DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, February 3, 1862.
ROBERT MURRAY, Esq., U. S. Marshal, New York.
SIR: Herewith I inclose two letters* from gentlemen who have been detained for a considerable period of time as witnesses against persons charged with piracy. Their cases appear to be hard, and it seems to be but just that they should be remunerated for their time while so detained. It is hoped that some proper provision may be made for them in that respect.
I am, &c.,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
OFFICE OF THE U. S. ATTORNEY,
Philadelphia, February 3, 1862.
Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
SIR: The marshal of the United States for this district having exhibited to me your letter of the 31st ultimo directing him to transfer to Fort Lafayette all prisoners in his custody charged with piracy, including the convict William Smith, I immediately caused a writ of habeas corpus to issue for the production in court this day of the bodies of the prisoners. At the time appointed for the return of the writ I appeared in court with the counsel of the defendants and moved on behalf of the United States that they be transferred into military custody from whence they came. The learned judge of the district court then propounded to each of the prisoners the inquiry whether they had any objection to being so transferred. The reply of each was that he had no objection, whereupon an order was made in accordance with my motion.
It is perhaps proper that I should inform you that not a few of these prisoners claim to be loyal citizens and desire to take the oath of allegiance to the Government of the United States. I desire also to state that one of the prisoners, C. H. Marriott, who was a member of the Petrel crew, is said to be a deserter from the U. S. Marine Corps. I transmit herewith three affidavits+ to the effect that said Marriott deserted from the service of the United States in April of last year. Hender against the military code as well as a violator of the municipal law. I thought it well that the Department should be aware of the fact that such a charge is made against this prisoner before any arrangement is effected for the final disposition of him.
I have the honor to be, with high respect and esteem, your obedient servant,
J. HUBLEY ASHTON,
Assistant U. S. Attorney.
HDQRS. OF THE ARMY, ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Washington, February 3, 1862.
COMMANDING GENERAL ARMY OF THE POTOMAC.
SIR: The Secretary of War directs that you cause to be sent to Fort Monroe the following-named prisoners of war confined in this city that they may be released by Major-General Wool; Frank de Caradene, lieutenant, Seventh South Carolina Volunteers; William D. Farley, captain, First South Carolina Volunteers; Fred. Hildebrand, private,
*Not found, but see Bridges to Seward, January 30, p. 229.
+Omitted as irrelevant.