Some time since we announced the fact that M. Y. Johnson and David Shehan, two notorious sympathizers with rebellion, had been arrested at Galena, and taken to Fort Lafayette. At the time the were admitted into the Fort there happened to be confined there a gentleman of the city of New York, named Lewis Ballard, who had been arrested for being concerned in the establishment of an insurance agency, the object of which was to furnish substitutes for persons who might be drafted. Mr. Ballard was a thoroughly loyal citizen, a man of high character, and as he was arrested on a technicality for an offense which had not been declared a crime, he has since been released. His statement therefore is entitled to credit.
Mr. Ballard was confined in the same room in which Johnson and Shehan were placed. Johnson supposing, of course, that all around him were equally disloyal with himself, talked freely and divulged circumstances which arrested the attention of Mr. Ballard, who afterwards made the following affidavit in reference to the facts:
CITY, COUNTY AND STATE OF NEW YORK, SS.
Lewis Ballard being duly sworn, doth depose and say, that during a temporary confinement at Fort Lafayette, extending from the first to the third day of September current, deponent was placed in a casemate of the fort with other prisoners; that he lodged, and associated necessarily with the other prisoners confined there; that during his stay he participate din conversation with many of the said persons; and that he was a hearer to much conversation between different persons there, in which he did not participate. That on the second of September, Madison Y. Johnson, of Galena, Illinois, and another person named Shehan, or something like that name, also from Galena, arrived at the fort as prisoners. They at once avowed their sympathy with the violent secession prisoners who were there before. Johnson was the most outspoken; he conversed freely on the subjects connected with the present difficulties; avowed himself in favor of the Constitution of the Southern Confederacy in preference to the Constitution of the United States! That he was opposed to a continuance of the Union as it was! That the war ought not to be continued. In thus expressing himself he assumed to understand thoroughly the objects and aims of the leaders of the rebellion; and of the designs of their sympathizers in the loyal States. He said that the NORTHWESTERN STATES WERE TO BE INVADED, THE SOUTHERN CONSTITUTION PROCLAIMED, and the free navigation of the Mississippi proffered. That on this being done the people, who were organized and prepared for it, WOULD RISE, cut loose form the Yankees, and if necessary to put down opposition, THE WHOLE NORTH WOULD RUN WITH RIVERS OF BLOOD. While he gave utterance to the foregoing words, he accompanied them by allusions to organizations being in existence to carry out that plan. He also stated that when he was arrested, large numbers from the surrounding country called on him and offered a rescue; but that he advised them to leave the whole matter to him, that the time had not yet arrived for them to act, but that it would surely come.
And further this deponent saith not.
Sworn to before me, this 10th of September, 1862.
JOHN A. KENNEDY.
Special Provost Marshal.
The commandant of the fort found a paper on Johnson's person, showing him to be a Knight of the Golden Circle, in full communion with the brotherhood in Dixie. Both Johnson and Shehan refused to take the oath of allegiance.