War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0854 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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DEBTORS' APARTMENTS, MOYAMENSING PRISON,

February 23, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON.

DEAR SIR: On the 13th of August last I called at the War Office with a letter of introduction to Honorable Simon Cameron. I could not obtain an audience, but in writing a note stating the nature of my business Assistant Secretary Scott referred me to General McClellan and I had na interview with Captain Williams, his aide. At his request I embodied in a letter written to him from Brown's Hotel that day my anticipated ability to discover and control the channel of Governor Letcher's and Jeff. Davis' supplies of contraband goods. Captain Williams encouraged my plans and I came home. His promised correspondence was postponed, and I wrote on same subject to Mr. Nicolay. Both of these gentlemen referred my letters to General Porter, in whose hands they doubtless are, and from whom I expected communications but received none.

In consequence of being forced to keep my strategy alive I was implicated with the real offenders, and on 20th of September was arrested and sent to Fort Lafayette along with James M. Haig, of Baltimore, and F. Wyatt, of this city. Mr. Haig was discharged, temporarily insane, on 26th of October and Mr. Wyatt under your proclamation of amnesty of 22nd instant. * I am held in custody of the U. S. marshal here and have been now a prisoner over five months, and my present object is to beg that you will extend your amnesty to my case. My family are impoverished and suffering and all concerned with me have been released. I should prefer being sent to Fort Lafayette, as those under charge of piracy in that prison have been discharged, and the newspapers have very much aggravated my case. My address is care James Quinn, keeper, this prison. May I beg an early intimation of your intentions, as I have a sick and destitute family awaiting my help? I refrain from further detail, knowing the value of your time, and having writte. Seward in full from Fort Lafayette. +

Humbly begging your kindness, I remain, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM GILCHRIST.

SENATE CHAMBER, February 24, 1862.

SECRETARY OF WAR.

DEAR SIR: The inclosed letter from Honorable Charles Chapman refers to the case of F. Wyatt, now imprisoned at Fort Warren. Can he be released in conformity with a late order?

Truly, yours,

J. DIXON.

[Inclosure.]

HARTFORD, February 21, 1862.

Honorable JAMES DIXON, Washington, D. C.

DEAR SIR: I am sorry to trouble you again in regard to Mr. Wyatt but I have received a letter from my friend, Mrs. Cowles, calling my attention to a new phase in the policy of the Administration touching political prisoners. I understand that the whole matter is committed to the Secretary of War and that the purpose is to discharge all such as have not acted as spies. I may not be correctly informed but if I am I trust Mr. Wyatt's case does not come within the exception.

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*This is an error. See Stanton to Dixon, March 3, post.

+See Gilchrist's letters to Seward, ante.

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