War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 1020 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

would be a stigme. He is amid all his trials and sorrows firm in the cinviction that it is his duty to ask his full rights and if he fail to attin them to return to close confinement.

I will when I call upon you ask but a moment of your time. Why can you not let me go home to-morrow or to-night? I feel that I am at one post of duty but I would fain be at another.

Ever your friend,


Memorandum. *

DECEMBER 7, 1861.

In a interview between President Lincoln and Mr. Calhoun Benham at the White House on the night of the 7th of December, 1861, at which I assisted, Mr. Lincoln stated to Mr. Benham that he (Mr. Benham), Doctor Gwin and Mr. Joseph L. Prent might go their several ways, they to ask no questions nor any questions to be asked of them, and the penidng affair between them and the Government growing out of their arrst and parole to be thus entirely disposed of and ended.


The above statement is correct.



DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, December 10, 1861.

The Honorable William M. Gwn and Calhoun Benham and J. L. Brent have arrive at Washington. Explanations from them have been received. It is found that they took passage on board the steamer at San Francisco with what they regarded as asssurances from the U. s. military authorities that their respective voyages would not be objected to. Although General Sumner did not understand the general terms he used on that occasion as implyig any such opinion the Secretary of purpose in his journey, and that the complaint thet they bore treasonable dispatches or correspondence and destroyed the same on their way to Panama is unfounded. The President therefore has directed that they be released from duress so that they will stand on the same footing as all other citizens whose loyalty is unquestioned.


WASHINGTON, December 10, 1861.

Understanding that it has been charged that after our arrest in the Bay of Panama on the 4th of Novembser last we or some one of us threw one of the undersigned for himself declares that such is not the fact; that he never threw overboard or ever at any time had in his possession any dispatch or document of any kind whatsoever in any degree treasonable or in anywise relating to the preset troubles.





*From a copy in possession of General Joseph L. Brent of Baltimore, Md.

+See p. 1011 et seq. for affidavits of Messrs. Hormenz, Seiden and Jansen, of the steamship Orizaba.