civil war here before the new Administration and new Congress could be in authority to subdue it. I desired to avoid giving them that advantage.
I conferred throughout with General Scott and Mr. Stanton, then in Mr. Buchanan's Cabinet.
I presume I conversed with others in a way that seemed to me best calculated to leave the inauguration of a war to the secessionists, and to delay it, in any case, until the new Administration should be in possession of the Government.
It was less military demonstration that was wanted at that particular moment than political discretion.
Discretion taught two duties; namely, to awaken patriotism in the North, and to get the secessionists, with Buchanan's Administration, out of Washington.
Mr. Adams well and thoroughly understood me. On the 22d of February, in concert with Mr. Stanton, I caused the United-States flag to be displayed throughout all the Northern and Western portions of the United States.
did not leave Washington
until he had come to a definite understanding in regard to the route by which to forward troops to Washington
, should a call for them be made.
He had been cordially received by General Scott
, to whom the purpose of his mission was made known, and he was referred to Colonel Keyes
of General Scott
's staff for information upon matters of detail.
It was then arranged, that, in case of a call, the troops should be forwarded by sea to Annapolis
stated, that all other routes to Washington
would be unsafe; that, for this reason, General Scott
had placed an officer in command of Fort McHenry
in Baltimore Harbor, upon whom he could rely to hold it to the utmost.
Immediate measures were taken by the Governor
to have the necessary transports in readiness, and Colonel Lee
, of his staff, was detailed to attend to this duty.
The following extract from a letter dated Boston
, Feb. 2, 1861, addressed to the Governor
, by Colonel Lee
, relates a conversation he had held that day with John M. Forbes
, in regard to chartering steamers to be used as transports, which shows that the attention of the Governor
had been given to this subject before Colonel Ritchie
had returned from Washington
Mr. Forbes assures me that he and others will have the transports ready as soon as the men can be, waiting until orders come before the vessel is chartered, so as to keep as quiet as possible.