War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0668 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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respect. Anything that does not leave me the possession of these essential elements of manhood without which life would be simply intolerable and useless can never obtain the sanction of my judgment not he assent of my mind. I recongize the full importance of my beiong at liberty, both as respects my own and the interest of others, nor am I inspired with any quixotic folly of affecting the glories of martyrdom, however tempting the occasion or worthy the cause, but I could not live outside these walls if to purchase such liberty I had subscribed to conditions in any wise derogatory to my personal self-respect. TRetaining that I can calmly endure whatever measure of calamity the future may have in store; losing that the amplest freedom of action and the largest degree of prosperity are alike worthless to reconcile me with an existence void of all invward support and satisfaction.

Still this is presupposing a state of facts that may never arise. Until I know definitely the grounds on which I am held and the terms prposed to be submitted for my acceptance or rejection I cannot of course tell what I can do. Meanwhile I am exceedingly obliged to you, to Mr. Smith and to all others who have so kindly volunteeered their services on my behalf, and we will hope that affairs will soon be brought to some decisive issue. * * * Mr. Smith will get a letter from me in a day or two reciting what I have done and inclosing a copy of my letter to Seward. Good-bye. Best wishes to your folks and to all inquiring friends.

Very truly and sincerely, yours,



FORT LAFAYETTE, September 21, 1861.

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington:

SIR: I am this day in receipt of a letter covering a copy of a communication from yourself to Honorable E. H. Smith in response to his inquiries relative to my case, in which you state that I have "opportunity to intrust anyting to the Government here that he (I) desires through the hands of Colonel Burke," and that "it is not deemed expedient by the public authoirites to grant permission for visits to the prisoners at Fort Lafayette except in compliance with wishes expressed by themselves. " I have been unable to fully satisfy my mind as to the precise meaning or force rather of the italicized clause, but if it reaches to the extent of making permission to receive visitors dependent on my previously expressed wish I hereby respectfully signify my wish that Honorable Mr. Smith be permitted to visit me at this place at as early a date as may comport with his convenience.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 24, 1861.

Colonel MARTIN BURKE, Fort Lafayette, N. Y.

SIR: You will please permit Mr. Edward Henry Smith, of Smithtown, N. Y., to visit in the presence of a proper officer Henry A. Reeves, a prisoner now confined in Fort Lafayette.

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