then to take the same to General Fremont via Chicago and Saint Louis. These are the facts and still those papers have made the above assertion.
Will you, Mr. Sturgis, oblige myself and family by having those papers state the facts, and also to write Mr. Seward, Secretary of State, stating the facts in the case? I am willing and ready to act for the Union and not talk as too many are doing, and I stated openly in Washington if the battery met with the approval of the Government and the would purchase it, to take my portion of it and at my own expense fit out and go with a troop of cavalry and offer the same to President Lincoln. These facts can be substantiated by Mr. Halsted and other gentlemen in Washington.
My family of course are in deep distress, but knowing my own innocence in the matter and trusting to my friends to aid in my release, I am content to wait with resignation their efforts. Your kindness will be ever remembered in this affair.
Yours, very truly,
E. B. WILDER.
NEWARK, September 17, 1861.
DEAR SIR: Pardon the liberty I take in thus addressing you but do not cast my letter aside without a perusal, for I must ask a great request of you which none other but yourself can grant. Please keep my letter strictly private. None know of it here and I wish none to know it but yourself. My father is a prisoner in Fort Lafayette, but he is a true Union man. I will tell you the plain truth about his aarrest. He has a rifle battery (which you may remember seeing in Washington) on which he expended a considerable amount of money some time since he heard all his property South would be confiscated. As Government did not take his battery he could not bear to lose his property South, so he wrote to my brother-in-law in Virginia which was merely as a ruse to save his property. That letter was intercepted and he arrested, but he is true and loyal for the Union. Before he took his rifle to Washington he received an offer from the Confederate States for it of $100,000 which he would not accept not being willing to aid the South in her rebellion.
Now, dear sir, please grant my father pardon. I beg, I entreat of you to release him. Were he a secessionist I would not ask it, but as it is I cannot bear it. Do not cast me aside without his pardon, for life is so lonely without a father. I will not ask your time to answer this, only, only send me the order for his release. Let me be the first one to say through your lips, "Father, you are free. "
I will ever pray for and bless your name if you will only grant the prayer of your humble servant,
ALICE B. WILDER.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, September 21, 1861.
SETH C. HAWLEY, Esq., New York.
SIR: I inclose the paperse relative to the case of E. B. Wilder at Fort Lafayette. I will thank you to examine and report upon the subject.
I am, your obedient servant,
WILIAM H. SEWARD