Suppression of the Daily Register ? Arrest and Imprisonment of its Editors. ? On Saturday afternoon, Capt. Ewald Over, commander of this post, received a dispatch from Gen. Kelly, directing him to proceed at once, by order of Gen. Hunter, ?to arrest Baker and Long, editors and proprietors of the Daily Register, a paper published in the city of Wheeling , West Virginia, and place them in confinement at the military prison in that city and so keep them until further orders. ? Also to seize and suppress the Register newspaper, and take possession of the office and safely keep the same until further orders.?
Immediately upon the receipt of the order Capt. Over, with a guard, proceeded to the office and notified the editors of his errand. The employees were notified at once to abdicate the premises, the office was closed and Messrs. Long and Baker were escorted to the Athaneum in charge of Lieut. Knapp, of the Provost Guard. -- They were assigned temporary quarters in the room occupied by the rebel prisoners who have expressed a willingness to take the oath of allegiance.
There are sundry conjectures as to the cause of the arrest, but at present we shall not attempt to give any more information upon the subject than is already known to the daily readers of the Register. We sincerely regret that any necessity should exist for such a peremptory proceeding upon the part of the military authorizes, and we anxiously await the further development of the case.
On Saturday last, Capt. Over, commanding at this post, received a peremptory order from Gen. Hunter to arrest the responsible editors of the Wheeling Register and put them in the military prison, and suppress for the present the further publication of the paper. Capt. Over was left in the dark as to the special cause why this order was issued and no one else of course was any better off. It was presumed that the extreme bitterness with which the Register had referred to Gen. Hunter in connection with the Washington Statue might have had something to do with the arrest, but this is hardly probable.
Still, the wonder is as to the reason of the arrest. What has been the immediate cause of it? No one seems to have any idea beyond the fact of the general disloyalty of the sheet. So far as we have observed there has been nothing unusual in the paper of late. It has followed at about the same old pace the example of such sheets as the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Columbus Crisis, Chicago Times and New York News. Pretty much all that was ever contained in the paper was taken from those prints. It had no force whatever of itself, and it certainly had less influence than any newspaper ever published in this city. Why Gen. Hunter should have selected it out and left the papers we have named free to circulate in his department is more than we can appreciate. He has given it a notoriety that it would never have otherwise enjoyed, and also, in addition, a new lease of life, if ever it starts again. As it was it had not sufficient strength, we suppose, to have run it through the summer.
What makes the arrest of the Register all the more incomprehensible is the report of Wharton?s arrest at Parkersburg for an article published in his paper ? the Gazette. Wharton, we all know, is a loyal man and of course it was for no act of intentional aid or comfort to the enemy that he was arrested. We understand that the last issue of his paper was suppressed and burned, and hence we have not our usual copy of the Gazette to see what was said.
The arrest of Mr. Wharton has stirred up a good deal of feeling among the Union men at Parkersburg as we learned yesterday. We presume that he will be speedily released by order of the Government. ? Gov. Boreman has sent a request to that effect to the Sec?y of War.
The Oldham-Baker Correspondence ? Letter from the Latter.
Wheeling, June 21, 1864.
Allow me to say that here is nothing in my letter addressed to W. H. Oldham, Esq., and published by you this morning, which justifies you in saying that I ?ask Oldham for a charity of one hundred, or even fifty dollars wherewith to visit New York.? I have never yet asked or accepted of a ?charity? or gratuity from say person for the benefit of the Register, myself, or for any other purposes. The transaction between Mr. Oldham and myself is of a purely business character ? he having received values in printing, advertising and binding for not only fifty but one hundred dollars.
In justice to both Mr. Oldham and myself you will please give this the same publicity which you did my private letter.
Of course we publish the above letter from Mr. Baker not only as a courtesy but as right due him, and we suppose, without hesitation, that what he says about Oldham?s owing him money for value received is all correct. We did not and do not lay must stress upon that portion of his published letter to Mr. Oldham, It is the melancholy and even lugubrious ?tale that he told? about the State of Copperheadism out in the mountain countless; about the abandonment of all efforts to send a delegation to Chicago; about the doubt as to whether anything could be done this fall to deliver this ?African-idiotic-ridden? State into the bands of the rebel sympathizers ? that especially attracted our attention and monopolized our comments.
Mr. Wylie H. Oldham, a leading Secessionist in Marshall county ? who voted for the Ordinance of Secession, and Mr. Lewis Baker, a pretended Union man, if indeed a man who supported Vallandigham in Ohio before coming over here, and who has continued to do so after coming, can be called even a pretended Union man, are detected in a close, cordial and confidential correspondence ? not about business matters, but about the chances of organizing out in the mountain counties. Organizing what? A Union party? The idea of a Secessionist like Oldham, who had not a thing, politically, in the world to hope for from the success of the Union cause, being in correspondence with any Union man touching an organization looking to the advancement of the Union cause, is an idea that every man of sense will scout at once.
This is the fact ? the timely disclosure ? the important expose to which we would call attention in our comments. It shows two things, viz: that Baker (Vallandighamer and Democrat) considers himself in the same boat with Oldham, Secessionist, and that Oldham, Secessionist, (who voted for the Ordinance,) considers Baker, Democrat (who did all he could for Vallandighamer last fall in Ohio,) his twin brother and natural ally. They both have been hobnobbing together. Oldham had written to Baker on the 6th, while Baker, not yet a voter, we believe, in West Virginia, was out in the Mountain Counties of the State in which he is not a voter, seeing what he could do to get up an organization composed of their mutual friends. This is the point in the discovered and published letter to which we call attention. It is the effort to organize a Copperhead party of aiders and abettors to the rebellion, one that shall be of services to the friends of Oldham in the South ? to such men as Charley Russell, Joe Pendleton, Dr. Kidwell, Jim Neeson and other rebels from these parts, in company with whom Oldham espoused, advocated and voted for Secession ? on which we lay stress.
Men know their affinities, their shades of conglomeration and identification. ? Baker knows that his principals intermix with Oldham?s and that Oldham?s are not essentially different from his. There is no oil and water between the two. They mix, affiliate, misoegenate, cordialize, and partyize together, and would fain conventionize as one at Chicago, if they could organize a constituency to send them there as delegates.
The underground labors and sympathies of the two are happily exposed. We think that their efforts to turn over this ?African idiotic-ridden State? to the interests of Jeff Davis, Charley Russell, & Co. have been set back a little. Those who would otherwise have been ?their honest dupes, will now see in the ?Scarlet letter,? published yesterday, what Baker?s ?democracy? means. They will realize beyond the possibility of mistake that it differs in no real sense from Oldham?s secession principles. They both have been secretly plotting, planning and laboring together for a common and congenial and, viz: the over throw of the Union strength in this State.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: July 1864