was appointed on the 17th to command the Massachusetts Brigade.
He established temporary headquarters in the State House
He was consulted by the Governor
in regard to the movement of the troops; the letters which Colonel Ritchie
had written from Washington
, in February, were read to him; and the arrangements which had been agreed upon by General Scott
and the Governor
, that troops, when called for, should be sent by sea to Annapolis
or by the Potomac River
, were made known.
He was put in possession of all the information which had been obtained respecting the movement of troops to Washington
by way of Annapolis
On the day the requisition for troops came to Governor Andrew
, he telegraphed, in reply, that the troops would be at once forwarded to Annapolis
by sea; to which an answer was received from the Secretary of War
, to ‘send the troops by railroad: they will arrive quicker, the route through Baltimore
is now open.’
In consequence of this despatch, the route was changed, and the Sixth Regiment was forwarded by rail, although, through the activity and foresight of John M. Forbes
, steamers were in readiness to take the regiment by sea. Had the route not been changed, the bloodshed in Baltimore
on the ever-memorable 19th of April would have been avoided.
How the Secretary of War
could have believed the route through Baltimore
was safe, it is difficult to understand, if, as may have been supposed, he was aware of the schemes which were planned in Baltimore
to assassinate Mr. Lincoln
, when on his way to Washington
to be inaugurated, and which were thwarted by the prudence, vigilance, and accurate knowledge of one man.
The true history of Mr. Lincoln
's perilous journey to Washington
in 1861, and the way he escaped death, have never been made public until now. The narrative was written by Samuel M. Felton
, of Philadelphia
of the Philadelphia
and Baltimore Railroad Company, in 1862, at the request of Mr. Sibley
, Librarian of Harvard University; but it was not completed until lately, when it was sent to me, with other valuable material, by Mr. Felton
It has a direct bearing upon events which transpired in forwarding the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment to Washington
, and which are now to be narrated.