CINCINNATI, May 25, 1863.
Colonel W. HOFFMAN, Commissary-General of Prisoners:
Governor Morton, of Indiana, asks that the Fifty-first and Seventy-third Regiments Indiana Volunteer Infantry, paroled prisoners at Camp Chase, be sent to Indianapolis to be filled up. Will the War Department authorize their being sent there?
J. D. COX,
Washington, May 25, 1863.
Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
In the case of W. T. Smithson, a political prisoner lately arrested and placed in confinement by authority of the Secretary of War and whose case is referred to me to advise as to its disposition, I have the honor to report as follows:
Smithson was in the early part of the arrested and confined at Fort Lafayette as being one of the most prominent and dangerous of rebel sympathizers in Washington. He was released after an imprisonment of four months upon taking the oath of allegiance and (as it is said) voluntarily pledging himself in no way to aid or abet the enemies of the country. It now appears from researches of the provost-marshal of the War Department that Smithson has for a considerable period been largely engaged in the purchase and sale of Southern securities and Southern bank currency; that he has negotiated sight drafts on Richmond as well as 8 per cent. Confederate bonds, and that he has filled orders for Confederate notes in amounts from $500 to $50,000, purchasing them in some cases from parties known to him to have come direct from Richmond.
It is further shown that Smithson has to a large extent assisted in the correspondence with rebels and rebel sympathizers an the South, and correspondence of a dangerous character in reference to running the blockade has been discovered in his possession while apparently passing through his hands. It is also proved that Smithson has been acting as business agent in Washington for friends at the South and especially for Mrs. Rose O'N. Greenhow, an avowed rebel. A power of attorney from this lady to Smithson is produced by which she empowers him to sell, collect, &c., as her agent all stocks, securities, dividends, &c., which she may hold in the United States, and there was found in his bank since his arrest one certificate of 120 shares of railroad stock belonging to Mrs. Greenhow. A letter from this lady accompanies the power of attorney in which she urges Smithson to sell the stock for her as soon as possible and remit to her the proceeds by a party whom she names. She also advises him to join her in cotton and tobacco speculations in Richmond which she represents as promising large profits.
Smithson may without doubt be prosecuted under that act "to prevent correspondence with rebels" of February 25, 1863 (Chapter LX), as having promoted and assisted in such correspondence. He may also be proceeded against as for perjury on account of the violation of his oath of allegiance. Moreover the facts of his promoting a treasonable correspondence with a well-known and influential rebel and his acting as her business agent in the sale of her property which should be forfeited to the Government, and of his largely negotiating and aiding to give currency and value to the securities of the Confederate Govern-