War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0472 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records


SIR: Your letter of the 23rd instant asking permission to visit Mr. Jaulkner, a prisoner confined in Fort Lafayette, has been received and as it has been found necessary to restrict such permissions I regret to say your request cannot with propriety be granted.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


FORT LAFAYETTE, September 25, 1861.

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretay of State.

SIR: A sever indisposition for some days past has prevented an earlier response to your letter to Colonel Burke of the 11th of the present month. discouraged by the neglect with which all my previous communications have been treated, nothing but a sense of duty has prompted this additional trespess on your time, and as this will in all probability be the last letter which I shall address to you during the period of my imprisonment, be that long or short, I must express the hope that you will at least do me the favor to read it. On the 13th instant I addressed to you some insquiries which I deemed pertinent and proper. To these inquiries I have as usual received no reply. I now avail myself of the earliest moment of my convalescence to respond to the views which you take of my case in your letter to Colonel Burke.

There are two conclusions which flow necessarily from your letter. First, that the Government now disavows the ground upon which I was arrested on the 12th of August by order of the Secretary of War and that henceforth it does not hold me as a hostage for the safe return of upward of six weeks, during which time every opprtunity has been afforded for the fullest inquiry into my conduct and relations whilst in Europe, the Government is forced to the admission that no act has been done by me upon which it can found even an accusation of infidelity or disloyalty.

In the absence then of all proof or even allegation that I have done anything inconsistent with the hble trust with which I have been honoreds by the Government yur letter which is some what in the nature of an indictment charges, first, that I am understood to acknowledge and obey the authortities acting in the State of Virginia, by which of course you mean the authorities acting in the State of Virginia, by which of course you mean the authorities of what is called the Confederate States; second, that the Government is informed and believes that my sympathis are with those authorities; third, that it is expected that my services as well as influence will be employed in behalf of the cause which those authorities are sustaining.

Assuming that the Government has repudiated the original and real cause of my arrest it is then upon these vague understandings, beliefs and expectations of what my personal opinions are and of what my future conduct may be that I have for more than six weeks been robbed of my libesrty, torn from alal association with my family and friends, now lodged in a distsant and isolated fortress, expesed to the permanent injury of my health, treated as a common malefactor and subjjected to irreparable pecuniary loss. I do no more than justice to the intelligence and virtue of every judicial tribunal from the Aroostook to the Potomac when I assert that there is not one of them which would