It is "left to the commanding general to watch and await their action, which, if it shall be to arm their people against the United States, he is to adopt the most prompt and efficient means to counteract, even if necessary to the bombardment of their cities, and in the extremes necessity suspension of the writ of habeas corpus."
In the absence of the undersigned, the foregoing instructions are turned over to Brigadier General B. F. Butler, of the Massachusetts Volunteers, or other officer commanding at Annapolis, who will carry them out in a right spirit; that is, with moderation and firmness. In the case of arrested individuals notorious for their hostility to the United States, the prisoners will be safely kept and duly cared for, but not surrendered except on the order of the commander aforesaid.
HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
Washington, April 26, 1861.
I. From the known assemblage near this city of numerous hostile bodies of troops it is evident that an attack upon it may be expected at any moment. In such an event, to meet and overwhelm the enemy, it is necessary that some plan of harmonious co-operation should be adopted on the part of all the forces, regular and volunteer, present for the defense of the capital-that is, for the defense of the Government, the peaceable inhabitants of the city, their property, the public buildings, and public archives.
II. At the first moment of an attack every regiment, battalion, squadron, and independent company will promptly assemble at its established rendezvous (in or out of the public buildings), ready for battle, and wait for orders.
III. The pickets (or advance-guards) will stand fast till driven in by overwhelming force; but it is expected that those stationed to defend bridges-having every advantage of position-will not give way till actually pushed by the bayonet. Such obstinacy on the part of pickets so stationed is absolutely necessary to give time for the troops in the rear to reach their places of rendezvous.
IV. All advance guards and pickets driven in will fall back slowly and delay the advance of the enemy as much as possible before repairing to their proper rendezvous.
V. On the happening of an attack the troops lodged in the public buildings and in the navy-yard will remain for their defense, respectively, unless specially ordered elsewhere, with the exceptions that the Seventh New York Regiment and the Massachusetts regiment will march rapidly towards the President's square for its defense, and the Rhode Island regiment (in the Department of the Interior) will make a diversion or detachment to assist in the defense of the General Post-Office building, if it be necessary.
E. D. TOWNSEND,
The following assignment was informally made before the arrival of any volunteer regiments from the North. The officers passed the night