War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0873 SUSPECTED AND DISLOYAL PERSONS.

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When on his way home the last time he was arrested as I understand while crossing the Lower Potomac with one Jones, and I am inclined to think had with him perhaps some remittances due to merchants here. Acting on these impressions I hoped the Government would release him if nothing else was charged against him. Believing as I do almost in the infallibility of good government sooner than in revolution, I respectfully ask that you will be kind enough to say whether there are charges that forbid his release or whether I shall again wait upon you in person. Your compliance will greatly oblige,



I would refer to Reverdy Johnson, Johns Hopkins and John Clark as to who the writer is, as I desire to do nothing wrong knowingly.

BALTIMORE, December 19, 1861.

Honorable U. S. Attorney-General BATES.

HONORED SIR: I hope I am [not] trespassing in asking a personal kindness. Some two months ago at the request of the wife of Samuel Acton I waited upon Mr. Seward to obtain his release. Mr. S[eward] was kind enough to assure me his case would be inquired into at once. Samuel Acton I have known as a most excellent mechanic for years. During the past spring he was out of work and as I have been informed was in Philadelphia and then in Richmond, the latter place affording him good wages. On his way home to see his wife he was arrested while crossing the Lower Potomac with one Jones, and is now in prison in Washington. Further of Acton I know nothing, and as you are the only one of the cabinet that I am personally known to I will take it as a personal kindness if you have the leisure to say to Mr. Seward that you have personal knowledge of the writer. Acton's delicate wife and little children are appealing to me almost daily. If I had knowledge of any wrong intent on his part I would be the last man to raise a request in his behalf. I know he could not obtain work here after our terrible 19th of April. He was poor and had to do something, and acting upon this impression I have responded to the solicitude of his wife to ask his release if no charges are against him that forbid it. Your compliance will greatly oblige,

Yours, truly,



DECEMBER 20, 1861.

The Attorney-General directs me to say that he has some personal acquaintance with the writer of this letter and believes him to be a reliable and well-meaning gentleman. He invites the attention of the Secretary of State to this letter.


Chief Clerk, Attorney-General's Office.


Colonel KEY.

DEAR SIR: I understand that there are a number of my constituents now in prison who were the mere tools of some great men who have