War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0875 SUSPECTED AND DISLOYAL PERSONS.

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WASHINGTON CITY, D. C., December 30, 1861.

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington.

SIR: I was arrested on the 23rd day of September and have been confined in prison since my arrest without knowing what the charges against me are. I was informed at General Porter's office at the time of my arrest that I was charged with treason, but no act was specified. If I had been informed of any charges of having committed any act of hostility against the Government I could have given you sufficient evidence of my innocence long before this time; but as it is I am entirely ignorant of what I am charged with. I have never corresponded with any one in the States in rebellion. I have never aided the enemies of the Government in any manner whatever that I am aware of. I have never been in any of the States in rebellion nor ever did I intend to go. I have been pursuing my business in this city for the last six years, and my numerous friends are ready to give you ample assurances of my integrity. I am ready and willing to take the oath of allegiance. This I have been willing to do at any time. I have a large family of sisters who are without protection or support during my absence. I trust, sir, that this my appeal may meet your favorable consideration. All I ask is a trial, for I feel sure that I can satisfy you of my innocence.

Yours, respectfully,

GEO. F. HARBIN.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, January 2, 1862.

Brigadier General ANDREW PORTER, Provost-Marshal, Washington.

GENERAL: I inclose herewith a letter* from Thomas E. Hambleton, of Baltimore, asking the release of Samuel Acton, a prisoner now in your custody. I will thank you to examine the case and return the inclosed with your report thereon to this Department.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD,

Assistant Secretary.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, January 9, 1862.

Brigadier General ANDREW PORTER, Provost-Marshal, Washington.

SIR: Let George Dent, sr., George Dent, Jr., Thomas A. Jones, Rudolph Watkins, George S. Watkins and George F. Harbin, prisoners confined in the Old Capitol Prison, be released on taking the oath of allegiance to the Government of the United States stipulating that they will neither leave the State of Maryland nor enter any of the States in insurrection against the authority of the Government of the United States, nor hold any correspondence whatever with persons residing in those States during the present hostilities without permission from the Secretary of State, and also that they will not do anything hostile to the United States during the present insurrection. +

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

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*See Hambleton to Seward, December 19, p. 872.

+General McClellan's indorsement on this order will be found on p. 858, in the State Department's memoranda relating to these arrests.

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