War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 1322 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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be nollied and the accused committed to military custody. His absolute discharge will exasperate the loyal people of the State and emboldne the secessionists. I find that it will be impossible for me to make any preparations to assist in the trial of the cause, and if any counsel is assigned you will confer a favor by naming some other man to the Attorney-General.

I will not forget, however, your kindness in this matter. Mrs. W. 's health is quite feeble. The baby is doing finely. Mrs. Goodwin is now with us.

Truly, &c.,


DES MOINES, December 25, 1861

Honorable W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington.

SIR; At the November term of the U. S. district court for the district of Iowa one William M. Hill, a citizen of this State was indicted and presented by the grand jury charging him with treason. The indictment was based more particularly on a letter written by him, a printed copy of hwich I send herewith with a statement of the case clipped from the editorial columns of the Iowa State Register.

The acused will not be found guilty though of his guilt there can be no question. There is a large secession element in the jury selected to try him. I am convinced that the accused intedns to go South as soon as he is released and that he will be able to give the rebels much valuable information. His acquittal would be a severe blow to the cause of the Union in our State. Traitors of whom we have many will be emboldened.

Under the circumstances I believe it would be better for the Government to enter a nolle and have him committed to military custody by order of the State Department.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servnat,


U. S. Marshal, District of Iowa.

P. S. - I also inclose a letter from Honorable S. J. Kirkwood, governor of this State.

[Inclosure Numbers 1. - Extract from Iowa State Register.]


Soon after the commencement of the present term of the U. S. district court in this city information was filed against Captain William M. Hill, of Magnolia, Harrison County, Iowa, charging him with certain treasonable words and acts. A warrant was thereupon issued by Judge Love and U. S. Marshal H. M. Hoxie proceeded to Harrison county to make the arrest. He found Mr. Hill at home, served the warrant and started on his return to Des Moines. In Magnolia and in Council Bluffs there were threats by secessionists that they would rescue Hill from the custody of the marshal, but fortunately for them the attempt was not made and the prisoner was brought safely to this city.

A portion of the information upon which the arrest was made was substantially as follows: Hill was formerly a resident of Monroe county, Va. He has resided in Harrison County five or six years, during which he held we think for two terms the office of clerk of