Wilmer. The rule adopted by the Government hitherto with regard to the granting of passports to the insurgent States I regret to say does not permit an exception in the case of Mrs. Wilmer and her children. The letter of General Scott is herewith returned.
I am, general, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA, &C.,
Fort Monroe, January 7, 1862.
Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
SIR: Herewith you will receive a pass signed by you in favor of the Rev. Dr. Wilmer. Being a strong rebel in heart and sentiment which he did not conceal I became suspicious that the pass was in some way improperly obtained. This was confirmed by the quantity of articles which he brought with him and which I have detained until I hear from you on the subject. The emphatically denied that he was in the employ of the United States. The wording of the pass was so different from any other that I have seen coming from you that I concluded to forward it for your inspection.
You have any number of rebel spies in Washington. The rebels have an agent there who I presume professes to be a strong Union man and who obtains all the information necessary for those who command in the rebel army. They know much better than I do what is doing at Washington. The expedition of General Burnside is perfectly known at Norfolk and much better than I do, and preparation is making to meet it at the island of Roanoke.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN E. WOOL,
[Inclosure Numbers 1.]
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, December 30, 1861.
Major General JOHN E. WOOL.
GENERAL: The Rev. Dr. Wilmer, of Philadelphia, who will hand you this, is proceeding to Virginia accompanied by his wife and children on public business of the United States. I will thank you to allow him to pass freely in either direction.
Very truly, yours,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
[Inclosure Numbers 2.]
List of property found in the baggage of Rev. Mr. Wilmer, who was forwarded to Norfolk by flag of truce January 2, 1862.
One hundred and seven spools of silk; 31 rolls of tape; 26 new white linen shirts; 48 pairs of boots, shoes and rubbers, nearly all new; 650 envelopes; 6 reams paper; 31 pairs socks; 2 gross steel pens; 15 pen-holders; 11 silk vest patterns; 2 silk dress patterns; 2 dozen handkerchiefs; 2 pieces silk; 25 gross buttons; 50 papers pins; 100 papers needles; 50 spools thread; 5 pieces gray woolen cloth; 1 piece (30 yards) white cotton cloth; 1 piece white flannel 10 pounds coffee; 50 pairs pants, part slightly worn.