From the Richmond Dispatch, 3/3/1862, p. 2, c. 2
Important Arrests. – We learn that Messrs. John M. Botts, Franklin Stearns, Valentine Hechler, John M. Higgins, D. Wardwell, and some few other persons, have been arrested and placed in custody. It is inferred that they are charged with conspiring against the Government, upon what evidence has not yet transpired. Mr. Botts, of course, was well known to be opposed to the Southern movement; but his last publication on the subject on the subject, nearly a year ago, expressed his disapproval of the course of the President of the United States in bringing on the war, and his opinion that the South never could be subjugated. It was hoped that this fixed his position, and that he was Virginian enough at least to take no part against us.
Mr. Stearns is a Northern man, but has resided here for very many years. He was a Union man, but, the war being commenced, he took sides actively with the South, and subscribed liberally to arm and equip our soldiers – some say as much as $10,000. If he has now turned against us, his position is doubly treacherous. He is the well-known principal partner in the great whiskey-manufacturing firm of this city.
What the grounds of the proceeding are is not known, but it is to be inferred that the Government would not take such action upon a slight pretext.
The parties named above are confined in the new brick building on the extension of Fifteenth street, on the right-hand side, beyond the auction house of Messrs. Dickinson & Hill.