some offense. I had committed no offense and according to the best information I could get was charged with none and certainly was not tried or convicted of any. You did not answer my letter wherein I offered to take a proper oath embodying everything that comprised true loyalty and unlimited defense of the Constitution.
I waited until I obtained a copy of the usual oath presented to prisoners here, which is a month since. I immediately informed the commanding officer (Lieutenant Wood) that I would take that oath and he promised to inform you to that effect. After a week elapsed upon inquiry I learned that he had not done so. this was extraordinary. I resolved to address Secretween whom and myself friendly relations have existed without interruption from my boyhood. He immediately proclaimed himself my enemy asserting through the columns of a public print that I had no character and that he returned my communicatio* unopened. I addressed him because you did not answer my first letter and I inferred that the order to reprimand emanated from you. I endeavored last week to discover who framed the oath and ordered the reprimand. Colonel Burke referred me to the War Department for answers to my interrogatories. This seems to indicate that Secretary of War to inform me I should be very much obliged. In my letter to Secretary Cameron I went into a full account of all the circumstances of my arrest and imprisonment, also informing him that I was ready at all times to take the usual oath of allegiance. I further (as in my letter to you) demanded a trial, stating that he should summon the abolitionists of Litchfield County, Conn., who were at the meeting I addressed in large numbers; that I would be willing to be tried by them alone. I would not call a solitary witness; neither Democrat, peace man nor Republican should be summoned in my behalf. None but those supposed to be my worst enemies should testify and I pledged myself not even to cross-examine them, so conscious am I of being free from all offense, even remotely. Had you been present at the meeting you would have promptly countermanded the order for arrest. I believed then that the order for arrest was on the principle of prevention, for it was after me before I had opened my lips. Thinking that a speedy satisfaction would be accorded me-for you should have informed yourself immediately of the true state of the facts when such extraordinary process is resorted to as the imprisoning of a citizen without warrant or accusation-I went to Connecticut on law business and was invited to address a meeting. I found a bad state of the public mind. I determined to allay the excitement and did perhaps more toward that end than any effort yet made by the Administration. Your Republican friends and even the officer who arrested me (Mr. Peck, of Litchfield) declaring after hearing me that "I had effectually stopped the mouths of all seceders" and will tell you so now. These men you should have consulted before permitting a Northern citizen devoted through his whole life to the Constitution, Union and prosperity of his country to remain thus long in confinement.
This note is simply to remind you again of that which has been before the Government for a month-that I am ready (as I have always been) to take the oath of allegiance presented to others. This an honor-
40 R R-SERIES II, VOL II