the magnitude it has (May, 1861). This imprudent letter, too, was written while my wife was there on a visit, and pleading for a way or passage through the armies of Virginia to her home in Iowa. The letter was designed to pave my way through the armies who would otherwise have denied me a passage and would in my opinion have been held as a spy and refused me passage and prevented me returning with my wife to my home I a loyal State. With much difficulty I made the journey and returned to my home and office.
The citizens of my State and the legal tribunal through which I have been made to pass with this mistaken charge against me have judged that I committed an impurdent act only, and all have been surprised that I have been made to bear the pounishmet I have, and all would without distinction of party speed the day of my release. Had not the marshal of the State with seeming malicious and speculative desings filed the information against me and urged my prosecution the mit treason against my Government nor would my humble and quiet I may be all wrong in so referring to the marshal of Iowa, but the journals of the State I have sent you expose his illegal acts in my prosecution for which he has been sued (but not at my request or will). His exposition has brought him and a few of his freinds down upon my incarcerated head and they are again misrepresenting me. I am thankful I am not to pass under their judgment, but under yours, who will judge me as I deserve.
I have aimed to forward your letters of Messrs. Harlan and Grimes, Iowa Senators, who have been made acquainted with my offense and who have made written request to the War Department for my release (since your appointment). I refer you to them; also to U. S. Attorney Gurley for Iowa, now in Washington; to U. S. Judge Love of Iowa, who judged me not guilty of treason; who tried me and honrably acquitted me. I wish I could refer you to the opinion of the press and thus [voice] of the citizens of Iowa in my faovr. But I must not intrude more upon your time. I have asked in case you cannot immediately discharge me to send me to my State and district, where I will ask a bill being found and a trial before those who are well acquainted with my loyalty; where I will neither ask to challenge a juror nor introduce a witneses, nor depart until my title to freedom is clear. I have asked, too, for a parole to seek my liberty through an exchange of some grade designated by the Government-to secure my liberty and return to my office, myhome and suffering family. I have asked to renew my pledge of loyalty by taking the oath of allegiance. I have no interest in Virginia nor in this rebellion. All I possess is in Iowa, my home. I must be excused for presenting my own case. I have no acquaintance to plead for me nearer than Iowa.
With hopes to hear from you soon, I remain, gentlemen, humbly, yours,
WM. M. HILL.
FORT LAFAYETTE, N. Y., March 18, 1862.
Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON, War Department, Washington.
DEAR SIR: Senator Harlan and Senator Grimes, of Iowa, kindly sent me your letter addressed to them concerning the charges against [me] and my release.