DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, April 18, 1862.
Hon. BENJAMIN H. BREWSTER, Philadelphia.
SIR: I have received your letter of yesterday stating that by directions of Mr. Simon Cameron you transmit to me a summons issued out of the supreme court of the State of Pennsylvania at the suit of Pierce Butler against Mr. Cameron for trespass, vi et armis, assault and battery and false imprisonment in causing the arrest of the plaintiff without authority of law.
This communication has been submitted to the President, and I am directed by him to say in reply that he avows the proceeding of Mr. Cameron referred to as one taken by him when Secretary of War under the President's directions and deemed necessary for the prompt suppression of the existing insurrection.
The President will at once communicate this correspondence to the Attorney-General of the United States and also to Congress.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series II, Volume 2 (Serial No. 115), p. 507-8