Battles & Leaders of the Civil War
WASHINGTON ON THE EVE OF THE WAR.
SOUTH OF GARDEN SIDE OF THE WHITE HOUSE.-TREASURY BUILDING IN THE DISTANCE.
the night. General Scott also received numerous warnings of danger to the President-elect, which he would give me to study and compare. Many of the communications were anonymous and vague. But, on the other hand, many were from calm and wise men, one of whom became, shortly afterward, a cabinet minister; one was a railway president, another a distinguished ex-governor of a State, etc. In every cause where the indications were distinct, they were followed up to learn if real danger existed.
So many clear indications pointed to Baltimore, that three good detectives of the New York police force were constantly employed there. These men reported frequently to me, and their statements were constantly compared with the information received from independent sources.
Doubtless, Mr. Lincoln, at his home in Springfield, Ill., received many and contradictory reports from the capital, for he took his own way of obtaining information. One night, between 11 o'clock and midnight, while I was busy in my study over the papers of the day and evening, a cared was brought to me, bearing the name "Mr. Leonard Swett," and upon it was written in the well-known hand of General Scott, "Colonel Stone, Inspector-General, may converse freely with Mr. Swett." Soon a tall gentleman of marked features entered my room. At first I thought it was Mr. Lincoln himself, so much, at first glance, did Mr. Swett's face resemble the portraits I had seen of Mr. Lincoln, and so nearly did his height correspond with that attributed to the President-elect. But I quickly found that the gentleman's card bore his true name, and that Mr. Swett had come directly from Mr. Lincoln, having his full confidence, to see for him the state of affairs in Washington, and report to him in person.
Mr. Swett remained several days in the capital, had frequent and long conversations with General Scott and myself (and I suppose also with many others), and with me visited the armories of some of the volunteer companies. As he drove with me to the railway station on his departure, Mr. Swett said: