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[529] Dix commanding in New-York. Lieut. Gen. Winfield Scott, at Washington, was commander-in-chief, as well as in immediate charge of the large force rapidly pouring into the capital and its environs — in part, by steamboat up the Potomac; in part, by way of the Railroad through Baltimore. There were cities that hailed the Union soldiers with greater enthusiasm, but none that treated them with more civility and deference, than Baltimore, from and after Butler's arrival in that city; though he somewhat embarrassed the trade of that hitherto thriving mart by searching for and seizing large quantities of arms, secreted in her cellars or snugly stowed away in the holds of her vessels, awaiting transportation to lower Virginia. One of his last and most important seizures was that of the person of George P. Kane, Marshal of Police; who, making all possible opposition to captures of arms designed for the Rebels, was taken also to the Fort, that he might see that they were in safe hands. Unluckily, he, like other traitors, was not retained there so long as he should have been; but this was by no fault of Gen. Butler, who was ordered to take command at Fortress Monroe, whither he repaired on the 22d, and where he soon found himself at the head of some 15,000 raw but gallant soldiers.

It had been decided that no offensive movement should be made prior to the 24th (the day after the farce of voting to ratify the Ordinance of Secession)--the Government having apparently resolved that no Union soldier should, on that day, tread the soil of Virginia, save within the narrow limits, or immediately under the frowning walls, of Fortress Monroe. So Gen. Butler soon found some ten or twelve thousand Confederates in his front, under command of Gens. Huger and Magruder, (both recently of the regular army,) with earth-works and batteries facing him at every commanding point, well mounted with powerful guns from the spoils of the Norfolk Navy Yard. The white population in that slave-holding neighborhood was so generally disloyal that, of a thousand inhabitants of the little village of Hampton, lying just under the guns of the fort, but a hundred remained on the 1st of June.1

Gen. Butler found his position so cramped by the proximity and audacity of the Rebels, whose cavalry and scouts almost looked into the mouths of his guns, that he resolved on enlarging the circle of his Virginia acquaintance; to which end he seized and fortified the point known as Newport News, at the mouth of James river; and, on the 9th of June, ordered a reconnoissance in force for some eight or ten miles northward, with intent to surround, surprise, and capture, the Rebel position nearest him, known as Little Bethel. To this end, Col. Henry B. Duryea's Zouaves were dispatched from Hampton at 1 o'clock next morning, followed by Col. F. Townsend's 3d New-York, an hour later, with directions to gain the rear of Little Bethel, so as to cut off the retreat of the Rebels; while Col. Phelps, with a Vermont battalion, supported by Bendix's New-York

1 This village was burnt, August 9th, by Magruder's order, that it might no longer afford shelter to our troops. An attempt was at first made to attribute this devastation to the Unionists.

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