at Fairfax Court-House, to preserve the government property and to relieve the wounded. In the organization of the national army, Governor Morgan, supposing he had a right to propose the names of two major-generals from his State, sent Wadsworth's and Dix's to the President. Wadsworth, however, upon learning that but one was allowed, immediately declined the intended honor, considering General Dix to be better qualified for the service. Afterwards, in the summer of 1861, Wadsworth was made a brigadier. Whatever may be the judgment of intelligent critics upon the expediency of taking generals from civil life, and however unsatisfactory they may consider the reasons which influence the government in making such appointments, it is admitted by all that Wadsworth received his commission with diffidence, and that his genius, which was essentially military, coupled with his attention to his duties, soon made him an efficient officer. His brigade was attached to the Army of the Potomac, and stationed in the advance, near Upton's Hill. He lay there during the autumn of 1861 and the succeeding winter, impatient at the delay of the Commander-in-Chief in moving upon Manassas, and always insisting upon what has since been proved to be true, that the enemy's force there was for a long time too weak to resist any serious attack upon it, if we had made one. He asked, indeed, permission to follow the retreating enemy, but was refused. In March, 1862, General Wadsworth was appointed Military Governor of Washington, and for nine months discharged the very delicate and responsible duties of that office with great satisfaction to the government. A competent writer, who served under him, says:–
While he gave the citizens all the liberties consistent with public safety, he took vigorous measures against traitors, spies, blockade-runners, and kidnappers. He seized the slave-pen, discharged the captives, and permanently established the rule that no negro should be taken out of the District of Columbia, under color of the Fugitive Slave Law, without an examination on the part of the military authorities respecting the loyalty of the master. . . .