I do not believe we can much longer escape trouble in Kentucky. The sympathy for the South and the inclination to secession among our people is much stronger in the southwestern corner of the State than it is in any other part, and as you proceed towards the upper section of the Ohio River and our Virginia line it gradually becomes weaker until it is almost wholly lost. The vote for our delegates to the Border State Conventio was not a true test of the strength of parties in our State, though I doubt not that two-thirds of our people are unconditionally for the Union. The timid and quiet are for it, and they shrink from convulsion and civil war, whilst all the bold, the reckless, and the bankrupt are for secession. They think that if they could have a large body of their partisans armed as the Knights of the Golden Cross, the State Guards, &c., they could strike a startling blow, establish extensively over the State a reign of terror, and force Kentucky out as Virginia and Tennessee were taken. Such an attempt would have been much more apt to have succeeded before the distribution of the arms that we obtained through Lieutenant Nelson. Since the Union men got them they have organized companies and have been actively drilling, and they feel much more confidence in their ability to defend themselves and a growing disposition to uphold the Union at all hazards; but all the efforts of our governor and of our inspector-general have been to arm the secessionists and to keep arms from the Union men. The consequence is that the secessionists have the largest number of armed men.
We have placed the 5,000 muskets in the hands of the Union men, of whom about one-half would use them in defense of the Union in their particular localities and the others anywhere in the State. We have something like one hundred companies organized widely over the State who have applied for arms since we distributed our whole stock, and we have not been able to furnish them with a gun. We were promised 5,000 more of muskets and 8,000 Sharp's and Enfield rifles. It has been unfortunate that they were withheld, for we could by this time have had them all distributed to good men, which would have made the Union strength in the State invincible. There is a great difference between Union men armed and unarmed. We ought to be putting many more guns in the hands of our friends, and particularly in the northern and eastern sections of the State, for there the largest body of its most faithful friends is to be found. About the latter part of this month or first of July the ball will very probably open. You will have to move on Paducah and Columbus, in this State, and Memphis, in Tennessee, and if we now had the arms that were promised us we would have ready three times as large a movable force to aid you as we could now bring in the field. We will find our governor a declared and active rebel, and we would have ample numbers to drive him from the State.
Your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA,
Chambersburg, Pa., June 12, 1861.
Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND, Headquarters of Army, Washington City:
General Cadwalader arrived, and goes to Greencastle to command First Division, composed of First, Third, and Fourth Brigades. Am delayed for want of transportation, which comes in slowly. Saturday shall establish depot at Hagerstown, well guarded in advance. Write by mail to-day. Nothing new.