War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0682 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

Case of Algernon S. Sullivan.

Algernon S. Sullivan, of New York City, was arrested by order of the Secretary of State 7, 1861, and committed to Fort Lafayette. He was charged with disloyalty; with assisting in transmitting contraband correspondence to the insurrectionary States; with holding treasonable correspondence with said States and with attempting to thwart the plans of the officers of the United States. Sullivan was counsel for Captain Baker,* of the rebel privateer Savannah. An intercepted letter from him dated August 23, 1861, and addressed to Honorable R. M. T. Hunter, Secretary of State, Confederate States of America, asks for numerous papers to be used in said Baker's defense, and he says: "I desire not to evade the high ground that the Confederate States are sovereing and that her citizens are not citizens of the United States. " At the time of his arrest several letters addressed to persons in the insurrectionary States were foundin his possession. An order was issued from the Department of State dated October 18, 1861, directing Colonel Burke, commanding at Fort Lafayette, to release Sullivan on his taking the oath of allegiance and engaging on oath that he will do no act hostile or injurious to the United Staes, nor enter nor correspond with any of the States in insurrection nor be engaged in treasonable correspondence with any person whomsoever during the present insurrection. He was accordingly released October 21, 1861. - From Record Book, State Department, "Arrests for Disloyalty. "


New York, September 6, 1861.

Honorable W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: One of my officers Sergeant Ferry, of Third street, Brooklyn, obtained information that all the papers of B. F. Grove,+ of 17 Park Place, New York, and 250 Adelphi street, Brooklyn, had not been obtained at the time of his arrest; made search and discovered the accompanying letters, viz; One addressed B. F. Grove, Miss H. M. Hammond, Berryville, Clarke County, Va., and one to Honorable R. M. T Hunter Secretary, &c., Richmond, Va. I suppose that while the ground for detaining Grove is strengthened by the letter to him that letter and the unopened one to Hunter will sufficiently Sullivan to require his arrest.

Very truly, yours,



DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 7, 1861.

JOHN A. KENNEDY, Superintendent of Police, New York:

Your letter of yesterday received. Arrest Algernon S. Sullivan, Numbers 59 William street, and deliver him to Colonel Martin Burke, Fort Lafayette.



*See Vol. III, this series, for Baker's capture, the correspondence, etc. - relating to the Confederate privateersmen, and the letters of Sullivan to the Richmond authorities which caused his arrest.

+See p. 635 for case of Benjamin F. Grove.