ing four hundred, went down to-day to Norfolk, to join the companies there and your forces coming from Charleston. You know how many we want. As leader we want Davis. An hour now is worth years of common fighting. One dash and Lincoln is taken, the country saved, and the leader who does it will be immortalized.
H. D. BIRD.
P. S.-Pollard knows me.
Extract from proceedings of the Advisory Council of the State of Virginia.
SUNDAY, April 21, 1861.
* * * * * *
It being considered desirable to ascertain the condition of affairs and the state of public opinion in Maryland, the governor is respectfully advised to appoint Colonel James M. Mason a commissioner to proceed forthwith to that State, and to acquire and communicate to the governor such information as he may obtain.
JOHN J. ALLEN.
FRANCIS H. SMITH.
M. F. MAURY.
Harper's Ferry, Va., April 21, 1861.
General WM. H. RICHARDSON, Adjutant-General:
DEAR SIR: My present force here is about two thousand. I have endeavored to-day to get up a consolidated report of the strength and condition of my command, but defer it on account of imperfectness in the returns.
I have effected an understanding with the Maryland authorities. The are pledged to report to me any hostile approach through their territory, and consent to the occupancy of the heights commanding my position whenever necessity requires it. I have guarded all the approaches east and west, and established telegraphic communications, to guard against surprise.
The work of forwarding to Winchester uncompleted arms and machinery progresses rapidly. The arrangements for this branch of my duties are so nearly completed, that I hope to give more of my attention to the military command. From necessity I have had to devolve many of the details upon General Carson. I have had to assume heavy responsibilities, and felt some embarrassment in the absence of all written instructions. The troops assembled without ammunition, generally, and, there being little here, I have had to send abroad for it.
Not being informed of the troops ordered into service, I have, so far, received all which were presented. General Meem, of the Seventh Brigade, reports for duty, as he states, upon verbal orders, received through Colonel Crump, from the governor. This presents some difficulty. I see no reason for the employment of three brigadier-generals for such a force; but, not being informed of the number of troops ordered to this point, I of course recognize him. General Carson's brigade has reported to-day; numbers six hundred and fifty-five. General