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[58]

General Butler 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 to Washington, 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, President 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. Mr. Felton

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