From the Richmond Examiner, 3/9/1864, p. 1, c. 2
ARREST OF A GOVERNMENT OFFICER AT CITY POINT UPON THE CHARGE OF COMMUNICATING TREASONABLE DOCUMENTS TO THE ENEMY – A MOST ASTOUNDING AFFAIR. – One of the most extraordinary cases of alleged treason that the war has yet developed – not even excepting the far-famed Patterson Allan case – was brought to the surface yesterday by the arrest, at City Point, and the incarceration in Castle Thunder, of Philip Cashmeyer, special detective, attached to the immediate personal office of General John H. Winder, commandant of the Department of Henrico, which position he has held for nearly two years, enjoying all the while the confidence of the General, and, to a degree, “all others in authority.”
But few facts have as yet been developed from official quarters in regard to the arrest and the grounds upon which it was made, but they are in the main as follows: The flag of truce steamer Schultz, that conveyed the Federal prisoners to City Point, on Monday afternoon, in charge of Captain William H. Hatch, also carried several civilians and outside parties, among the latter Detective Phillip Cashmeyer. Formerly he accompanied the flag of truce regularly, in a business capacity, but another arrangement threw him out, and he latterly had only gone down occasionally as a visitor, as he did on this last occasion. It was observed on the way down that he was quite intimate with the Yankee prisoners, and on several occasions seen in close conversation with one or more of the officers. While the prisoners were being transferred to the Federal steamer New York Cashmeyer was observed to pass a package from himself to a prisoner, who put it in his bosom. The prisoner was immediately “spotted,” and being accosted by Captain Hatch, who informed him that he would have to be detained this trip, unless he gave up the package just given him by Cashmeyer. This the prisoner did at once, and was detained and not suffered to pass on board. Upon examination of the package it was found to contain two enveloped documents, one in English and the other in German. The former embraced all the order, etc., issued from the Department of General Winder recently, and calculated to afford the enemy a full insight into the military organization of Richmond. With this evidence of Cashmeyer’s crime before him, Captain Hatch at once put him under strict arrest on board the Schultz. Upon the return of the steamer to the city yesterday afternoon, Cashmeyer was taken before General Winder, who ordered his commitment to Castle Thunder to await the developments expected to be derived from the documents seized, and from other sources. The writings in German – Cashmeyer’s native tongue – had only been partly translated last evening, but that portion of the letter translated is said to be treasonable in the highest degree. We have not learned to whom these alleged treasonable documents were addressed. They are in the possession of General Winder.
Cashmeyer, who is about thirty-five years of age, came from Baltimore to Richmond at the outbreak of war, and was one of the first Government detectives appointed. In that capacity, and having an extensive acquaintance in Maryland and the District of Columbia, he was often called upon to vouch for the loyalty of parties coming into the Confederacy. At his instigation, suspected persons have been arrested, and upon his intercession others have been released. He has travelled without check or restraint, from one extreme of the Confederacy to the other, as the custodian of dispatches of the utmost importance; in short, had the private and confidential ear of the commandant of the Department, such was the unlimited faith universally reposed in his integrity to the Southern cause. If the charge so unexpectedly alleged against him be true, then his opportunities for inflicting vital mischief upon the Confederate cause have been numerous, and their importance incalculable. While a doubt of this exists we are willing to yield the accused the benefit of it. For that reason we stay further comment at this stage of this most extraordinary case, but will resume it again as all the facts and circumstances develop themselves.