necessity of such a step, in furtherance of the evident designs of the secession leaders, must be apparent to all. It little becomes me, however, except for my own vindication, and incidentally, to enter upon an exposition of that plot. Time will fully unveil the plans of the traitors. Already has sufficient been disclosed to satisfy any unprejudiced mind that all the details were matured which were designed to precipitate Maryland into rebellion against the General Government, and thus render our State the theatre of war. The following letter will show that the burning of the bridges was a foregone conclusion before my consent was asked--
Bradley T. Johnson sought and had an interview with us relative to a telegraphic despatch which he had received within an hour before from George P. Kane, Marshal of Police of Baltimore City, and which has since appeared in the public prints. In the course of that interview, Mr. Johnson, in unfolding the plans of those with whom he was cooperating, stated that they were determined to resist the passage of Federal troops through Maryland; and, as one of the means to accomplish that end, that the bridges on the railroads leading into Baltimore would be burned or destroyed. Some of us are clear in our recollection that he said the bridges would be destroyed that night. Others are not so clear in our recollection on that point. Very respectfully, your obedient servants,
Add to this the undeniable fact that many of the volunteer companies in Maryland were eagerly looking for an outbreak, and the subsequent attempt of the Legislature to pass the “Public safety bill” in secret session, and I think no one can fail to see that the conspiracy, of which an attempt has been made to make me a participant, was fully and deliberately planned, and might have accomplished its diabolical designs had not the people frustrated it by an unmistakable expression of their determination to crush it at the point of the bayonet. Deeply regretting the necessity which has impelled me to vindicate myself from the charge brought against me, and with the assurance that I have done so only out of regard to the honor and dignity of my official position, I leave the matter to the judgment of a people whom I have endeavored faithfully to serve, and whose interests and safety I have constantly had in view.The annexed copy of a handbill circulated throughout Western Maryland by Bradley T. Johnson, is evidence that Marshal Kane and his allies had made all the necessary provisions in anticipation of the pre-arranged attack upon the Massachusetts troops:All men who will go with me will report themselves as soon as possible, providing themselves with such arms and accoutrements as they can; double-barrelled shot guns and buckshot are efficient. They will assemble, after reporting themselves, at 10 1/2 o'clock, so as to go down in the 11 1/2 train.
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Marylanders, arouse!Frederick, Saturday, 7 o'clock A. M., 1861.At 12 o'clock last night, I received the following despatch from Marshal Kane, of Baltimore, by telegraph to the Junction, and express to Frederick: Thank you for your offer. Bring your men by the first train, and we will arrange with the railroad afterward. Streets red with Maryland blood! Send expresses over the mountains and valleys of Maryland and Virginia for their riflemen to come without delay. Fresh hordes will be down upon us to-morrow (the 20th.) We will fight them, and whip them, or die.