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Secretary William H. Seward to General Andrew Porter, Arrest Order for George Wallace Jones, December 19, 1861

William Henry Seward, circa 1860, detail
As the war intensified, so did efforts on both sides to safeguard against disloyalty. This was one of dozens of orders for the arrest and imprisonment without trial that Secretary of State William Henry Seward issued during late 1861. It concerned George Wallace Jones, a former Iowa and Wisconsin senator, congressman, and judge who had also been United States ambassador to Bolivia. Jones had been determined, through examination of his earlier correspondence with Jefferson Davis and with his wife and sons, two of whom served in the Confederate army, to be a flight risk and a danger to the Union. General Andrew Porter, head of military police in Washington DC, was not able to arrest Jones, who had left for New York. He was, however, arrested there the next day and incarcerated at Fort Lafayette in New York Harbor. He was released in February, 1862 on giving his parole and retired in Dubuque, Iowa. (By John Osborne)