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Doc. 146.-General Butler's orders.-Headquarters, Relay House, May 8, 1861.

The General in command congratulates the troops upon the promptness with which they have moved and occupied their present position, which he believes to be impregnable against any force which may be brought against it. Tho position of Major Cooke's battery commanding the viaduct, with his section in position commanding the railroad to Harper's Ferry, supported by the strong detachment of Colonel Jones' regiment at the Relay House, renders all movements by the railroad entirely [209] within our command. The same guns command with grape and canister the ford below the iron works, while the extended pickets of Colonel Lyons fully protect the rear.

The General has been thus particular in describing his position, so that each portion of the force might know how to conduct in case of an attack which it only requires vigilance to foil. The General takes this opportunity publicly as he has done privately to thank Lieutenants Fox and Shilley, of the Eighth regiment, for their coolness, promptitude, and zeal in arresting one Spencer, who was uttering in the presence of the troops at the Relay House the atrocious sentiment that--“We [meaning himself and brother rebels] acted rightly toward the Massachusetts troops three weeks ago Friday.” And saying “that the murderous mob who killed our friends there were right in their action; and that the same men were preparing to give us a warm reception on our return.” For these treasonable speeches substantially admitted by him in his written examination, Spencer has been arrested and sent to Annapolis, where he will be properly dealt with.

Two incidents of the gravest character marked the progress of yesterday. Charles Leonard, private of Company G, Eighth Regiment, of New York, was accidentally killed instantaneously by the discharge of a musket, from which he was drawing the charge. He was buried with all the honors, amidst the gloom and sorrow of every United States soldier at this post, and the tender sympathies of many of the loyal inhabitants in our neighborhood.

It is fitting that we pause here, even in the discharge of our present solemn duties, to drop a tear upon the grave of a fellow-soldier, a friend and brother. A pure patriot, he gave up home for his country; a heroic, conscientious soldier, he died in the act of discharging his duty; and, although he was not stricken by the hand of death amid the clangor of arms, and in the heat of contest, yet his death was no less glorious because he met it in the quiet performance of his military duty. As a citizen he took up arms at his country's call; as a private soldier he sought only to fight in her ranks, and lie met his death in support of that flag which we all revere and love. The first offering of New York of the life of one of her sons upon the country's altar, his blood mingling on the soil of Maryland with that of the Massachusetts men murdered at Baltimore, will form a new bond of union between us and all loyal States; so that, without need of further incentive to our duty, we are spurred on by the example of the life and death of Leonard.

The other matter to which the General desires to call the attention of the troops is this: Wishing to establish the most friendly relations between you and this neighborhood, the General invited all venders of supplies to visit our camp and replenish our somewhat scanty commissariat. But to his disgust and horror he finds well-authenticated evidence that a private in the Sixth regiment has been poisoned by means of strychnine administered in the food brought into the camp by one of these peddlers. I am happy to be informed that the man is now out of danger. This act, of course, will render it necessary for me to cut off all purchases from unauthorized persons.

Are our few insane enemies among the loyal men of Maryland, prepared to wage war upon us in this manner? Do they know the terrible lesson of warfare they are teaching us? Can it be that they realize the fact that we can put an agent with a word into every household armed with this terrible weapon? In view of the terrible consequences of this mode of warfare, if adopted by us from their teaching, with every sentiment of devotional prayer, may we not exclaim, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”

Certain it is that any other such attempt, reasonably authenticated as to the person committing it, will be followed by the swiftest, surest, and most condign punishment.

Colonels Lyons, Jones, and Major Cooke are charged with the execution of this order so far as relates to their several commands, and they will promulgate the same by causing it to be read distinctly at the head of each company at morning roll call.

By order of B. F. Butler, Brig.-Gen. Commanding.

Edward G. Parker, Lieut. Col., Aide-de-Camp.--N. Y. Herald, May 10.

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Alfred Spencer (2)
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William Hemphill Jones (2)
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