Forgotten Forts Series - Fort Alcatraz

NFB22

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jun 21, 2012
Location
Louisville, KY
We had a previous thread going quite awhile back on Alcatraz but never really discussed it's history so I figured no better time than the present.

Construction of Fort Alcatraz began in 1853 with Lt. Zealous Bates Tower in command of the project. The fort actually was more a combination of artillery batteries rather than a traditional fort were familiar with. Mostly masonry and stone structures the batteries faced 3 directions to defend both San Francisco and the harbor.
800px-Alcatraz_-_006.jpg

Lt. Tower also began construction of multiple other structures on the island as well. A large citadel was constructed on the highest point of the island where the main cellhouse of the old Federal Pen stands today. He also constructed multiple barracks, storehouses, prison cellhouses and a guardhouse where Fort Alcatraz could be accessed. Lt. Tower would go on to become Brig. General Tower (later Bvt Maj General) in the American Civil War.
795px-Alcatraz_Plan_1867.jpg

Fort Alcatraz was for the most part completed during the years of 1858 and 1859. The first garrison comprised of men from the 3d U.S. Artillery under the command of Captain Joseph Stewart, Stewart was a veteran of the Mexican-American War and would go on to command various artillery units during the Civil War. As years passed under Stewart's command the fort would gradually increase its armament. By the time of the American Civil War in 1861 the forts armament consisted of anywhere between 82-87 pieces according to various sources.
AlcatrazIsland-1895.jpg

During the war the number of artillery pieces continued to increase and would be well over 100 by the end of the war. During the war Fort Alcatraz served as a defensive position to defend the harbor however the fort and it's famous counterpart, Fort Point, would never fire a shot in anger during the war. The island also served as an arsenal since it was the most secure site in the area. Most notably it served as a prison to captured Confederate privateers and sympathizers as well as Union military criminals and deserters.
800px-Alcatraz_-_041.jpg

Following the war the fort was continually used as a military prison from 1868 all the way through World War II. It was also garrisoned as a defensive position from 1865 through the Spanish-American War. In the 1900s the original citadel was destroyed to make room for the main cell house we see today. It was not until 1934 that the site was transferred from the military to the prison system and would become the famous prison that most people are familiar with today.
800px-Alcatraz_-_046.jpg

Today most of the orginal fort is gone due to construction of the federal prison along with fires and simply time. The original sallyport and guardhouse are still there and can be seen in the photograph directly above. Some original casemates do exist but are nearly unrecognizable along with the foundations to various other military structures. The site is under the charge of the NPS and is open daily all year except on holidays.

http://www.nps.gov/alca/index.htm
http://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/fort-alcatraz.77732/
http://www.fortwiki.com/Fort_Alcatraz

Also be sure to check out all other "forgotten forts" in the Forgotten Forts Series Index (Link Below)
http://civilwartalk.com/threads/forgotten-forts-series-index.80901/
 

TinCan

Captain
Joined
Aug 20, 2011
Location
Transplanted Texan
What a good idea. Why don't you get ahold of Mike and ask him to include one. I can't think of anyone who wouldn't find it both useful and enjoyable.
 

NFB22

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jun 21, 2012
Location
Louisville, KY
A model of what Fort Alcatraz would have looked like around the the time of the end of the American Civil War.
Alcatraz_013.jpg


What a good idea. Why don't you get ahold of Mike and ask him to include one. I can't think of anyone who wouldn't find it both useful and enjoyable.

Both Nate and Wolf have said something to him about it. Down the road I may petition him for one once we have even more material. There would be a lot of moving posts around to give us a good base to start with.
 

bdietzler73

First Sergeant
Joined
Jul 15, 2013
Location
Iowa
Great photos. What a nice way to learn about this fort. Something I have never gotten into has been fortifications during the Civil War and I am learning a lot through these photographs.
 

