War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0626 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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able man can faithfully and safely observe. The very day I had the other oath presented me I notified your agents here to the same effect. If the above meets with your views you will please immediately inform me as one of the reasons for haste is the sad afflictions falling upon those nearest and dearest to me on earth. I have received through the hands of Colonel Burke a solemn summons to scenes of sorrow and approaching death, hence I cannot fail to ask a reply without delay for thus only can I discharge dutifully the sacred obligations now suddenly cast upon me.

Very respectfully,

ELLIS B. SCHNABEL.

P. S. -In addition, sir, I would wish in case any immediate action is taken in my case which humanity demands to be informed whether any charge has been brought against me so that I can acquit myself of all censure cast upon me by newspaper misrepresentations, or if it is more agreeable after I attend to the duties that sorrow and distress has imposed unexpectedly upon me signify whether I shall come to Washington to correct the record if any exists

E. B. S.

FORT LAFAYETTE, October 21, 1861.

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: One week since I wrote you a second time in reference to my imprisonment. No notice is taken of my communications to you, and yet you have kept me in prison for two months without assigning cause, without notice of charges, without hope of the writ of habeas corpus, without trial and all defense denied although all these have been demanded by me six weeks ago. These things satisfy me that I am held without any known cause but political vindictiveness. Who the primary persecutors are I am totally ignorant of. Your protracted silence I consider as a refusal to afford the opportunity to an outraged citizen to redress an atrocious grievance.

I have within a short time had the propitious occasion to put in the hands of my friends outside this prison all the docujments, letters, correspondence and facts connected with my imprisonment. I retained only a copy of my last letter to you, and herewith send you again a copy asking that it be put on file in the State Department for future reference. With this note and the accompanying copy my intercourse with your Department ceases, from the conviction that I am struggling in vain to obtain justice or even a hearing. About all the injury, loss and suffering that can be put upon me I have already endured. Hence since the innocent are to have no redress but must continue to suffer the wrong I am constrained to abide that period of justification which I trust the future will soon afford. We will both await in our respective positions coming events-you in a position self-chosen; I in one forced in violation of all law and right-denied even the knowledge of any charge against me. I believe there is none, as none can be made with truth where myself or sentiments are known. I now rest with this further demand that you immediately upon receipt of this letter forward to the Honorable Charles O'Conor, Of New York City, a pass to visit me forthwith as counsel. This I am entitled to by all the constitutions and laws of my country. I have addressed him to-day upon the subject and consequently insist upon seeing him for the purposes of consultation, defense and redress.

Very respectfully,

ELLIS B. SCHNABEL.