PRINCETON, N. J., September 12, 1861.
Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
DEAR SIR: For information we would ask by what authority under the laws and Constitution of the United States the numerous arrests have been made throughout the North, especially the arrest of Colonel James W. Wall, of Burlington, N. J., a man whose only offense appears to the public to be a letter addressed to Secretary Blair on the freedom of the press.
Yours, with respect,
SAML. R. COMFORT.
HENRY L. R. VANDYKE.
FORT LAFAYETTE, September 18, 1861.
Hon. SIMON CAMERON.
SIR: I have just received a letter from my wife informing me that Captain Burling had charged me with attempting to prevent his men from enlisting and that this was the cause of my arrest. I pronounce the whole charge an infamous fabrication. I never interfered with the system of recruiting and never had a conversation with any of his company. In fact I do not think I man acquainted with a single with money and conveniences such as Indian-rubber blankets, pistols and bowieknives. I have inclosed a letter to Captain Burling which I desire you to read and then forward to him.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
JAMES W. WALL.
FORT LAFAYETTE, Wednesday, September 18, 1861.
Captain BURLING, New Jersey Regiment.
SIR: I am informed by my wife that I have been arrested by reason of your having complained that I interfered with some of your men, endeavoring to prevent their recruiting. If this is so I pronounce it an infamous fabrication. I do not remember ever having spoken to one of your privates in my life. If this information be correct I shall hold you personally responsible for the act. I will follow you like a sleuthound, and your blood or mine shall expiate this offense. I pronounce the whole charge a base, contemptible lie, invented for malicious purposes and utterly unworthy your character as an officer or a gentleman. You have never received antyhing save in the way of kindness from me. I trust this information will prove incorrect. A letter will reach me directed Fort Lafayette, care of Colonel Burke.
JAMEES W. WALL.
WAR DEPARTMENT, September 19, 1861.
Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
DEAR SIR: The Secretary of War has directed me to refer to you the inclosed letter relative to Colonel James W. Wall, a prisoner of state now