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the United States Naval Academy, was for the moment in sympathy with secession. Governor Hicks had returned here from Baltimore, it being his official residence, to make ready for the coming special session of the Maryland legislature, which, in one of his moments of timidity, he had been prevailed upon to call together on the 26th. The governor and the mayor of Annapolis both strongly urged Butler not to land his men; to which he replied that he must land to get provisions, and in turn requested the governor's formal consent. Pending this diplomatic small-talk, he found a piece of work to do. The old frigate Constitution, of historic fame, was anchored off the grounds of the Naval Academy as a trainingship; a few boat-loads of Baltimore roughs might easily cut her out and convert her into a privateer. Commandant Blake, who, with the majority of his officers and cadets, remained loyal, asked Butler to help pull her farther out into the bay for better security against capture. In this enterprise the greater part of Sunday, the 21st of April, was spent.

The two Sunday interviews of the mayor of Baltimore with President Lincoln, and the resulting arrangement that troops should hereafter come by the Annapolis route, have been detailed. The telegraph, in the mean time, was still working, though with delays and interruptions. As an offset to the disagreeable necessity of ordering the Pennsylvania troops back from Cockeysville, the cheering news of Butler's arrival at Annapolis had come directly to hand. That same Sunday afternoon President Lincoln and his cabinet met at the Navy Department, where they might deliberate in greater seclusion, and the culminating dangers to the Government underwent scrutinizing inquiry and anxious comment. The events of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, as developed by the military reports and the conferences with the Baltimore committees, exhibited a degree of real peril such as had not menaced the capital since the British invasion in 1814. Virginia was in arms on one side, Maryland on the other; the railroad was broken; the Potomac was probably blockaded; a touch would sever the telegraph. Of this occasion the President afterwards said:

It became necessary for me to choose whether, using only the existing means, agencies, and processes which Congress had provided, I should let the Government fall into ruin, or whether, availing myself of the broader powers conferred by the Constitution in cases of insurrection, I would make an effort to save it, with all its blessings, for the present age and for posterity.*

Surveying the emergency in its remote as well as merely present aspects, and assuming without hesitation the responsibilities which Lincoln, special message, May 27, 1862.

existing laws did not authorize, but which the needs of the hour imperatively demanded, Lincoln made a series of orders designed to meet, as well as might be, the new crisis in public affairs. A convoy was ordered out to guard the California steamers bringing heavy shipments of gold; fifteen merchant steamers were ordered to be purchased or chartered, and armed at the navy yards of Boston, New York, and Philadelphia for coast protection and blockade service; two million dollars were placed in the hands of three eminent citizens of New York, John A. Dix, George Opdyke, and Richard M. Blatchford, to be in their judgment disbursed for the public defense; another commission of leading citizens of New York, George D. Morgan, William M. Evarts, Richard M. Blatchford, and Moses H. Grinnell, in connection with Governor Morgan, was empowered to exercise practically the full authority of the War and Navy Departments in organizing troops and forwarding supplies; two of the ablest naval officers were authorized each to arm two additional merchant vessels to cruise in the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay, together with sundry minor measures and precautions. Before these various orders could even be prepared for transmittal, the crowning embarrassment had already come upon the Government. On that Sunday night (April 21) the telegraph operator at Baltimore reported that the insurrectionary authorities had taken possession of his office; to which the Washington telegraph superintendent laconically added, "Of course this stops all."

So the prospect closed on Sunday night. Monday forenoon brought, not relief, but rather an exaggeration of the symptoms of danger. Governor Hicks, influenced by his secession surroundings at Annapolis, neither having consented to Butler's landing nor yet having dissuaded him from that purpose, now turned his appeals to the President. “I feel it my duty," he wrote, " most respectfully to advise you that no more troops be ordered or allowed to pass through Maryland, and that the troops now off Annapolis be sent elsewhere; and I most respectfully urge that a truce be offered by you, so that the effusion of blood may be prevented. I respectfully suggest that Lord Lyons be requested to act as mediator between the contending parties of our country." The suggestion was not only absurd in itself, but it awakened painful apprehension lest his hitherto friendly disposition might suddenly change to active hostility. This was a result to be avoided by all possible means; for, even in his present neutral mood, he was still an effective breakwater against + Hicks to Lincoln, April 22, 1861. War Records.

those who were striving day and night to force Maryland into some official act of insurrection. Mr. Seward therefore wrote the governor a very kindly worded and yet dignified rebuke, reminding him of the days "when a general of the American Union with forces designed for the defense of its capital was not unwelcome anywhere in the State of Maryland, and certainly not at Annapolis"; and suggesting at its close "that no domestic contention that may arise among the parties of this republic ought in any case to be referred to any foreign arbitrament, least of all to the arbitrament of an European monarchy."

