I have placed two howitzers to command the viaduct, also a sufficient guard to prevent its destruction, and have occupied the station house at the railroad Relay Station.
An officer has been detailed to examine the trains and stop all armed men, arms, and munitions of war. Before, however, we established a full surveillance of the trains, a squad of some ten or twelve men from Baltimore passed up the orad to join the traitors at Harper's Ferry. These men, before I had heard of it, had put the freight train of this morning under contribution and passed some eight miles along the road plundering the country people. All such irregularities hereafter will be promptly suppressed.
A matter of some doubt has arisen in this connection. A burden train passed up toward Harper's Ferry, laden with wheat, whisky (a great quantity of it), spades, picks, and shovels; all these were marked for Virginia. In the doubt, the officer in charge allowed the train to pass until further orders. What shall be done with such freight?
I learn that I am in the immediate neighborhood of the residence of Major-General Carroll, a gentleman who is most bitter in his hostility to the Government, who ordered out the troops under his command to oppose the passage of the U. S. troops across Baltimore. Two companies of cavalry alone responded to the call from this vicinity. They were commanded by Captain William H. Dorsey and Captain George R. Gaither, both violent rebels, who have more than once put themselves in a hostile attitude to the U. S. Government. They have conducted themselves with great violence, and in fact are now in arms against the Union, although nominally holding commissions from the governor of Maryland. Can anything be done with them? Might they not be arrested and at least restrained until we are certain what will be the disposition of Maryland? But this is a matter for your better judgment.
I find the people here exceedingly friendly, and I have no doubt that with my present force I could march through Baltimore. I am the more convinced of this, because i learn that for several days many of the armed secessionists have left for Harper's Ferry or have gone forth plundering the country.
I trust my acts may meet your approbation, whatever you may think of my suggestions.
Most truly, your obedient servant,
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA,
Philadelphia, Pa., may 6, 1861.
Lieutenant Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND,
Asst. Adjt. General, Hdqrs. of the Army, Washington City:
COLONEL: I received last evening a telegram from the honorable Secretary of War, directing me to send immediately to Washington, via York, six regiments of volunteers, but at so late an hour I could acknowledge its receipt only by a postscript to a letter then about to be dispatched to you. I, however, ordered the six best regiments in the department to be prepared for immediate call.
I have now to present, through the General-in-Chief, for the consideration of the honorable Secretary of War, a renewal of my reasons why these regiments should not be passed, without urgent necessity, through the city of Baltimore. I premise my reasons by the statement