I shall to-morrow morning throw up the earth works at the point named. As it is sheltered by trees, it can be done as safely and with as much secrecy by day as night. I am to inform Captain Craven when the Page shows herself.
The enemy have been busy in establishing new batteries to-day, which in part confirms me in the opinion that they are still acting on the defensive. They have thrown a few shot to-day from the battery directly opposite to Budd's Ferry. To-morrow I intend to make an examination of the rebel works myself, and shall be able to make a more satisfactory report concerning them. I had hoped that ere this my information respecting the rebel force would have enabled me to suggest the expediency of having my command transferred across the river, either above or below these batteries. With my guns in position, I think the Page will not venture down the creek except at night.
I inclose the report of Captain Williamson's examination of the bank of the river at or near Indian Point.
The Posey trial is not yet concluded; more arrests have been made.
Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA,
Baltimore, Md., October 29, 1861.
J. CRAWFORD NEILSON,
Glenville, Harford County, Maryland:
SIR: I have just received your letter of the 28th. We have no Merrill rifled, and, as I said to you, the Government prefers to rely for the safety of Maryland on the military corps regularly enlisted into the service of the United States. There are some 6,000 Maryland troops now organized, and there will be an addition of at least 2,000 to this number before the 1st of December. They are ready to uphold the Government against all adversaries. Could we rely on the gentlemen in whose hands you propose to place arms for support under all circumstances? Suppose a Confederate army should succeed in crossing the Potomac into this State, would they not be as likely to go over to it as to co-operate in repelling it as a hostile invasion? In other words, would they not be disposed to welcome the invaders as friends rather than to resist them as enemies? Would the gentlemen referred to be willing to take the oath of allegiance prescribed by Congress, a copy of which I annex? Would you take the oath yourself? You will not understand me as desiring to inquire into your political opinions, but as you have asked the Government to furnish you and your neighbors with arms, I am naturally anxious to be assured that the conditions on which such applications are granted under any circumstances would be complies with. I should be very sorry to have it supposed that the inquiries I have made imply any doubt of the patriotism of yourself or your neighbors. They are not, I assure you, so intended. But in this most unnatural conflict I have found among these for whom I have always has the sincerest respect opinions which seemed to me utterly irreconcilable with what I regard as the clearest obligations of duty as citizens.
It would be a most happy thing for Maryland and for the whole Union.