War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 1336 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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I am much surprised to learn that I am charged with disloyalty aiding and comforting the enemies and even [being] a spy. Whoever has made these accusations against me has done me great injustice. The only act of error and imprudence I have committed was in writing a letter to Virginia while my family were there to enable me to pass the armies and get my family home. Had I not resorted to flattery, sympathy and deception I would likely have been incarcerated in a Southern frankly and honestly and truthfully that was all that induced me to write at all to Virginia, and this letter, too, was written long before the rebellion assumed the magnitude it has (May, 1861) since which time and before I have acted the part of a loyal citizen in a loyal district and State, having no communication with the south nor desiring any; and living content a thousand miles from the south how unreasonable it is that I can be charged as a spy. If I was a traitor or desired the success of the rebellion I would have remained in Virginia, but I have no interest there nor any in the south nor in the rebellion. All my interests are in Iowa, and I would I could refer the Deaprtment to the citizens of my district and get their truthful verdict as a loyal citizen.

I know I have been much wronged ion by the marshal of the State, who with a few others for the per diem and fees and through seeming malice have made me suffer for many months in this prison while my family are among strangerse. For the truth of this hasty assertion I refer your honor to my trial and acquittal under charge of treason in the U. S. court of Iowa, to U. S. Judge Love and U. S. Attorney Gurley.

To get me confined here the marshal kidnapped me-stole me from the custody of an officer who had served upon him the sacred writ of habeas corpus for my release. Thus I have been misrepresented and thus denied the benefit of the habeas corpus writ, and too, after having been adquitted of the same charge that stands in your Department.

I have asked to be discharged. If refused I ask to be sent to my district where I will ask the finding of a bill (if possible to indict me for treason) and will faithfully abide the decision of my State.

There is not one citizen of my State who is acquainted with my case but will say I have been much wronged and would plead for my release. Surely I have been punished already more than my offense justifies. For the safety of my family and myself I did write only a sympathizing letter. That too may have been altered as I never have seen it since it was published. If my case is with the commissioners I hope this will be given them.

With great hopes and respect, I await and submit my liberty to your good will.

Very obediently,


FORT LAFAYETTE, N. Y., March 23, 1862

General JOHN A. DIX.


GENTLEMEN: I have before me honorable Secretary Stanton's letter of the 20th informing me that my case (state or political prisoner) was referred to you and that my release depended upon your decision. I have aimed to get the evidence in my favor (sufficient I think to discharge me) before you, though I am not certain it is now before you. The great distance from my home, from friends and the difficulties of communication and presenting my case with that light and truth I would wish