War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0700 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

my wife and self for collection. The purchaser has no deed of this property until the notes, amounting to $3,000 with interest, and having three years more to run are paid, when a deed will be made by my wife for the same. The property was a house and some three acres in Greensborough, built with money left my wife as also some of my own. I also own certain interests in some good copper mines in the State of North Carolina which interests were secured by the issue of stock or scrip. These mines since the rebellion broke out have suspended operations.

My daughter wrote me some time ago that it was all to be confiscated; hence the ruse that I adopted by writing that letter (to try and save it) and which led to my arrest. The writing of that letter I have regreted most sincerely, when I view it in its proper light, and I must say nevertheless that it was with reluctance that I did it against the solicitation of my wife who endeavored to dissuade me from so doing; but being out of business the future welfare of myself and family rendered it as I thought imperative. I trusted to my antecedents and the respect I had and have entertained for the Administration to exonerate me from blame when the causes for which the ruse was made were knon to the public.

There is not a human being that will come forward and say that I have ever even spoken disrespectfully of the Government or in any way or manner encouraged the rebel movement. On the contrary I am and have been most anxious to see the rebellion crushed out by the strong arm of the Government, as my future success in our mining affairs depended on it. As I stated in a former letter, there are many gentlemen in the cities of Newark and New York who will vouch that my feelings and interets are on the side of the Federal Government, and I do most solemnly asseverate before my Eternal Judge that I have never of rone moment entertaine a thought inimical to the Government nor of giving aid or comfort to the rebindirectly; and wrongly as I have innocently acted in regard to that letter it does seem hard that for one false step taken during a period of forty-seven years (when that period, thank God, has ever been untarnished) it should be the means of my incarceration and eventual ruin of my wife and five children with none to aid or assist them during a period of long confinement for myself.

I have never been naturalized nor never for one moment have entertained the idea of abandoning the allegiance that I owe to Her Majesty, neither shall I ever do it. As stated in my former letter* I am ready and willing to adopt any measures (not derogratory to an Englishman nor affecting my allegiance to Her Majesty) which they may deem essential toward effecting my release.

I have given all the facts in the case and sincerely trust that through the kindness of yourself and Lord Lyons I may be restored to my family.

Believe me, my dear sir, with considerations of the highest esteem for your kindness thus far, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

EDWARD B. WILDER.

P. S. - I have had no trial. Had I one it would not be difficult for me to prove my innocence.

E. B. W.

---------------

*Not found.

---------------