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Meanwhile, as an additional evidence of the yet growing discontent, another large Baltimore committee found its way to the President-this time from one of the religious bodies of that city, with a Baptist clergyman as its spokesman, who bluntly proposed that Mr. Lincoln should "recognize the independence of the Southern States." Though such audacity greatly taxed his patience, he kept his temper, and replied that neither the President nor Congress possessed the power or authority to do this; and to the further request that no more troops be sent through Maryland, he answered in substance: You, gentlemen, come here to me and ask for peace on any terms, and yet have no word of condemnation for those who are making war on us. You express great horror of bloodshed, and yet would not lay a straw in the

way of those who are organizing in Virginia and elsewhere to capture this city. The rebels attack Fort Sumter, and your citizens attack troops sent to the defense of the Government, and the lives and property in Washington, and yet you would have me break my

oath and surrender the Government without a blow. There is no Washington in that-no Jackson in that there is no manhood or honor in that. I have no desire to invade the South; but I must have troops to defend this capital. Geographically it lies surrounded by the soil of Maryland; and mathematically the necessity exists that they should come over her territory. Our men are not moles, and can't dig under the earth; they are not birds, and can't fly through the air. There is no way but to march across, and that they must do. But in doing this, there is no need of collision. Keep your rowdies in Baltimore, and there will be no bloodshed. Go home and tell your people that if they will not attack us, we will not attack them; but if they do attack us, we will return it, and that severely.

Washington now began to take on some of the aspects of a siege. The large stores of flour and grain at the Georgetown mills, and even that already loaded for shipment on schooners, were seized, and long trains of carts were engaged in removing it to safer storage in the public buildings. Prices

Seward to Hicks, April 22, 1861.

Mem. for the War Department. The Anacostia, a small Potomac steamer, anchored off Gilsboro' Point, and after remaining a short time returned down the river. The Harriet Lane, supposed revenue cutter, is now off the Arsenal and has been there a short time. VOL. XXXV.— 125.

of provisions were rising. The little passenger steamers plying on the Potomac were taken possession of by the military officers to be used for guard and picket duty on the river. The doors, windows, and stairways of the public buildings were protected by barricades, and the approaches to them guarded by sentinels. All travel and nearly all business came to a standstill, and theaters and places of amusement were closed. With the first notice of the burning of the railroad bridges, the strangers, visitors, and transient sojourners in the city became possessed of an uncontrollable desire to get away. So long as the trains ran to Baltimore, they proceeded to that point; from there they sought to escape northward by whatever stray chances of transportation offered themselves. By some of these fugitives the Government had taken the precaution to send duplicates of important orders and dispatches to Northern cities. This sauve qui peut quickly denuded Washington of its redundant population. While the Unionist non-combatants were flying northward, the latent secessionists were making quite as hurried an escape to the South; for it was strongly rumored that the Government intended to impress the whole male population of Washington into military service for the defense of the city.

One incidental benefit grew out of the panic-the Government was quickly relieved of its treasonable servants. Some hundreds of clerks resigned out of the various departments on this Monday, April 22d, and the impending danger not only brought these to final decision, but also many officers of high grades and important functions. Commodore Buchanan, in charge of the Washington navy yard, together with nearly all the subordinate officers, suddenly discovered their unwillingness longer to keep their oaths and serve the United States; and that night this invaluable naval depot, with all its vast stores of material, its immense workshops and priceless machinery, was intrusted solely to the_loyalty and watchfulness of Commander John A. Dahlgren and a little handful of marines, scarcely enough in numbers to have baffled half a dozen adroit incendiaries, or to ascertain the street gossip outside the walls of the establishment. Among the scores of army and navy resignations reported the same day was that of Captain John B. Magruder, 1st Artillery, then in command of a light battery

I have not been able to communicate with her. I should wish to have a company of Massachusetts or United States troops in the yard at night if they can be spared.— John A. Dahlgren, Acting Commandant, 22d April. MS.