M E Wolf

Colonel
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 9, 2008
Location
Virginia
O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME L/1 [S# 105]
Union And Confederate Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating To Operations On The Pacific Coast, January 1, 1861, To June 30, 1862.(*)--#3

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE PACIFIC,
San Francisco, Cal, May 10, 1861.
Lieut. Col. E. D. TOWNSEND,
Assistant Adjutant-General, U.S. Army
Headquarters Army, Washington, D.C.
SIR: I have the honor to report that I have found it necessary to withdraw Brevet Major Carleton's company of dragoons from Fort Tejon and to place it at Los Angeles. This will give a command at the latter place of one company of horse and two of infantry. The detachment will be commanded by Major Carleton. I have also to report the arrival of three companies of artillery from Oregon. The battery will take post at the depot at Benicia, and the two foot companies at Fort Alcatraz. I have informed Captain McDougal, the commander of the navy-yard, that, if he does not feel perfectly secure and wishes any further protection, I will place a company of artillery there. Captain Burton has been assigned to the command at Fort Alcatraz.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E.V. SUMNER,
Brigadier-General, U. S. Army, Commanding.
-----
O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME L/1 [S# 105]
Union And Confederate Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating To Operations On The Pacific Coast, January 1, 1861, To June 30, 1862.(*)--# 20

HDQRS. FIRST WASHINGTON TERRITORY INFANTRY,
San Francisco, Cal., March 1, 1862.
Maj. R. C. DRUM,
Assistant Adjutant-General, U. S. Army,
Hdqrs. Department of the Pacific, San Francisco, Cal.:
SIR: I have the honor to report that in accordance with directions of the commanding general, under date of 8th of February, the headquarters of my regiment were established in this city, and on that day company officers were selected for four companies, and authority given to recruit in this city. Since that time I have authorized a detachment of forty men to be recruited, also have an applicant for a first lieutenancy, and have given authority for one company to be raised in the counties of Alameda, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz, in this State. From the companies authorized to be raised, one on Puget Sound, Washington Territory, by R. V. Peabody, and two east of the Cascade Mountains, by I. W. Cannady and F. Moore, I have received no intelligence since my last communication with your headquarters. The depot for recruits directed by the commanding general at Fort Alcatraz has been established, and subordinate to the commanding officer at that post is in charge of First Lieut. W. F. Mason, mustered into service with the first detachment of forty men. Accompanying is transmitted monthly return of officers and men already received and mustered into service. As permitted by the general commanding, Maj. C. H. Rumrill has been mustered into service, and is now on duty at these headquarters. Lieut. Col. James Tilton, appointed since my last communication, I have requested to repair to this city to be mustered into service and assist in the organization of the regiment. The regimental staff officers have not yet been appointed, although I am in treaty with applicants for all the positions. Their services are much needed, even now, in the commencement of the formation of the regiment, and the appointments are only deferred to insure the acquirement of proper persons for these important places. The plan adopted for the organization of the companies authorized in this State is to receive the recruits as they are presented by the different captains, have them examined by the medical officer, mustered into service, and at once sent to the depot. They are there formed into skeleton companies, each set of company officers credited with their own men enlisted, and awaiting the completion of company organization. It is an express stipulation in all the authorizations given in this State that the minimum standard of eighty men be reached by the 1st day of April next. The men of company organizations not completed by that time become forfeited to the Government, and may be assigned as the interests of the regiment demand. Application is made by numerous persons in different parts of the State for authority to raise men for this regiment, and unless the next mail steamer from the north brings intelligence that would show prospects of procuring men in the District of Oregon beyond the requirements of the three companies now forming there, it is my intention to provide here for the remaining two and a half companies.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JUSTUS STEINBERGER,
Colonel, Commanding.

