War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0458 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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matter of the ship Alliance at Saint John reported to be engaged in shipping munitions of war with a design of running the blockade, I have already communicated to the American consul there and at Halifax through Mr. Amory, the U. S. dispatch agent at this port. I should have transmitted this through the same hands but he is absent from the city and I therefore send this derect, and am,

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN S. KEYES,

U. S. Marshal.

OFFICE OF U. S. ATTORNEY, Boston, September 10, 1861.

Major General BENJAMIN F. BUTLER.

DEAR SIR: The wife and father of John Williams, arrested here and now confined in Fort Lafayette, have been to see me on his behalf, and at their request I have read their papers and heard their statements. The case in wholly out of my power, but I have examined the documents beccause I understood you desired it. The statements of Mrs. Williams and of the letters seem to show that so long as there were any Union men in Norfolk he was one of them, and that his rrand North was a legitimate one. The order for his romoval to Fort Lafayette was received from the Secretary of State; and probably the authorities in Baltimore and Washington, the provost-marshal and head of police in these cities, have more information about him that I have, and inquires should be made of them. There are some circumstances which may entitle his case to favorable consideration. H is a young man with a wife and several little children dependent on him, and if he had any illegal errand here his confinement must have broken up his plans and rendered his visit fruitless.

Very respectfully, yours,

THORNTON K. LOTHROP,

Acting U. S. Attorney.

The story of his having a commission which was in circulation here seems to have sprung in part at least from what is now said to be a joke of his, which is alluded to in one of the letters. *

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 14, 1861.

Colonel MARTIN BURKE, Fort Hamilton, N. Y.

COLONEL: I will thank you to discharge John Williams who has been confined fro some time past at Fort Lafayette upon his taking the oath of allegiance to the United States.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

FORT HAMILTON, September 16, 1861.

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD,

Secretary of State of the United States, Washington, D. C.

SIR: In obedience to your instructions I offered to release John Williams upon his taking the oath of allegiance which he declined or refused to do.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

MARTIN BURKE,

Lieutenant-Colonel, U. S. Army, Commanding.

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*Not found.

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