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on which General Scott had placed special reliance for the defense of Washington. No single case of defection gave Lincoln such astonishment and pain as this one. "Only three days ago," said he, when the fact was made known to him, " Magruder came voluntarily to me in this room, and with his own lips and in my presence repeated over and over again his asseverations and protestations of loyalty and fidelity."* It was not merely the loss of an officer, valuable and necessary though he might be in the emergency, but the significance of this crowning act of perfidy which troubled the President, and to the suggestiveness of which he could not close his eyes. Was there not only no patriotism left, but was all sense of personal obligation, of every-day honesty, and of manliness of character gone also? Was everything crumbling at his touch? In whom should he place confidence? To whom should he give orders, if clerks, and captains, and commodores, and quartermaster-generals, and governors of States, and justices of the Supreme Court proved false in the moment of need? If men of the character and rank of the Magruders, the Buchanans, the McCauleys, the Lees, the Johnstons, the Coopers, the Campbells were giving way, where might he not fear treachery? There was certainly no danger that all the officers of the Government would thus prove recreant; but might not the failure of a single one bearing an important trust cause a vital and irreparable disaster?

The perplexities and uncertain prospects of the hour are set forth with frank brevity by General Scott, in the report which was sent to the President that night of Monday, April 22:

I have but little that is certain to report, viz.: (1) That there are three or four steamers off Annapolis, with volunteers for Washington; (2) that their landing will be opposed by the citizens, reënforced from Baltimore; (3) that the landing may be effected nevertheless by good management; and (4) that the rails on the Annapolis road (20 miles) have been taken up. Several efforts to communicate with those troops to-day have failed; but three other detached persons are repeating the attempt, and one or more of them will, I think, succeed. Once ashore, the regiments (if but two, and there are probably more) would have no difficulty in reaching Washington on foot, other than

the want of wagons to transport camp equipage, etc. The quartermaster that I have sent there (I do not know that he has arrived) has orders to hire wagons if he can, and if not, to impress, etc. Of rumors, the following are probable, viz.: (1) That from 1500 to 2000 troops are at the White House (4 miles below Mount Vernon, a narrow point in the Potomac) engaged in erectinga battery; (2) that an equal force is collected or in progress of assemblage on the two sides of the river to attack Fort Washington; and (3) that extra cars went up yesterday to bring down from Harper's Ferry about 2000 other troops to join in a

* J. H., Diary. Unpublished MS.

general attack on this capital — that is, on many of its fronts at once. I feel confident that with our presall the executive buildings (seven) against ten thouent forces we can defend the Capitol, the Arsenal, and sand troops not better than our district volunteers.

Tuesday morning came, but no news from Annapolis, no volunteers up the Potomac. It was Cabinet day; and about noon, after the President and his councilors were assembled, messengers announced the arrival of two steamers at the navy yard. There was a momentary hope that these might be the longexpected ships from New York; but inquiries proved them to be the Pawnee and a transNorfolk. The worst apprehensions concerning port on their return from the expedition to that important post were soon realized — it was irretrievably lost. The only bit of comfort to be derived from the affair was that the vessels brought back with them a number of marines and sailors, who would now add a little fraction of strength to the defense of the capital. The officers of the expedition were soon before the President and Cabinet, and related circumstantially the tale of disaster and destruction which the treachery of a few officers and the credulous duplicity of the commandant had rendered unavoidable.

The Gosport navy yard, at Norfolk, Virginia, was of such value and importance that its safety, from the very beginning of Mr. Lincoln's administration, had neither been neglected nor overlooked. But, like every other exposed or threatened point,-like Sumter, Pickens, Tortugas, Key West, Fort Monroe, Baltimore, Harper's Ferry, and Washing

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ton itself, its fate was involved in the want of an army and navy of adequate strength. On the day that the President resolved on the Sumter expedition, two hundred and fifty seamen had been ordered from Brooklyn to Norfolk to render Gosport more safe. Instead of going there, it was immediately necessary to change their destination to Sumter and Pickens. And so, though the danger to Gosport was never lost sight of, the reënforcements to ward it off were never available. Officer after officer and letter after letter were sent by the department to enjoin vigilance, to prepare defenses, and to remove valuable ships. The officers of the navy yard professed loyalty; the commandant had grown gray in the service of his country, and enjoyed the full confidence of his equals and superiors. It was known that the secessionists had designs upon the post; but it was believed that the watchfulness which had been ordered and the measures of precaution which had been arranged under the special supervision of two

