FORT LAFAYETTE, N. Y., February 7, 1862.
Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Department of State, Washington.
DEAR SIR: Some three weeks since I was informed that you would hear the statements of those confined here relative to charges of the Government against them. Thus understanding I made mine condesed in a space that would make it understood. I aom well aware of the pressing and urgent business under your charge, all of which is more urgent than mine, and you may have not reached my case or my letter may nt have reached you, and thus anticipating I hope you will pardon my calling up my case and troubling you again.
You are aware that the U. S. attorney (Gurley) of IOwa after advisement with your Department of State dismissed the civil process against me satisfied that there was not a citizen of the State of Iowa who could find me guilty of the charge after the circumstances surrounding the case.
I have in my former letter stated why the impurdent letter was written by myself to a friend in Virginia, namely: My family were there on a visit; I could not hear fro them and was informed that I could not pass the armies to reach them and return with them to my home in the West. I published The Harrison County Flag (Iowa) and took a strong part against Davis et al. and their efforts to break up the Union and the party to which I was attached. Many copies of my paper went to Virginia. I knew I had made enemies there, and the letter written was to reach my family and to allay for a time the prejudices against me as a citizen of the North.
I regret the aim to dissolve the Union and this rebellion. I have no interest in the South; never expect to reside there. All I have in this world in the way of property is in my adopted State, and there, too, I have a young family among strangers and must be suffering for the want of parental care. I wish I could forward you a copy of the letter. In it I am sure you could see no treason.
I hope you will find it convenient to refer to U. S. Judge Love, U. S. Attorney Gurley and U. S. Marshal Hoxie, of Iowa, for the proof of my statement o willing to readily subscribe to the oath of allegiance in as binding terms as may be required. I have spent more than one-half of all my means in defense of the civil charges against me from which by the instructions of the Governemtn I have been acquitted. It seems hard indeed after all my battles and sacrifice of my limited means and discharge from the accusation against me that I am confined here and undergoing another punishment for writing an imprudent letter only, for which I have already suffered much; but I will submit patiently hoping when my case is reached I will be released by taking the oath. I await.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. M. HILL.
DES MOINES, Fegbruary 12, 1862.
W. M. HILL, Fort Lafayette:
SIR: I have seen a letter addressed to a number of State officers by you in which you say that I am willing to interpose in your behalf in your efforts to procure a discharge from Fort Lafayette. Justice to yourself as well as myself requires that you should understand my position clearly. Those claiming to act as your friends have attempted through the secession press of this State to fill the public mind with 84 R R-SERIES II, VOL II