FORT WARREN, February 14, 1862.
Colonel J. DIMICK, U. S. Army, Commanding Fort Warren.
SIR: Yesterday in conformity with a letter of instructiosn received by you from Governor Seward you offered me my release on condition of my taking the oath then proposed. I had on a previous occasion when offered my release by you on taking the oath presented declined my release on those terms and I gave my reasons for so doing. I propose to restate here so much of them as may be necessary.
My objections were that the oath could not rightuflly be required of me; that to take it as a condition of release would be to make an invadious distinction between me and all othercitizens not required to take it; it would make me a target for the shafts of the maliciously idposed, and it would infact be making me my own calumniator, acknowledging thenecessity of an oath to restrain me from committing treason. I should be tongue-tied under the grossest imputations, countenanced alike by the action of the Departmentandmy aquiscence in its propriety. It is easy for you to perceive how impasssable are such obstacles to my taking the oath as a condition of release. The taking the oath would render my residence in Philadelphia an impossibility. I neednot enlarge nor add that a release upon indefinite parole or general parole would equally render my stay in Philadelphia intolerable.
I have, however, desired a special parole to go to Washington to attend to an important and pressing matter of business, and I shall feel much disappointed if I do not receive it. I further stated incidentally that the oath seemed to require a blind support of the measures of the Administration. Governor Seward in his letter to you authorizing my release upon an oath inclosed in it explains that it does not require the support of the individual members of the executive, and seems to suppose that this explanation will suffice to remove the objections which caused me to decline a release when first offered with condition of an oath. The explanation which I have above given will I hope prove satisfactory, and when connected with the fact of my confinement of more than five months assure my free and unconditional release.
I am, sir, with respect, most truly, your obedient servant,
W. H. WINDER.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, February 17, 1862.
Colonel JUSTIN DIMICK, Fort Warren, Boston.
COLONEL: Your letter of the 14th instant and its inclosure, informing this Department that Mr. William H. Winder declined to comply with the terms upon which his release was granted has been duly received.
I am, colonel, your obedient servant,
F. W. SEWARD,
FORT WARREN, February 22, 1862.
Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.
SIR: I have been held in confinement now more than five months in Forts Lafayette, N. Y., and Warren, Mass., without process or form of law, having been arrested in Preisdence, from whence by order of Simoin Cameron, Secretary of War, by telegraphic dispatch I was transferred to those distant points. Immediately upon my arrest in my absence my office, desks, chests, &c., were broken open and all