War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 1281 SUSPECTED AND DISLOYAL PERSONS.

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Mr. Wilmer many years. He is a pure-hearted man and has done no act of hostility to the Government. He was fifteen years in Northampton County as a clergyman, and came to me yesterday to offer his services to go there and entreat his old friends to submit to the Government without a contest and I may yet accept them, in which case he may go that way to Fort Monroe where he can meet his wife and children. I hope the peculiarity of his case may be considered as one of those exceptions which confirm the rule instead of impairing its force

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX,

Major-General.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, November 21, 1861.

Major General JOHN A. DIX, Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Md.

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 18th instant inclosing one from the Rev. J. P. B. Wilmer, late of Philadelphia, who desires a passport to enable him to reach Virginia. The rule adopted by the Government after deliberate consideration since the breaking out of the rebellion has been to allow no passes across the military lines of the United States, and this course has hitherto been rigidly adhered to. It is therefore believed that the Rev. Mr. Wilmer must have labored under a misapprehension as to the promise said to have been made to him by Lieutenant-General Scott assuring him of a passport for his family into Virginia. I do not see that an exception can well be made in the case of Mr. Wilmer, since a relaxation of this most necessary rule would probably lead to consequences which would render it virtually inoperative.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

HEADQUARTERS, Baltimore, November 22, 1861.

Honorable W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter in regard to Rev. Mr. Wilmer. There was as you supposed a mistake. He says it was mine. I inclose Lieutenant-General Scott's letter. * Mrs. Wilmer values it as an autograph and you will oblige her by returning it to me. It seems General Scott's promise extended only to Mrs. Wilmer and her young children. The three with her here are all young. If she has a claim on the strength of the general's promise which the Government recognizes will you please send the passport to me.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX,

Major-General.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, November 25, 1861.

Major General JOHN A. DIX, Headquarters, Baltimore.

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 22nd instant with the one from Lieutenant-General Scott to Mrs.

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*Not found.

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81 R R-SERIES II, VOL II