Thus it would seem that I was originally arrested on a false alarm that I was in correspondence with General Winder at Richmond, with whom I have had no communication verbally or in writing since about January, and at no time was politics the subject of a single remark between us. My writing may be sharp and ill judged, but not sharper or of wider scope than Goveror Seward, General Cameron and all others of that party allow themselves in speaking of us. But in regard to devotion to the Constitution and the Union which it formed it is breathed in every line. White is not a more inseparable attribute of snow than love of the Constitution is of all my writings, and I could not wish a more triumphant vindication of myself than would be the publication of my writings entire. I here repeat emphatically that unless a difference of opinion from the Administration in regard to the best mode of securing the perpetuity of the Union be cause of offense there exists no ground upon which to base a charge.
Such being the state of the case I have supposed that neither General Cameron nor Governor Seward could have given any personal attention to the charges against me; nor can I reconcile it to myself that either could so far distrust me as to suppose I would clandestinely do anything I was ashamed to avow, and that if I had been in favor of a separation of the States that I would openly have taken my stand. I look therefore for an unconditional release, and in such a manner as shall make it manifest to the world that I stand perfectly acquitted of anything inconsistent with a true lover of the Constitution and its Union. To be called upon to take an oath to support the Constitution, &c., as a condition of releases by my own act to indorse my arrest and imprisonment as being deserved. Than to utter such self-calumny my burial here is less revolting. If I have any knowledge of those gentlemen my liberation as indicated above will be the promoting of their own hearts. I have so believed all along and shall not cease to do so except upon their own testimony. I am entirely satisfied that in a majority of cases their authority to arrest is given upon confidence in parties demanding it and without any sufficient authenticated evidence satisfactory to their own judgment. As no testimony has ever justify my arrest. It was clearly made under misinformation. Do nothing therefore to put me in a false position. Captain T. sends his kindest regards and warmest sympathy for your sad bereavement. Remember me most affectionately to Mary and Josie.
Your affectionable brother,
W. H. WINDER.
Possession of my office and papers was retained for nearly two weeks by the officers, and extracts or purported contents of private letters falsely published.
BALTIMORE, October 22, 1861.
WILLIAM HODGE, Edq.
MY DEAR SIR: I venture with no little diffidence to trespass upon your kindness in a matter that may seem to you to be out of my appropriate sphere and in which nevertheless I cannot but feel a deep interest. There is in my church a venerable lady, the widow of the late General Winder, who as you know was in his day one of our most prominent and distinguished citizens. She has been for many years living a very retired life dependent upon three sons, one of whom is in the Confederate Army from whom she cannot hear. The two others