+ Unpublished MS.

trusted officers of the Navy Department, who were carrying out the personal instructions of Secretary Welles, would meet the danger. At a critical moment, the hitherto correct judgment of Commandant McCauley committed a fatal mistake. The subordinate officers of the yard, professing loyalty, practiced treason, and lured him unwittingly into their designs. Several valuable vessels lay at the navy yard. To secure them eventually for Virginia, Governor Letcher had, among his first acts of hostility, attempted to obstruct the channel from Norfolk to Fort Monroe by means of sunken vessels. But the effort failed; the passage still remained practicable. Ascertaining this, Commodore Alden and Chief Engineer Isherwood, specially sent for the task by Secretary Welles, had, with the help of the commandant of the yard, prepared the best ships-the Merrimac, the Germantown, the Plymouth, and the Dolphin- for quick removal to Fort Monroe. The engines of the Merrimac were put in order, the fires under her boilers were lighted, the moment of her departure had been announced, when suddenly a change came over the spirit of Commandant McCauley. Virginia passed her ordinance of secession; the traitorous officers of the navy yard were about to throw off their mask and desert their flag; and, as a parting stroke of intrigue, they persuaded the commandant that he must retain the Merrimac for the security of the yard. Yielding to this treacherous advice, he countermanded her permission to depart and ordered her fires to be put out. Thus baffled, Isherwood and Alden hastened back to Washington to obtain the superior orders of the Secretary over this most unexpected and astounding action of the commandant.

They reached Washington on this errand respectively on the 18th and 19th of April, just at the culminating point of insurrection and danger. Hasty consultations were held and energetic orders were issued. The Pawnee, just returned from her Sumter cruise, was again coaled, supplied, and fitted out-processes consuming precious hours, but which could not be omitted. On the evening of April 19 she steamed down the Potomac under command of Commodore Paulding, with discretionary orders to defend or to destroy. Next evening, April 20, having landed at Fort Monroe and taken on board three to five hundred men of the 3d Massachusetts, only that morning arrived from Boston, and who embarked without a single ration, the Pawnee proceeded to Norfolk, passing without difficulty through the seven sunken hulks in the Elizabeth River. But Commodore Paulding found that he had come too late to

save anything. The commandant, once more successfully plied with insidious advice, had yielded to the second suggestion of his juniors, and had scuttled the removable ships-ostensibly to prevent their being seized and used by the rebels. As they were slowly sinking, no effort to remove them could succeed, and no resource was left but to destroy everything so far as could be done. Accordingly, there being bright moonlight, the greater part of that Saturday night was devoted to this work of destruction. Several parties were detailed to fire the ships and the buildings and to lay a mine to blow up the dry-dock, and the sky was soon lighted up from an immense conflagration. Yet, with all this effort, the sacrifice was left incomplete. Not more than half the buildings were consumed. The workshops, with their valuable machinery, escaped. The 1500 to 2000 heavy cannon in the yard could neither be removed nor rendered unserviceable. Some unforeseen accident finally prevented the explosion of the dry-dock. Of the seven ships burned to the water's edge, the hull of the Merrimac was soon afterwards raised, and in the course of events changed by the rebels into the iron-clad Merrimac, or, as they named her, the Virginia. At 5 o'clock on Sunday morning the Pawnee considered her work finished, and steamed away from Gosport, followed by the sailing-ship Cumberland.

No point of peril had been so clearly foreseen, so carefully provided for, and apparently so securely counteracted as the loss of the three or four valuable ships at Norfolk; and yet, in spite of foresight and precaution, they had gone to worse than ruin through the same train of circumstances which had lost Sumter and permitted the organization of the Montgomery rebellion. The loss of ships and guns was, however, not all; behind these was the damaging moral effect upon the Union cause and feeling. For four consecutive days each day had brought a great disaster- Virginia's secession on the 17th; the burning of Harper's Ferry on the 18th; the Baltimore riot and destruction of railroad bridges on the 19th; the abandonment and destruction of this great navy yard and its ships on the night of the 20th. This began to look like an irresistible current of fate. No popular sentiment could long stem such a tide of misfortune. The rebels of Virginia, Maryland, and especially of Washington began to feel that Providence wrought in their behalf, and that their cherished conspiracy was already crowned with success. Evidently with such a feeling, on this same Tuesday, Associate Justice John A. Campbell, still a member of the Supreme Court and under oath to support the Constitution of the United States, again sent a

letter of aid and comfort to Jefferson Davis. to be damaged; but could they not march He wrote:

Maryland is the object of chief anxiety with the North and the Administration. Their fondest hope will be to command the Chesapeake and relieve the capital. Their pride and their fanaticism would be sadly depressed by a contrary issue. This will be the great point of contest in all negotiations.