[Translation. ]
ALTAR, March 2, 1862.
Señor Don ANDRES PICO,
Los Angeles, Cal.:
MY ESTEEMED FRIEND: To-day is the fourth day since I received, at the mines of Lowrie, your appreciated favor of February 13, having been sent forward by an express which Don Diego dispatched from Fort Yuma. I could have answered it immediately, but as I had to be absent some days from this town, I concluded to delay it until my return, hoping by the delay to gather some information on the points you desire, but nothing new has occurred since then. There was a rumor in some places that a force of Texans, numbering 100, had arrived for the purpose of joining with the force now in Arizona, and that they had. hostile views toward Sonora. In consequence of this the Governor took precautions and ordered the National Guard at --as
well as those at San -- and likewise those on the frontiers, that they should keep a strict watch upon all persons, so as to avoid a surprise. Since that date up to the present time no such attempt has been made by the force referred to. Nevertheless we will remain at Alaya, notwithstanding that in my judgment their attempts will be merely intentional. By letters not long since received from Mesilla it is announced that a force had arrived from the Southern United States with the object of occupying the Territory of Arizona and protecting it from the incursions of the Apaches, but I repeat that nothing has occurred up to date. We know positively that the small force which I said was on the march was attacked and totally destroyed by another of New Mexico belonging to the North. No other news have we received which merits credence. A small force halted at the Point San Pedro for some days, but, as I said, they returned without advancing a step farther, and even without entering Tucson or other populated places. This is all of which I can inform you with any certainty. If anything should occur hereafter I will communicate it to you as soon as I can find means. We feel deeply the interest which yourself and friends entertain for the well-being of our Sonora, and trust that occasion will not fail to give some proof of our gratitude. I could say something relative to the war waged by foreigners upon Mexico, and also
about Sonora, but I omit doing so because by the time you receive this you will receive information from Señor Don Francisco P. Ramirez, who has set out for your city, and he will instruct you fully upon the true condition of this country. Do me the favor to salute affectionately Don Francisco Valle and all my friends in your city, and all of you I hold in the affection of your friend,
JOSÉ M. REDONDO.
I inclose two papers.(*)
---------
O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME L/1 [S# 106]
Union And Confederate Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating To Operations On The Pacific Coast From July 1, 1862, To June 30, 1865.(*)--#5

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE PACIFIC,
San Francisco, Cal., September 12, 1862.
Lieut. Col. HARVEY LEE,
Fourth Infantry California Volunteers,
Commanding Benicia Barracks, Benicia, Cal.:
SIR: You will please read and hand the inclosed letter as directed. The department commander desires you to let the people understand generally that the order of the President suspending the writ of habeas corpus and directing the arrest of all persons guilty of disloyal practices will be rigidly enforced. Those of them who are leading secessionists will be confined at Alcatraz; those who may happen to be drunken brawlers, or if no account, will be confined iii your guardhouse unless they take the oath of allegiance. Practices injurious to the Government or offensive to the loyal sentiment of the people will under no circumstances be permitted.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. C. DRUM,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
[ Inclosure. ]
General WRIGHT, U. S. Army,
Comdg. Dept. of the Pacific, Headquarters at San Francisco:
SIR: We, the undersigned, loyal citizens of the United States of America, knowing that in the town of Benicia and vicinity there are persons, who, residing among loyal citizens, at every opportunity, on the reverses met by the Union forces, express their feelings in favor of the rebels, vindicating loudly their cause against the General Government, it is therefore asked of you, as the commanding officer of the Pacific Department, that you empower, or have stationed in our midst, a guard whose duty it would be to arrest those whom either they hear or is made known to them of uttering treasonable sentiments against our Government. This freedom of speech should not be tolerated. These secret workers in disloyalty should be stopped. Either remove them from the loyal sod or place them within the confines of Fort Alcatraz, beneath the emblem of our beloved country--thus the air will not be polluted by the expression of their treasonable designs. We leave the above to you. By enforcing the same you will meet with the approval of a large body of loyal citizens in our midst, and in duty bound we will ever pray.
JOHN M. NEVILLE,
Sheriff of Solano County;
C. J. FLATT,
J. W. SANBORN,
JOHN BRENNAN,
J. M. JONES, P.M.,
HENRY MORTIMER RICH, J. T. HOUGHTON,
[AND MANY OTHER CITIZENS OF SOLANO COUNTY.]


