War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0930 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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FORT LAFAYETTE, January 10, 1862.

Honorable WILLIAM A. RICHARDSON, Washington, D. C.

SIR: I take the liberty of addressing you, presuming uponan acquaintance made some years ago on Lake Superior, when you were traveling with Mr. Hanscom, of Michigan, from Sault Ste. Marie to Superior City. If you should fail to recollect me you may remember a little excursion up the Bay of Superior to some aborigine lodges on the 4th of July, 1865, and a certain passage at arms "a laskiff oar" with one of the party on our return.

It is hardly necessary to say to you that I amprisoner here or to detail to you the particulars of my arrest and imprisonment. I will merely state that on the 2nd day of October ultimo I was arrested in the town of Maysville, Ky., by the order of General William Nelson and hurried off to Camp Chase in the State of Ohio where I remained one month and was removed thence to this place. Both at Maysville and Cincinnati I endeavored faithfully to ascertain the cause of my arrest and only learned a short time since that no charges have been preferred against me. At the time of my arrest there was no excitement whatever in the part of the State where I lived, and General Nelson established his military camp near our townamong citizens who were quietly pursuingtheir ordinary avocations.

I should not complaint of the treatment I have received at the hands of my enemies if I had done anything to deserve it, and one would think that more than three months' imprisonment utterly without cause would be sufficient to gratify the malice of a fiend. My views in regard to the proper position for Kentucky to take in the rebellion could have been the only possible pretext for my arrest, for otherwise I had taken no part in politics whatever. I favored the neutrality of Kentucky which was advocated as you know at one time or another by every party in the State, and have been always anxious for the restoration of peace, as I have property interests both in the North and South.

I have been informed by authority that no charges have been sent against me to the office of the Secretary of State, and I think surely I ought to be allowed my parole. I do not know how to proceed unless it be to request some friends to call upon the Secretary of State and make my statement. I have property in Kentucky which I am willing to pledge for my parole if it cannot be obtained otherwise. Three persons, Messrs. Gwin, Benham and Brent, have been thus released, and I see by this morning's papers that Governor Morehead of Kentucky has his parole. I have no claims upon you except the common claim of humanity, but I shall be ever grateful to you if you willmake my cause known to the proper authority and secure my release from this long confinement. Will you be kind enough to reply to my letter?

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. T. CASTO.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, January 16, 1862.

Lieutenant Colonel MARTIN BURKE, Fort Lafayette, N. Y.

SIR: Let W. T. Casto, a prisoner confined in Fort Lafayette, be released on taking the oath of allegiance to the Government of the United States stipulating that he will neither 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