War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0965 SUSPECTED AND DISLOYAL PERSONS.

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and was arrested here on the 17th of October on the charge of having furninshed funds to McKay for the purchase of arms, &c., in Havana, to be run into a rebel port on board the steamer Salvor. There was no evidence, however, to support this charge before the grand jury and the indictment for treason was returned the 7th of November as not a true bill, but Mr. Tifft had previously made himself very obnoxious to the loyal citizens of this community by his secession opinions and although he had taken the oath of allegiance it was believed that it was with the view of only saving himself from being sent off the island. I therefore did not think it proper to release him on the action of the grand jury. I am now satisfied that a period has arrived when the correctional punishment and confinement should terminate and on the application of Judge William Marvin, U. S. district judge of this district, and Charles Howe, U. S. collector of this port, whose joint letter I inclose,* and in consideration that he has now been confined since 17th of October I have released him. I have, however, taken the precaution to cause him to execute a bond with two sureties for $5,000 that he does not leave the island without the written permission of the commanding officer of this post.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

B. H. HILL,

Major, Second Artillery, Commanding.

P. S. - I also inclose a communication + just received from Mr. Charles Tifft.

[Inclosure Numbers 1.]

HEADQUARTERS, Key West, Fla., November 15, 1861.

T. J. BOYNTON, Esq., U. S. District Attorney, Key West, Fla.

SIR: I request that you will inform me whether in the examination before the grand jury on its recent term any evidence was elicited to criminate in any degree Messrs. Barrett and Ball, who are now in confinement in Fort Taylor. They seem to have been passengers on board the steamer Salvor when she was captured, and if there is no charge against them and no reason for longer holding them as prisoners I propose to release them on their taking the oath of allegiance.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

B. H. HILL,

Major, Second Artillery, Commanding.

[Inclosure Numbers 2.]

U. S. DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE,

Key West, Fla., November 15, 1861.

Major B. H. HILL, Commanding Fort Taylor.

SIR: Your note of this morning concerning Barrett and Ball, now confined in Fort Taylor, is received. I have in my possession no evidence in any [way] criminating them and have no reason to urge why you should not carry out the intention you express of releasing them on their taking the oath of allegiance.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

THOS. J. BOYNTON,

U. S. Attorney.

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* Omitted.

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+ Not Found.