O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME L/1 [S# 106]
Union And Confederate Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating To Operations On The Pacific Coast From July 1, 1862, To June 30, 1865.(*)--#13

COMMANDANT'S OFFICE NAVY-YARD,
Mare Island, Cal., February 17, 1863.
Brig. Gen. G. WRIGHT,
Comdg. Military Department, Headquarters San Francisco, Cal.:
SIR: I have the honor to inform you that the Cyane, soon expected from sea, has been ordered to remain at San Francisco for defensive service beyond the range of the guns of Fort Alcatraz until relieved by some other vessel. I would respectfully suggest, for the protection of the city of San Francisco, or that part uncovered by the guns of Alcatraz, that earth-works be thrown up on Yerba Buena Island and a battery of guns planted on Point Rincon. This would bring a cross fire on any vessel which might get past Alcatraz on the city side. In connection with this subject, allow me to advise that the collector of the port of San Francisco have all inward-bound steamers boarded under the guns of Fort Point. This would effectually preclude the possibility of any steamer getting in under false colors.
I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THOS. O. SELFRIDGE,
Commandant.
-----

O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME L/1 [S# 106]
Union And Confederate Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating To Operations On The Pacific Coast From July 1, 1862, To June 30, 1865.(*)--#22

USTOM-HOUSE, SAN FRANCISCO,
Collector's Office, July 25, 1863.
General GEORGE WRIGHT,
Sacramento:
SIR: I have been waited on by many of our best citizens to consult about the condition of our present harbor defenses. I find a good deal of apprehension is felt by the thinking men in this community for the safety of our city in ease an armed rebel vessel should make its appearance on this coast, a thing which is not at all improbable. They suggest that batteries should be placed on Lime Point, Black Point, and Angel Island, protected by earthworks, which could be done quickly and cheaply, and at the same time would be an effective auxiliary to Fort Point and the fort at Alcatraz Island. The suggestions seem to me to be very forcible, and I deem it a matter of the highest importance that we should take every precaution to guard against the probability
of a successful invasion by sea. I take the liberty to lay this subject before you for your consideration, and if not too much trouble I would be glad to get your views on the subject. If you will be in this city soon I would be glad to know when you are in town, so that I may call upon you and confer personally about it.
In haste, yours, truly,
F. F. LOW.

O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME L/1 [S# 106]
Union And Confederate Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating To Operations On The Pacific Coast From July 1, 1862, To June 30, 1865.(*)--#26
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE PACIFIC,
San Francisco, Cal., October 5, 1863.
Capt. WILLIAM A. WINDER,
Third Artillery, Commanding Fort Alcatraz:
SIR: The department commander desires you to make a special and full report as to the matter of firing certain signal guns from Alcatraz on the arrival of tier Britannic Majesty's ship Sutlej in this harbor.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. C. DRUM,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
-----
O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME L/1 [S# 106]
Union And Confederate Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating To Operations On The Pacific Coast From July 1, 1862, To June 30, 1865.(*)--#49
ENGINEER DEPARTMENT,
Washington, April 18, 1865.
Maj. Gen. IRVIN McDowELL,
Comdg. Department of the Pacific, San Francisco, Cal.:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 21st ultimo, requesting that the fort on Alcatraz Island be named Fort McPherson, and fort at Fort Point, Fort Reno, is received. The Secretary of War has had the subject of naming these, as well as other forts, under his attention for some time past, and has not as yet informed me of his determination in relation thereto.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
RICHD. DELAFIELD,
General and Chief Engineer.
----------
 

M E Wolf

Colonel
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 9, 2008
Location
Virginia
O.R.--SERIES III--VOLUME I [S# 122]
CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, REPORTS, AND RETURNS OF THE UNION AUTHORITIES FROM NOVEMBER 1, 1860, TO MARCH 31, 1862.(*)--#2
ENGINEER DEPARTMENT,
Washington, January 18, 1861.
Hon. JOSEPH HOLT,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I have received a copy of a resolution passed by the House of Representatives on the 31st ultimo, referred by you to this office on the 15th instant, and I have the honor to furnish so much of the information required as relates to the condition of the forts.
Fort Wayne, Detroit, Mich.--In a condition to mount its entire armament, but deficient in quarters.
Fort Porter, Black Rock, near Buffalo, N. Y.--Prepared for its armament and garrison.

