FORT LAFAYETTE, New York Harbor, February 23, 1862.
Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON, War Department, Washington.
DEAR SIR: I had fondly hoped that your recent proclamation would have reached my case and that I would have been released as a political prisoner. Some forty prisoners were discharged from this fort yesterday whose misdemeanors and offenses were of more magnitude than the one I am supposed to have committed. My misdemeanor is writing a sympathizing letter to friends in Virginia from Iowa, my adopted home. For this, too, I have been tried before the civil authorities of my State and honorably acquitted. I refer you to U. S. Attorney Gurley, of Iowa (who is now in Washington) and Senator James Harlan from Iowa.
I am, willing to subscribe to the reasonable requisition of your proclmation or to take the oath of allegiance, and if required give any other obligation or security that may be required. All my property and interest is in a loyal State, where I expect to remain the residue of life. May I hope to hear of my release by return mail.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. M. HILL.
FEBRUARY 24, 1862
I, William M. Hill of Magnolia, Iowam, a prisoner confined in Fort Lafayette, N. Y., hereby make application to be released from custody on my parole of honor to render no aid or comfort to the enemies in hostility to the Government of the United States, in accordance with the terms of Executive Order, Numbers 1, of the War Department, dated February 14, 1862, in reference to political prisoners.
WILLIAM M. HILL.
SENATE CHAMBER, Washington February 26, 1862.
The SECRETARY OF WAR
SIR: We respectfully request that William M. Hill, a citizen of the United States residing in IOwa now in confinement at Fort Lafayette on an order as it is said emanating from the Secretary of State on account of suspicion of disloyalty, may be discharged from custody and permitted to return to his familyt servants,
JAMES W. GRIMES.
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, March 3, 1862.
H. M. HOXIE, Esq., U. S. Marshal, Des Moines, Iowa:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 27th of January last, which was addressed to the Secretary of State, and also a leter from Thomasd F. Withrown, esq., your attorney, relative to the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in the State of Iowa. In reply I inclose a copy authenticated of an order* which was issued by the President on the 6th day of December last addressed to Major-General Halleck, commanding the Department of the Missouri suspending the execution, of the writ of habeas corpus within his command. I
*Omitted here; see p. 1334; also see Vol., I, this series, pp. 230, 231, for correspondence relating to suspension of the habeas corpus act in General Halleck's department.