise of such remedial power as the President of the Confederate States may deem just and expedient.

I respectfully request prompt action in behalf of my son with the hope of removing him at an early moment from the baneful influences