WASHINGTON, October 23, 1861.
Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
SIR: Having ascertained that William J. Walker, of Washington, has been arrested on suspicion of disloyalty to the Government of the United States and now confined in this city, permit me to say I have known this gentleman for several years and still know him to be a gentleman of high sense of honor and great moral and intellectual attainments. Allow me further to add that up to the time of his arrest I have heard him frequently express himself as a strong Union man and opposed to this most atrocious rebellion against the Government of the United States. I know that he is not guilty of committing any disloyal act against the Government and I think a due examination of his case will prove the correctness of what I say. I hope you will give his case your earliest consideration and find it perfectly consistent with your official duties to relase him.
I have the honor to be, yours, most respectfully,
MARION E. ROSS.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 28, 1861.
Brigadier General ANDREW PORTER, Provost-Marshal, Washington.
GENERAL: Herewith I return to you some statements* in reference to one Walker, a prisoner in your custody. Will you please examined his case and return to this Department these papers with your report thereon?
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servnat,
F. W. SEWARD,
Papers found in the Confederate archives relating to Mrs. Greenhow and Van Camp.
CENTERVILLE, Octobr 29, 1861.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN.
MY DEAR SIR: Your note of the 27th instant has been received with its inclosure. The note in cipher was addressed to me-that is, to Thomas John Rayford, a name I adopted before leaving Washington for purposes of cipher correspondence with Mrs. Greenhow by whom the note probably was written. As you will precive from the translation inclosed the subject-matter is unimportant. I say Mrs. G. probably wrote the note, but it is quite possible she did not and that it is a shallow device of the enemy to entice [us] into a correspondence which shall fall into their hands. This is the best light to view it, as a correspondence with her or further use of that cipher is unseless. This cipher I arranged last April. Being my first attempt and hastily devised it may be deciphered by any expert, as I found after use it for a time. I accordingly would have discared it long since had Mrs. G. escaped detection, and had indeed arranged a cipher to send her just as she was arrested. The War Department at Washington came into possession of one her letters in this cipher and by its aid ought to have worked out the key. That does not matter as of course I used it with but the
* No inclosures found, but see preceding correspondence.