Major-General Foster having been relieved from the command of the Department of Virginia and North-Carolina, issued an order bidding farewell to the officers and men serving in the department.
Secretary Stanton sent the following despatch to the Mayor of Buffalo, N. Y., this night:
The British Minister, Lord Lyons, has tonight officially notified the Government that, from telegraphic information received from the Governor-General of Canada, there is reason to believe there is a plot on foot by persons who have found asylum in Canada to invade the United States and destroy the city of Buffalo; that they propose to take possession of some steamboats on Lake Erie, to surprise Johnson's Island, free the prisoners of war confined there, and proceed with them to Buffalo. This Government will employ all means in its power to suppress any hostile attack from Canada; but as other towns and cities on the shores of the lakes are exposed to the same danger, it is deemed proper to communicate this information to you in order that any precautions which the circumstances of the case will permit may be taken. The Governor-General suggests that steamboats or other vessels, giving cause for suspicion by the number or character of persons on board, shall be arrested. You will please acknowledge the receipt of this despatch, and communicate to this Department any information you may now or hereafter have on this subject.
Major-General Butler assumed command of the departments of Eastern Virginia and North-Carolina. His order contained the following:
Representations having been made to the Commanding General that certain disloyally disposed persons within this department do occasionally, by force, interfere with, and by opprobrious and threatening language insult and annoy loyal persons employed in the quiet discharge of their lawful occupations, it is hereby announced that all such conduct and language is hereafter strictly forbidden, and will be punished with military severity. All officers of this department are directed to order the arrest, and to bring such persons as are found offending against this order before the tribunal established for the purpose of punishing offences within this department.