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The following conversation took place early in 1861 between General Winfield Scott and Colonel Charles P. Stone, inspector-general of the District of Columbia:

General Scott: “Gosport navy-yard has been burned.”

Colonel Stone: “Yes, General.”

General Scott: “Harper's Ferry bridge has been burned.”

“Yes, General.”

General Scott: “The bridge at Point of Rocks was burned some days since.”

“Yes, General.”

General Scott: “The bridges over Gunpowder Creek, beyond Baltimore, have been burned.”

“Yes, General.”

General Scott: “They are closing their coils around us, sir.”

“Yes, General.”

General Scott: “Now, how long can we hold out here? ”

“Ten days, General, and within that time the North will come down to us.”

General Scott: “How will they come? The route through Baltimore is cut off.”

“They will come by all routes. They will come between the capes of Virginia, up through Chesapeake Bay, and by the Potomac. They will come, if necessary, from Pennsylvania, through Maryland, directly to us, and they will come through Baltimore and Annapolis.”

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