heard that I was to be arrested, and so far as I know nothing of a contraband nature was conveyed across the river in my boat. So far as my loyalty is concerned I never had any intention either directly or indirectly to aid the enemies of the United States, and I positively refused to allow my son to join the Southern army at a time when numbers of the young men of the county were leaving for that purpose and although I was subjected to reproach for refusing my consent.
While in Virginia I remained in a position as near my own home as I could safely get at the house of an old lady who is a relation of mine, and where I was arrested, and strictly refrained from giving the Southern troops any aid or information whatever and also prevented my son from doing so.
With the assurance that what I have written above is a true and unreserved statement, I remain, sir, yours, truly,
Honorable W. H. SEWARD.
SIR: I respectfully request an examination on your part into the grounds of arrest of Mr. George Dent, of Charles County, and if there be no adequate ground for his detention according to law I respectfully request that he be discharged. I venture to make this suggestion because Mr. Dent writes me that he knows nothing he has done worthy of confinement and he is a truthful gentleman. Of his political views I know nothing.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. WINTER DAVIS.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, December 19, 1861.
Brigadier General ANDREW PORTER, Provost-Marshal, Washington.
GENERAL: Herewith I send a letter from Peter W. Crain, esq.,* of Charles County, Md., relative to the cases of George Dent, George Dent, Jr., B. J. Cross, Thomas A. Jones, G. Watkins and R. Watkins, prisoners confined in the Old Capitol Building in this city, which I will thank you to read and return to me with your opinion as to the propriety of releasing these persons on taking the oath.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
F. W. SEWARD,
BALTIMORE, December 19, 1861.
Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
SIR: Some two months since I was introduced to you by Mr. Cowan, at which time I stated I had been requested by the wife of Samuel Acton to apply to you for his release. You were kind enough to say that General Sickles would be applied to for the nature of the charges against Acton and that an answer to my request in behalf of his wife and little children would be given me in a few days. You will excuse me, my dear sir, for thus trespassing. Acton's delicate wife continues to press upon me the case of her husband. I have known Acton for years as a good mechanic, and I understood he was in Philadelphia and then in Richmond after the 19th of April to procure work.