War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0918 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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prisoner at Camp Chase, Ohio, I have the honor to inform you that the prisoner has been released on taking and subscribing the oath of allegiance to the Government, which oath subsribed by him is herewith inclosed. *

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. BALL,

U. S. Attorney.

NEW YORK CITY, November 4, 1861.

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: Myself and six other citizens from Maysville, Ky., were arrested at that place on the 2nd day of October, 1861, by order of General Nelson, then in command of the camp at that place, under a general charge of treason against the United States. At the time we were takenwe were engaged in our usual and ordinary occupations, never having been in any manner engaged in the rebellion or intended to do so. We never contributed money, never advised men to go in the Southern army, now in any other manner comitted any act of disloyalty to the Govenment. We have never been informed of any specific charge against us and are utterly unconsious of having done anything to justify our arrest.

It is proper, however, to say to you that we were in favor of Kentucky maintaining a neutral position in the consent and equally opposed to the invasion of the State by the Federal forces or by the Confederates and advocated that policy, hoping that the States would be in a position to maintain peace within her borders and mediate between the two sections so as to restore peace and safety to the Union. But Kentucky by her legally constituted authorities decided not to remain neutral and passedlaws in pursuance of that policy. As good citizens we felt it our duty to obey the laws of the State and at the timas we had always done were giving cheerful obedience to the laws of both the State and Federal governments.

When arrested at Maysville one circuit judge issued a writ of habeas corpus our behalf which was not allowed by the general to be executed and we were hurried away from the State. In Ohio a similar writ was issued by the judge of the U. S. court and that forbidden to tbe executed by General Mitchel who sent us to Camp Chase where we have been kept for a month and are now on our way to Fort Lafayette where we have been ordered.

Thus you see that we have made every effort in our power to have a legal investigation of our case and to meet any charges which may exist against us if any but with no effect. We are citizens of the State of Kentucky, disposed to obey all the laws of it and the Federal Goverment, and have been thus as we most humbly conceive most unjustly dealt with. We have never been disloyal to the Government nor intended to be, and are willing in good faith to take the oath of allegiance and keep it with scrupulous fidelity. We appeal to you to permit our release on the condition that we take the oath of allegiance; or if you prefer it direct that we be returned to Kentucky and delivered to some U. S. commissioner to inquire into our cases and if there be any charged against us that we may be tried by the loyal tribunals of this country.

The following are the named of the prisoenrs: R. H. Stanton, Benjamin F. Thomas, William Hunt, William T. Casto, George Forrester, Isaac Nelson and James H. Hall.

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* Omitted.

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