Ford, where I am informed the foes of law and order are making some small head. I believe these dispositions will prevent further annoyance to the railroad, and I have received from Philadelphia a corps of competent track repairers, who are now putting a destroyed bridge in order, so that I trust here after our communications will not be obstructed, and the regular trains will pass over the road. Acting under what I believed were the instructions from headquarters, I have pushed forward all the troops possible with more celerity than I otherwise would have dictated to Washington. I expect the arrival to-morrow or during the night of upwards of three thousand New Jersey troops, some two thousand from New York and about a thousand from Pennsylvania. These are all of which I have authentic intelligence. I do myself the honor to inclose herewith a list of the troops which have arrived and departed.
I have received what I believe to be authentic intelligence from the information of Mr. [Purnell], of Baltimore, who had the honor to receive the nomination of postmaster of that city, and who is comptroller of the State of Maryland, and whom I believe to be a loyal and true man. He states, in a personal conversation with me, that he has positive information that scaling ladders are being prepared, and that a force is being organized for the purpose of throwing up batteries on the heights, with the intention of making an assault upon Fort McHenry. This information, if true, as I believe it to be, is important.
The steam gunboat of three guns Monticello has just reported to me, and I shall be able to send up re-enforcements or supplies. A list of the stores on board that vessel I have the honor to inclose.
Unless otherwise directed I shall continue to forward supplies with what celerity I may, and troops more slowly and with more comfort to themselves.
Since I commenced writing this dispatch I have received notice from the roadmaster that the track is in good running order, but we are deficient in engines and cars, which I hope to receive from Philadelphia tomorrow.
I had the honor also to receive the order* as to the course to be pursued in the case of the secession of Maryland. i will endeavor to carry out the orders with firmness and moderation.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. F. BUTLER.
OFFICE PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD COMPANY,
Philadelphia, April 27, 1861.
Honorable SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War:
Yours of the 24th is received.+ Mr. Scott left Harrisburg on the 25th to go to Washington, and I presume is with you now, unless he has fallen by the way. I congratulate you upon having secured the safety of the capital, and trust that you will as soon as possible reduce Baltimore to her allegiance. This will not be a difficult matter when they know that you are strong. The Union men of that place should be courted, and made to lead in the restoration of the city to law and order.
* * * * * * *
This war can be brought to a close in ninety days, if pushed with the vigor that the people now seem disposed to sustain it.
In haste, yours, very truly,
J. EDGAR THOMSON.
*See General Scott's order of April 26, 1861, p. 601.