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HON. JAMES W. WALL.
on the 11th day of September, 1861. The circu astances of the arrest were as follows:- He was about sitting down at his dinner-table, when a servant announced that a Mr. Thomas, with whom he had some business transactions, desired to see him at once in his office. All unconscious of harm, he proceeded to his office, and there, instead of Mr. Thomas, found the United States Marshal for the District of New Jersey, Benajah Deacon, and the Mayor of the City of Burlington. The Marshal informed him, on entering, ó that he had a warrant for his arrest." He asked him “at whose suit ?” The Marshal replied: "At the suit of the Government.” Mr. Wall at once responded : “I do not owe the Government anything, I believe; but, however, let me look at your warrant.” He immediately handed him a copy of a telegram, in these words : “To BENAJAH DEACON, Esq., Marshal.
“You are hereby commanded to arrest James W. Wall, of the city of Burlington, and convey him to Fort Lafayette, New York Harbor, forth with.
“By order of the Secretary of War “Dated September 11, 1861."
Upon reading this most curious document, he asked hinu how he received it, and the reply was, by telegraph. Mr. Wall said, “The Government is rather expeditious. How. ever, I demand to know the nature of the accusation, and to see the copy of the affidavit upon which this vinged warrant is based ?” To these interrogations the Marshal replied : “I know nothing of either.” Mr. Wall further asked: “ Is
Simon Cameron, who now claims to be Secretary of War, a judicial officer ?” To all this the Marshal's reply was the same as before: “I know nothing about all this,” adding, “nor is it my busi.iess to know.” Mr. Wall quickly responded: “ It is your business, sir; you have entered my house against ny will, without legal authority, and if you were to attempt force to execute that order you hold in your hand, and I was to kill you in the act, I would stand perfectly justified in the eye of the law; and I now inform you, that I shall decline accompanying you as your prisoner, and if you attempt to coerce me, you will do so at your peril.” He very quickly replied: “Oh! I know you, and have not come unprepared ; see there!” opening, as he said so, a venetian blind, that screened the window looking into the back yard. He looked, and there saw some five men, who, the Marshal said, were his deputies to aid him in the arrest. Mr. Wall sprang upon him at once, seized him by the throat, and, hurling him nearly across the room, made for the interior of the house, and when just at the turn of his main staircase, the front door was burst violently open, and four more ruffians made their appearance, the five in the rear yard closing rapidly on him. He struck one of the men in front, knocking him down, when he was assaulted by four or five. In the struggle he had the bosom of his shirt torn out and the sleeve entirely off. Without a hat, he was forced violently upon the pavement, and by main force, though resisting most of the way, was carried to Belder’s Hotel. His family were compelled to witness this outrage without being able to read der him any assistance, except in bitter remonstrances against the outrage, and of course were very much terrified and alarmed. Mr. Wall was at Belder's Hotel but a few minutes before the train arrived from Philadelphia ; but during that time, the Marshal, observing a gathering outside, and apprehending a rescue, remarked: “It will do no good to rescue you ; as I have orders to call for one of the regiments in that event, now in Trenton, and execute the process." There was no attempt
” at rescue, nor was there any time, for it was not more than
fire miuutes after his arrival at the hotel before the train
He was then taken, accompanied by the Marshal and some seven of his deputies, and handed over to the custody of Colonel Burke, then commanding at Fort Hamilton, and by him transferred to the custody of Lieutenant Wood, at Fort Lafayette, in New York Harbor. Here he remained a close prisoner until the 24th day of September of the same year; when he was released by order of Wm. H. Seward, Secretary of State. Mr. Wall was confined in cell No. 3, in that Fortress. It was an arched casemate with a brick floor, and lighted with two narrow barred windows. This cell was some fifteen feet in width by twenty in depth, and at the time of his incarceration contained some twenty prisoners. It was exceedingly damp, so much so that the moisture ran down the walls, saturating the bedding. Several of the prisoners, and himself among the rest, in consequence suffered from severe attacks of rheumatism. During the day, the prisoners had the range of the Fort, upon obtaining permission from the guards. In the evening at five o'clock they were locked in their cells, and not released until early in the morn ing. There were no conveniences of course for washing, and all that had to be done outside, with fetid water taken from a cistern containing the foulest of wells; indeed, for the first week, the water from the cistern was the only water that they had to drink, and several in consequence suffered from dysentery. Those of the prisoners who had money were permitted to form a mess, employing the steward of the Fort to furnish two meals a day; but those who had no means, were compelled to partake with the soldiers of the garrison, of their rough and scanty fair.
Their correspondence was submitted to the most rigid surveillance of the commander of the post, and all letters containing applications for release, or the employment of counsel, were returned to them, with a statement that by orders of the “Government," no such letters were allowed to pass out the Fort. Lieutenant Wood himself exhausted his ingenuity in devising