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[192] occurring in the discharge of this duty were interesting and exciting, though they do not fall within the scope of this volume.

During the month of April, 1861, all was in confusion in Washington. Senators and representatives in Congress had left their seats, and others were expected to follow their States; occupants of the bench were leaving their court rooms; officers of the army and navy were daily offering their resignations; several members of the diplomatic corps were reported to be on their way home to cast their lot with the Confederacy; many subordinate officials of the Government were resigning, and others were suspected of holding their positions more that they might effectively serve the new Government than because of the sentiment of loyalty. Public sentiment in Washington was inclined to be pro-Southern in the early days of Lincoln's administration. The passage of troops through Baltimore for the defense of Washington was resisted by force. Maryland and Kentucky were hoping to preserve neutrality during the coming contest. No one knew what a day might bring forth.

To add to the confusion, thousands who had no sympathy with secession doubted the Constitutional right of coercion and openly expressed their opposition to such a course. Suspicion and ill-feeling were prevalent, since the attitude of many thousands toward the Union was a matter of uncertainty. Spies and informers developed in such numbers as to remind one of the days of later Rome. Into the ears of the Government officials a constant stream of suspicion was poured. As a result the arrest of hundreds was ordered without warrants on the simple order from the State or War Department, chiefly the former. Some typical orders read as follows:

Arrest W. H. Winder and send him to Fort Lafayette, New York.

W. H. Seward, Secretary of State.


Arrest man referred to in your letter of the 11th and send him to Fort Lafayette.

Simon Cameron, Secretary of War.


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