[extensive excerpt]

Fort at Alcatraz Island, San Francisco Harbor, Cal.--In a very efficient condition, already partly armed.
Fort at Fort Point, entrance of San Francisco Harbor, Cal.--A strong and defensible work. The body of the place is so far advanced as to be ready to receive all its guns.
For more particular information relative to works now under construction or repairs, I respectfully invite your attention to the annual report from this Department, dated November 14, 1860.(*)
Very, &c.,
JOS. G. TOTTEN,
Brevet Brigadier-General and Colonel of Engineers.
---------
[extensive excerpt]
------------
Fort at Alcatraz Island, San Francisco Harbor, Cal., in charge of Capt. J. B. McPherson.--The magazine ventilators of the south and west batteries have been readjusted, draw bridges of guard-house, barracks, and caponieres made and hung, some coping set, brick retaining wall finished and surmounted by an iron fence, earth filling put in, granite stairs completed, and iron stair rail provided. The excavation for the new twelve-gun battery has been chiefly done, breast-height walls and shell rooms completed, brick walls of gun platforms finished, eight sets of traverse stones cut, and the earthen parapet arranged and sodded. Next year it is proposed to complete the extension of the columbiad battery, with its magazines, and build a permanent wharf and store-house. Appropriation asked, $150,000.

[excerpt]
 

M E Wolf

Colonel
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 9, 2008
Location
Virginia
Navy O.R.-- Series I--Volume 2 [S# 2]
Operations Of The Cruisers—Union.
From January 1, 1863, To March 31, 1864. pp. 112-155
Report of the commandant of the navy yard, Mare Island, Cal., regarding the capture of the schooner J. M. Chapman, transmitting report of Lieutenant-Commander Shirley, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. ship Cyane.
COMMANDANT'S OFFICE,
Navy Yard, Mare Island, Cal., March 17, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to inform you of the capture of the schooner J. M. Chapman, on the 15th instant, by the boats of the U.S. ship Cyane, in the harbor of San Francisco, which vessel, there is every reason to believe, was, from the munitions of war found on board and the large number of her crew, designed to prey upon our commerce.
A copy of Lieutenant-Commander Shirley's report is herewith enclosed.
The capture of this vessel is conclusive evidence of the importance of having a vessel of war at all times lying off the city of San Francisco.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THOS. O. SELFRIDGE,
Commandant.
Hon. GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D.C.
[Enclosure.]
U.S. SHIP CYANE,
San Francisco Harbor, March 17, 1863.
SIR: Having been apprised by Mr. Rankin, the collector, and D.(*) McLean, the surveyor of the port, that the schooner J. M. Chapman was fitting out here and would soon put to sea for the purpose of preying upon our commerce, I determined to seize her, and now have the honor to report that about daylight on the morning of the 15th instant I was informed by the officer of the deck that the said schooner was getting underway, when I dispatched two armed boats under Lieutenant Yates, the executive officer of this ship, with orders to seize her, and then act in conjunction with the civil authorities.

The schooner was taken without resistance and brought to anchor, immediately after which the surveyor of the port and Mr. [W. B.] Farwell, the naval officer, went alongside in a steam tug, and, taking the schooner in tow, proceeded over to Fort Alcatraz, where the cargo was examined, and among other things, guns, ammunition, etc., found on board. Some seventeen persons had been found concealed in the hold, who were confined in Alcatraz; and the schooner was then brought up and anchored near this ship. I put an officer and four men to look out for her, a policeman also remaining on board. The crew of the schooner, four in number, I had brought on board this ship and put under the sentry's charge. The greater part of the cargo was discharged at Alcatraz.

