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with him to Centralia. While in the custody of this officer, Captain Howard, he was treated in the most gentlemanly manner. At Centralia he was delivered over to one Major Board, Deputy United States Marshal, who immediately confined him in a room with some ten or twelve other prisoners, to await the arrival of the Springfield train.
When the train was heard approaching, handcuffs were produced, the prisoners driven into one corner of the room, surrounded by a squad of soldiers with fixed bayonets, and handcuffed like convicted felons. They were then placed in a private car and taken to the camp at Springfield, where they were detained for two days.
After the expiration of two days, United States Marshal D.'s. Phillips appeared, took Dr. Blanchard, and several others, and put them on a train and started for Washington; where, on their arrival, they were immediately consigned to the Old Capitol prison.
Here he remained for six weeks. Mr. Wood, the superintendent of the prison, generally treated his prisoners well, with the exception of fare. After he had been incarcerated about three weeks, the Illinois prisoners (about twenty in number) were placed in a room to themselves, and allowed to buy their own provisions.
From that period until the Illinois prisoners were discharged, they passed their time as well as men could who were kept in close confinement.
After having been imprisoned for six weeks, Blanchard, in company with five others, was taken before the Judge Advocate, when the following conversation ensued :
JUDGE ADVOCATE. What is your name?
The Judge then arose, went to a desk, and took out a bunille of papers, and after looking over them, again turned to the prisoners:
JUDGE ADVOCATE. Do you belong to the Knights of the Golden Circle ?
ANSWER. I am not acquainted with any such organization.
JUDGE ADVOCATE. Have you ever belonged to any secret organization ?
ANSWER. I have belonged to the Odd Fellows, and the Sons of Temperance, and I once joined something that was called the Know-Nothings.
JUDGE ADVOCATE. I do not mean that: do you belong to any political organization.
ANSWER. I do: I belong to the Democratic organization.
ANSWER. We usually meet at the Court House, in Murphys. boro', Illinois.
JUDGE ADVOCATE. Do you meet at night, or in the daytime?
ANSWER. Sometimes we meet at night, and sometimes in day. time.
JUDGE ADVOCATE. Do you have any secret signs or pass. words by which you are admitted ?
ANSWER. We bave none.
ANSWER. We appoint committees for different purposes, attend to our own political business, and concoct measures to beat the Republicans at the election.
JUDGE ADVOCATE. Were you, in June last, at a meeting of the Golden Circle, near Pinckneyville, Perry County, Illinois ?
ANSWER. I was not; I have not been in Perry County in two years, except to pass through it on the cars.
QUESTION BY BLANCHARD. Judge, I would like to see those papers, or would like to have you tell me who bas made complaint against me, and what the charges are ?
ANSWER BY JUDGE ADVOCATE. We have made it a rule not to let prisoners see the papers filed against them, ncr to tell them who made complaint against them, or what the charges are, as it might lead to unpleasant consequences bereafter.
This ended the examination, and he was immediately discharged, without knowing why he was arrested and iniprisoned, what the charges were against him, or who made them, if
any were ever made. He was furnished with trang. portation, and pernitted to return home.
Arriving at home, he was immediately nominated by the Democratic party for State Senator, for the Third Senatorial District of the State of Illinois, and was in the following November elected by 3,000 majority.
On the first Monday of January, 1864, he took his seat in the State Senate, and served the people well and faithfully during that stormy session of the Illinois Legislature. After the close of the session, in March, 1864, he returned to his home at Murphysboro', Illinois, where he is busily engaged in the practice of his profession, and still continues to be a sterling advocate of the principles of Liberty and Free Gov eri ment.
Fort Lafayette was a poor Irishman, named Dennis Hickey.
He was apprehended in his potato patch, in Chester County, Pennsylvania. He was not permitted to go to his house in order to procure a decent suit of clothes; but was taken in his dirty and torn shirt and pants, and crownless old strawhat, and lodged in Fort Lafayette as a political prisoner. Poor fellow ! he seemed to feel that he was like a cat in a strange garret.” The idea that this poor laboring-man could be dangerous to an Administration with nearly a million of soldiers, seemed more like one of Lincoln's jokes than a reality. The charge against him was, that he would not turn informer upon his Democratic neighbors.
It seems that some Republicans in his neighborhood wished to find evidence that certain Democrats in that locality had discouraged enlistments. They wanted Dennis Hickey to tell what he knew about them. “I did not come to this
. country to turn informer," was his indignant answer; and for this honest, manly, Irish sentiment he was seized, and consigned to Fort Lafayette.
The other prisoners sympathized deeply with poor Dennis, and contributed from their own clothing to dress him in a decent suit until he could supply himself from home. After some six weeks of confinement in the Fort, without any trial, Dennis was discharged upon taking the oath, or as it was called in the Fort,“ kissing Lincoln's great toe.”
The following letter, written by Mrs. Dennis Hickey to her husband, while he was a prisoner in Fort Lafayette, reveals the position and honest character of poor Hickey, and
the insufficiency of the reasons assigned for his arrest. as follows:
“NEW LONDON, Sept. 21, 1862. “DEAR DENNIS: I take the present opportunity of writing these few lines to you, hoping that they may find you ils well as they leave me and the children. Thanks to God, I received your first letter on the 5th, and was glad to hear that you were alive. Then I made no delay, but sent you, as you told me, Joho Mul. lin's carpet-bag, and it full of clothes, and a letter with five dol. lars. I sent them on Monday, the 8th, by express, and had to pay a dollar for them. I was full sure you had got them by this time. Robert Kelton gave me a receipt for them, and I want you to get some one to see if they are there, and if they ain't, please write to me soon again, so I may look after them. I did not know any one there to direct in care of, so I directed them io Dennis Hickey, Fort Lafayette.' Dear Dennis, I was very uneasy then, until I received your second letter, on Saturday, tho 20th, which gave me great pleasure to know that you were still alive, for I thought, to be sure, you were killed. Dear Dennis, 1 cannot tell you how much trouble I have been in about you, since you have been stole away. I set up all that night waiting for you, expecting you home, and as soon as I seen the first pcep of day, I went to New London and inquired if there had been such men there, and they told me they did not see them. I was sure they had taken you out in the woods somewhere and killed you, until Peter Mungen told me you had been arrested, and was in the jail of Philadelphia ; but I did not know what it was for until I got a letter from one of the officers that took you, stating that you had been arrested by order of the War Department, and would be sent to Washington. I was told that they were very well paid for stealing you The neighbors were opposed to your being kidnapped in that way. Then I got a petition wrote, and the neighbors signed that – allowing that they bad never, in conversation with you, heard you say anything against the North. We are going to send that to the Commander-in-chief of Fort Lafayette. The enemies have put it in the paper that you abused Joel Conrad when he came to enroll your name; but Joel Conrad denied that in the paper, and said that Dencis Hickey was as civil a man as he met with. All my trouble in