The President, in reply, called their attention to the fact that the capital was imminently threatened; that he was informed that Rebel batteries were being erected on the Virginia bank of the Potomac
to command the passage of that river; that the Rebel Government
had determined to establish forthwith its headquarters in the house where this interview was held; and that the only effect of yielding to their prayers would be the destruction of the Government
as well as his own death or captivity.
The Young Christians, of course, disclaimed any purpose to produce such a catastrophe; to which the President
replied that their intent
mattered little, since the effect
of the course demanded by Baltimore
could be no other than this.
To a similar but more formal representation from Gov. Hicks
, objecting to the passage of Northern troops across any portion of Maryland
, Gov. Seward
returned the following most moderate and conciliatory answer:
The spirit in which these negotiations were regarded throughout the loyal States is very fairly exhibited in the following letter: