New York News, and an active supporter of the obnoxious and dangerous principles disseminated by that sheet previous to the withdrawal from it by the Government of the privilege of mail facilities and its subsequent suppression. He was also represented to have been a brawling, noisy secessionist and as having exulted over the defeat of the U. S. troops at the battle of Bull Run. September 21, 1861, an order was issued from the Department of State directing Lieutenant-Colonel Burke, commanding at Fort Lafayette, to release Wall on his taking the oath of allegiance to the Government of the United States. He was accordingly released September 24, 1861. - From Record Book, State Department, "Arrests for Disloyalty. "
WAR DEPARTMENT, September 4, 1861.
U. S. MARSHAL, District of New Jersey.
SIR: You will please forthwith arrest James W. Wall, of Burlington, N. J., and convey him to Fort Lafayette, New York Harbor, and deliver him to the commanding officer at that place.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Secretary of War.
STEAM-BOAT, Wedensday, September 11, 1861.
Hon. SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War:
Suddenly this afternoon I was torn from my home, from a sick wife and frantic children by an order signed by yourself. What is my offense? I have been in favor of peace and have written in its favor, but I defy the world to lay their finger upon a single act that can by the most violent construction be tortured into treason. I have never by act, word or deed held communication with the enemy south of the Potomac. I come of Revolutionary blood on both sides and would scorn to do an act that would compromise or cast dishonor on such a birthright. I long for peace and a cessation of this terrible strife. If such be a crime then am I a criminal. In the present condition of my health, laboring under an internal disorder, cnofinement for but a few weeks will aggravate it and may be fatal in its results. I have left my wife in a frantic condition and my business arrangements are such that in my absence I shall be subjected to serious loss. Some malicious informer has evidently got your ear. You are welcome to make search among my papers. I never wrote a letter south of the Potomac and during the troubles of the country have never had any communication with those in arms against the Government. I did accidentally see a letter in the hands of a friend from an old college mate who was an officer at Manassas, giving an account of the strength of the fortifications and of which information I availed myself by dropping a line to General Scott anonymously warning him of an advance of the army before he was able to cope with such strength. I also used that information in an article in the Daily News warning the Government. I am more loyal to-day to the Government that many a loud-mounted pretender whose loyalty can only be measured by his interests. I know that you do not desire to do a flagrant act of injustice. You do not desire to persecute an innocent man and destroy the happiness of the most loving family on earth. I shall await your reply.
JAMES W. WALL.