War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0870 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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There have been to my knowledge parties arrested and released since my arrest who were guilty of more serious charges than ever I was and who were better able to stand the loss of time from home, they having small or no families at all. I have since my arrest suffered much myself but that suffering is light to that of my family who are solely dependent upon me for support and many necessaries and comforts of life which they cannot get without me. I have lost between $400 and $500 worth of property which the Government has the use of now. I am a citizen of Maryland and expect to live under her laws, and am willing to take the oath of allegiance and abide by the same; therefore under the circumstances I cannot think you will turn a deaf ear to the within as many of the charges against me are utterly untrue and I defy them to be proven; therefore I appeal to you in behalf of my wife and children to have me released as soon as circumstances will admit. Your compliance with the above will receive the thanks of myself as well as of a distressed family.

Your obedient servant,


WASHINGTON, December 6, 1861.


SIR: You will do me a great favor by giving my case your earliest consideration. I have been confined in prison since September 23 without knowing what the charges against me are, and as I have several sisters depending on my labor for a support I hope you will not refuse to give me a trial. I am innocent of having committed any act against the Government. I f you will give me a trial. I have not taken part in the politics of our country. I never voted in my life, not being old enough at the last election to do so. I am a Roman Catholic, and coming from a slave district (lower Maryland) I hold as political sentiments those of the anti-Know Nothing or Democratic party. But as a mere expression of opinion is not a crime I do not see why I am made to suffer for it. If it is a crime I have sinned unknowingly. I have resided in this city for the last seven years, and the records will show that I am and have been a law-abiding citizen. I am willing and have been at any time since my arrest to take the oath of allegiance. This you have been informed of by my friend Dr. S. A. H. McKim. If you cannot find the time to investigate my case, and if it be consistent with law I would take a stringent oath of parole so that I could attend to my business, and thereby assist in supporting my family. I am a property owner to a small extent in this city, and I do not intend to leave this place (nor ever was it my intention to leave it). I hope, sir, in consideration of the situation at home and (you will find on investigating) my innocence you will grant my request.

I remain, yours, respectfully,


WASHINGTON, D. C., December 9, 1861.

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: I have the honor to submit herewith the statement of Mr. George Dent, of Charles County, Md., a state prisoner now in confinement in this city, in response to certain charges which he learns from unofficial sources are the ground of his arrest. In this statement he