War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 1310 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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house and office were searched and the following treasonable documents obtained, to wit: A letter from G. Donellan (mentioned at the commencement of this paper) addressed to said Thompson, proving the writesr and recipient to be on tinimate terms. Wshen examined at this office Mr. Thompson admitted that he was an acquaintance of Donellan. In the desk of Lewis L. McArthur, a law student and confidential clerk of Thompson's was found secreted a plan for a new cipher, in the handwriting of Mr. McArthur signed by Thompson in cipher. The object of certain signs used in this cipher is stated to be-

To mislead and confound the impertinent scoundrel into whose hands it might improperly fall, and who might desire to read, decipher, understand and pry into State and individual secrets. I think this the easiest alphabet for us, and at the same time the most difficult for the enemy to decipher.

Many of the characters contained in the ciphers found in Thompson's house are similar to the characters in the cipher used by Mrs. Greenhow in her correspondence with the rebels. There was also found in the possession of Thompson other letters of which the following are extracts:

WASHINGTON, July 18, 1861.


Please say to your husband that from the morning papers and the extra STar just being circulated the Southern ARmy were not apprised of the marching orders of General Scott, who by the by forwards 7,000 axes to clear a road in the rear of Beauregard. I send you the extra Star, as you may not have yet obtained it. General Lee taught General Scott to survey roads in the rear of the enemy's forts in Mexico. This strategy may be resorted to by Scott now if Beauregard is unaware that 15,000 men have already advanced in his rear. A good sober-minded Philadelphian was raving at our house this morning about the Stars and Stripes. I soon jerked off the mask that conceals naked covetousness, and he assure dme that the North had no institution to bind them together while the South had the threefold cord of slavery; therefore the North would be utterly disintegrated if secession was tolereated at all.


M. H. S.

From the handwriting of this letter I have no doubt but that the writesr is Mrs. Henry S. Schoolcraft.

DECEMBER 12, 1861.

Colonel EMPTY:

Barely time to write a word or two; to delay were to run hazards of delay of a week. I shall only say what I have said before; all that you do and that our good friend has done are understood in the right quarter and appreciated. I had hoped to be able to write hima full business letter, but the messenger has come for my letters before I am ready. I inclose a cipher; as you will perceive it is different from yours. yours even can be used on same principle. The trouble and risk of yours was the repetition of the same character in the same word, by means of which any character cipher can always be worked out. This risk I obviate. I hope it will reach you all safely.

Yours, sincerely,


In short the evidence in this case substantiates the following facts: That he has endeavored to create among rebels false impressions concernig our treatment of rebel prisoners; thereby increasing the animosity felt toward this Government by its deluded citizens and stimulating their resistance to legitimate authority; that he was privy to his nephew leaving this city for the purpose of joinign the rebel army, but though perfectly able to do so took no means to prevent his intentions being carried out; that he refused to take the oath of allegiance; that he is closely connected with the principal rebel sympathizers and spies in this city, such as William Smithson, Doctor Van Camp, Mrs.


*Thomas John Rayford was in fact Colonel Thomas Jordan, of the Confederate Army. See p. 564, case of Mrs. Greenhow.