Well, I was introduced to the President, gave him his letters and preferred my requests.
Rebel or not he is certainly a gentleman. Chatted a while very pleasantly, laughed at the account I gave of my many discomfitures and remarked: "You suffered and run all those risks to see that arch rebel Jeff. Davis? Well, in consideration of so much devotion no reasonable request can be denied you. " He sent the letter of recomendation before named with his own indorsement to the Secretary of War and a commission was made out and furnished in a few days afterward Mr. Benjamin remarking to me at the time: "Mrs. Baxley, this is gunpowder should it fall into the wrong hands. " A motive of pride, however, induced me to risk it. To say I regret having done so would be superfluous. My conduct has gotten a really innocent person into trouble and that without my own imprisonment is a punishment, for he had often positively assured me that he would not leave Maryland.
I brought quite a number of friendly letters back with me, some of which were marked at the custom-house at Norfolk and some not. I am confident that with the exception of the commission I had nothing of a treasonable character. I had only one sealed letter which the party begged me to deliver to Isaac McKinnon, of Baltimore, only a business letter he assured me. Mr. Deputy Provost-Marshal McPhail got that. I presume he made himself acquainted with its contents. I have no knowledged of the position, generals, plans of attack or intentions of either Army and this I am willing to subscribe to in the presence of God and before any magistrate or judiciary in the land. I have decidedly and emphatically seen qauite as much of the elephant as I desire and as England assumed I promise from this time forward to be a non-interventionist.
Mr. Seward, I have appealed to you in your capacity of statesman. I now appeal to you as a man. Liberte me, for God's sake. But I would not be selfish; if you must have one victim retain me and liberate Doctor Brown, who I am sure would not have accepted the honor intended. Mr. Seward, my poor little boy came here from Baltimore Saturday night and I begged, wept, prayed and implored he might be allowed to spend the night with me, but was denied. He is looking lke a poor little outcast. Liberate me and let me go home to him. I shall die here. Reason is even now tottering, I was angry and indignant at the treatment I experienced at the hands of the deputy marshal and his satellites and made boasts of what I had one [and] what I would do. They were but empty, idle boasts. I have no means to do with, for I even pledged a portion of the remains of other and happier days to defray the expenses of my trip, was partially robbed on the way and obliged to borrow to pay my expenses home. Now sir, you know all.
C. V. BAXLEY.
OLD CAPITOL PRISON, March 10, 1862
Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.
SIR: Predicating my application for a release upon your letter which appeared in the papers early in February, announcing that all political or state prisoners who would subscribe to the form of parole as published would be released, I subscribed to the same and forwarded to you through the provost-[marshal] on February 24 or 25. It is urgent, sir, I should be released. I have a child thrown by my incarceration