Butler, Hopkins, Pemberton and others met in the bar-room of Butler when Butler made a speech on the right of secession, and avowed himself an advocate of the doctrine of such.
He [Butler] appears to be a man of good talents and has an unwielding influence with the whole settlement around him, and his house is the headquarters for the transaction of all business which gives him an opportunity to poison the minds of many citizens. I also learned that Hopkins traveled a great deal about the country. In conversation with him when there we talked about the war and the Government which he denounced as unjust and tyrannical, and that it was no Government at all and many such like expressions, and I learned from many good and loyal citizens in that section of country he was denounced as an open and avowed secessionist, which I think is true. Wattles is a man of some influence. He is the supervisor of the town of North Branch, and from all I could learn was with Butler and Hopkins most of his time, and was traveling about a large share of his time with no particular business except talking about the "damned black abolitionist Government," and boasting of his secession principles, &c. There are many little incidents connected with the above investigations of a sojourn with them of ten days and facts brought to light that should they be required can be given.
As Doctor Hopkins informed me that he had received an appointment as a clerk in the dispensary department at Washington he should leave there in the course of two weeks I made arrangements with Mr. Sherwood, the postmaster, that when Hopkins left to inform me by mail. He left on the 18th. On the 19th I received a letter as agreed at Detroit advising me of the fact, and on 20th met him at Detroit and Milwaukee Railroad depot, having just arrived. I arrested and placed him and his baggage and papers in the hands of W. H. Barse, who took charge of him. I then started back on the 21st to arrest Messrs. Butler and Wattles, and employed sufficient help by order of Mr. Barse to assist me in carrying out my eded in so doing. On searching for papers at the residences of prisoners they immediately informed me that I had not been smart enough, and that I had been suspected, &c. ; but from the time of their arrest until left at Fort Lafayette they did not acknowledge themselves as Union men, and would not renounce their sentiments if they knew they were to be shot.
JOSEPH P. WHITING,
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, December 9, 1861.
The Secretary of State presents his compliments to the Secretary of War and does himself the honor to inclose a letter from the U. S. Attorney for the district of Michigan, and to ask if as is therein stated Mr. Stuart, late U. S. Senator from Michigan, has been authorized by the Department of War to raise a regiment in that State. The return of Mr. Russell's letter is requested.
OFFICE OF THE U. S. DISTRICT ATTORNEY,
Detroit, December 6, 1861.
Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington.
SIR: There exists in this State an extensive branch of the treasonable organization known as the Knights of the Golden Circle. A letter