War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 1348 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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Copies of intercepted letters sent out of the Old Capitol Prison by Mrs. Augusta Heath Morris February 27, 1862

[Numbers 1.]

PRIVATE.] OLD CAPITOL PRISON, February, 19, 1862

Dr. J. F. MASON.

Care Major T. G. Rhett, Asst. Adjt. General of Johnston's Staff:

(To be forwarded.)

Two days after I laid my babe down to rest -the 7th of February, his birthday - I was arrested at Brown's Hotel - where I have lived ever since I have been in Washington-for giving information to the enemy. I write you this letter to let you know how futile was the attempt of your good mother to have me either arrested or exiled from the South; that I actually left the South, sent by General JOe Johnston and General Beauregard and with the consent of the President to go to Washington and see if my feeble efforts could be of use to them. I may not have been of use, but I am so dangerous or so considered by this Government, that a military necessity compels them to arrest me, in the language of General McC[lellan]. He, however, arrested me too late. I already had gotten his plans, as laid before the military committe, from one of the members. It is true that your mother's voice did have some weight with General Winder who protested at my leaving the country; but he being politely informed to mind his own business I consequently left upon my mission. I left as an alien; but that stain will be removed from my child and we will have a claim on the Southern Government, and I shall be able to fight you and your mother from a fortress.

I hold in my possession the proof of your mother's constant communication across the river with Colonel Stone. I have two of our friends to bear witness to my conversation with Mrs. Buell when she said her (your mother's) property here was secure; it was all safe; the Government understood your position perfectly-to use her elegant phraseology, "that they were all right," meaning you and your mother. Then my conversation with the Secretary of State places it beyond a doubt that in and robbed. The Government had it closely investigated and the perpetrators punished. "Huntly" has not been touched. All this goes to prove that your mother's position is very well understood here by the Lincoln Government. I have understood from parties in Frederick that your mother wrote to colonel Geary that she had committed an error in trying to fasten upon me the suspicion of having an intrigue with the commander at Point of Rocks. She told me to my face," She must be a spy, for how else could she (I) have gotten across the river?" - that I had actually left the country as a spy for the Southern Government. Geary replied, "It was only Mrs. Mason's malignity," and he paid no attention to it, and he is now actually trying to get me released upon parole; but I will not come out upon that. I have worked for them ever since the war broke out and will never yield until they do, and not even then.

I wrote you a letter from Leesburg, which is more than probable that you did not get as I waited in Richmond for the answer. I was detained at Fairfax to get my instructions some weeks, for the arrangements for my leaving were being made, and whilst there I saw Bradley T. Johnson. I believe he is my friend - at least he pretends, to be, or from