All of which is submitted and instructions asked for.
I have honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
PAUL SHIRLEY,
Lieutenant-Commander.
T. O. SELFRIDGE,
Commandant Navy Yard, Mare Island, Cal.
--------
Navy O.R.-- Series I--Volume 2 [S# 2]
Operations Of The Cruisers—Union.
From January 1, 1863, To March 31, 1864. pp. 53-111
Report of the commandant navy yard, Mare Island, Cal., transmitting copies of instructions to the commanding officer of U. S. ship Cyane and letter to Brigadier-General Wright, U. S. Army, regarding defenses of San Francisco.
COMMANDANT'S OFFICE,
Navy Yard, Mare Island, Cal., February 20, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to enclose herewith a copy (No. 1) of my instructions to the commander of the Cyane, and a copy of a letter (No. 2) addressed to Brigadier-General Wright, in regard to the defenses of San Francisco.
I remain, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THOS. O. SELFRIDGE,
Commandant.
Hon. GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D.C.
[Enclosure No. 1.]
COMMANDANT'S OFFICE,
Navy Yard, Mare Island, Cal., February 10, 1863.
SIR: In consequence of representations from Brigadier. General Wright, commanding the military department of California, that apprehensions exist in regard to the passage of a rebel steamer by the forts in San Francisco Harbor in a fog, or in a dark night, I deem it important that a man-of-war be anchored in those waters to cooperate with the forts against attack, and to afford protection to that part of the city lying beyond the range of the fort's guns. You will, therefore, on your arrival at San Francisco, anchor the Cyane in such a location as will likely enable you to render the most efficient aid for the defense of that portion of the city which can not be covered by the guns of Fort Alcatraz.


You will remain there until relieved by the Saginaw, or some other vessel, with springs on your cables and fully prepared for action at all times.

Should you have any doubts regarding the best position in which to place the Cyane for the purpose herein named, you will be pleased to consult the military commandant.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THOS. O. SELFRIDGE,
Commandant.
The COMMANDER OF THE U.S. SHIP CYANE,
San Francisco, Cal.

[Enclosure No. 2.]
COMMANDANT'S OFFICE,
Navy Yard, Mare Island, Cal., February 10, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to inform you that the Cyane, soon expected from sea, has been ordered to remain at San Francisco for defensive service beyond the range of the guns of Fort Alcatraz until relieved by some other vessel.

I would respectfully suggest for the protection of the city of San Francisco, or that part uncovered by the guns of Alcatraz, that earthworks be thrown up on Yerba Buena Island, and a battery of guns planted on Rincon Point. This would bring a cross fire on any vessel which might get past Alcatraz on the city side.

In connection with this subject allow me to advise that the collector of the port of San Francisco have all inward bound steamers boarded under the guns of Fort Point. This would effectually preclude the possibility of any steamers getting in under false colors.

I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THOS O. SELFRIDGE,
Commandant.
Brigadier-General G. WRIGHT,
Commanding Military Department,
Headquarters, San Francisco, Cal.


Navy O.R.-- Series I--Volume 3 [S# 3]
Operations Of The Cruisers--Union.
From April 1, 1864, To December 30, 1865. pp. 350-399
Report of the commandant navy yard, Mare Island, Cal., of the arrival and confinement of Confederate prisoners from Panama.
COMMANDANT'S OFFICE, NAVY YARD,
Mare Island, Cal., January 1, 1865.
SIR: I have the honor to report the arrival of the U. S. S. Saginaw on the evening of the 31st ultimo, with seven prisoners arrested by order of Rear-Admiral Pearson on board of the American steamer Salvador.

The admiral sent them up for safe-keeping at the yard, but not having any convenient place for their confinement I addressed letters to General McDowell and General Mason, provost-marshal, requesting orders for their reception and safe-keeping at Fort Alcatraz.

They are now in confinement at that place awaiting the orders of the Department, as reported by telegram of the 31st ultimo.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. McDOUGAL,
Commandant.
Hon. G. WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D.C.
------
Letter from the Secretary of State to the Secretary of the Navy regarding disposition of Confederate prisoners confined at Fort Alcatraz, Cal.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, January 19, 1865.
SIR: In reply to your letter of the 5th instant I have the honor to state that I have addressed a letter to the Secretary of War suggesting that the prisoners referred to therein, who were captured near Panama and transferred to Fort Alcatraz, Cal., be confined in military custody, subject to trial by military court-martial.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
[Secretary of State.]
Hon. GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy.
---------
M. E. Wolf
 
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