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Confederate Memoranda on arrest of W. L. Watson in Virginia, circa 1862.

W. L. Watson.-On prison books D. Wartrous. Was born and raised in New York. Left there early in July last. Came through Philadelphia, Wilmington, Baltimore to Washington. Says he swam across the river between Chain Bridge and the Aqueduct. Went to our pickets. Was taken to General Bonham's camp with a view of coming to Richmond to work. Was a member of the workingmens committee. Was opposed to the policy of Lincoln. Sustained the course of South Carolina and was compelled to flee from New York because of his political opinions. Says he was master mechanic on the Panama Railroad. Was in Cuba as a steam-boat architect and in Mexico building lighters for the Pacific steam-boats. In each of these places he was involved in political troubles and made his escape from prisons. His last employment in New York was as engine dispatcher on the New York and Erie Railroad. Says he was a voluntary contributor to the New York Daily News. Thinks it probable General Smith would know him. Says he has a plan for steam-boats which he thinks might put an end to the war. Says he left the plan in Washington with a friend with directions to send it to Richmond if he heard from him in two weeks. If not to return it to New York. Expresses an unwillingness to submit his plan to navy officers because of their prejudices. Prefers submitting it to merchants in Charleston and Savannah, but says he will snbmit it to naval men if relieved of suspicion and from confinement. He will not take the oath of allegiance to the Confederate States but desires to be released on his parole of honor. In this ease it is clear the prisoner is an alien enemy, and as such may be rightfully held. It is not clear he is not a spy, but as General Smiths testimony may show him to be a political refugee I hope he will be written to on the subject. I cannot recommend his discharge, and for the present I recommend he be held as a prisoner.

SOURCE: Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series 2, Volume 2, pgs. 1466-1467

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