I incline to think that they are prepared to abandon the south of the Potomac. But not beyond. Maryland is weak. She has no military men of talents, and I did hear that Colonel Huger was offered command and declined it however, his resignation had not been accepted. Huger is plainly not competent for such a purpose. Lee is in Virginia. Think of the condition of Baltimore and provide for it, for there is the place of danger. The events at Baltimore have placed a new aspect upon everything at the North. There is a perfect storm there. While it has to be met, no unnecessary addition should be made to increase it.*


Another night of feverish public unrest, another day of anxiety to the PresidentWednesday, April 24. There was indeed no attack on the city; but, on the other hand, no arrival of troops to place its security beyond doubt. Repetition of routine duties; repetition of small, unsubstantial rumors; long faces in the streets; a holiday quiet over the city; closed shutters and locked doors of business houses; the occasional clatter of a squad of cavalry from point to point; sentinels about the departments; sentinels about the Executive Mansion; Willard's Hotel, which a week before was swarming with busy crowds, now deserted as if smitten by a plague. - with only furtive servants to wake echoes along the vacant corridors, and in all its vast array of chambers and parlors but a single lady guest to recall the throng of fashion and beauty which had so lately made it a scene of unceasing festivity from midday to midnight. Ever since the telegraph stopped on Sunday night the Washington operators had been listening for the ticking of their instruments, and had occasionally caught fugitive dispatches passing between Maryland secessionists, which were for the greater part immediately known to be unreliable; for General Scott kept up a series of military scouts along the Baltimore railroad as far as Annapolis Junction, twenty miles from Washington, from which point a branch railroad ran at a right angle to the former, twenty miles to Annapolis, on Chesapeake Bay. The general dared not risk a detachment permanently to hold the junction; no considerable secession force had been encountered, and the railroad was yet safe. But it was known, or at least strongly probable, that the volunteers from the North had been at Annapolis since Sunday morning. Why did they not land? Why did they not advance? The Annapolis road was known * Campbell to Davis, April 23, 1861. MS.

twenty miles? The previous day (April 23) had, by some lucky chance, brought a New York mail three days old. The newspapers in it contained breezy premonitions of the Northern storm-Anderson's enthusiastic reception; the departure of the New York 7th regiment; the sailing of Governor Sprague with his Rhode Islanders; the monster meeting in Union Square, with the outpouring of half a million of people in processions and listening to speeches from half a dozen different stands; the energetic measures of the New York Common Council; the formation of the Union Defense Committee; whole columns of orders and proclamations; the flag-raisings; the enlistments; the chartering and freighting of ships; and from all quarters news of the wild, jubilant uprising of the whole immense population of the Free States. All this was gratifying, pride-kindling, reassuring: and yet, read and re-read with avidity in Washington that day, it would always bring after it the galling reflection that all this magnificent outburst of patriotism was paralyzed by the obstacle of a twenty miles' march between Annapolis and the junction. Had the men of the North no legs?

Lincoln, by nature and habit so calm, so equable, so undemonstrative, nevertheless passed this period of interrupted communication and isolation from the North in a state of nervous tension which put all his great powers of mental and physical endurance to their severest trial. General Scott's reports, though invariably expressing his confidence in successful defense, frankly admitted the evident danger; and the President, with his acuteness of observation and his rapidity and correctness of inference, lost no single one of the external indications of doubt and apprehension. Day after day prediction failed and hope was deferred; troops did not come, ships did not arrive, railroads remained broken, messengers failed to reach their destination. That fact itself demonstrated that he was environed by the unknown and that whether a Union or a Secession army would first reach the capital was at best an uncertainty. To a coarse or vulgar nature such a situation would have brought only one of two feelings - either overpowering personal fear, or overweening bravado. But Lincoln, almost a giant in physical stature and strength, combined in his intellectual nature a masculine courage and power of logic with a sentimental tenderness as delicate as a woman's, and an ideal sensitiveness of conscience. This presidential trust which he had assumed was to him not a mere regalia of rank and honor. Its terrible duties and responsibilities seemed rather a coat

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