if the 5,000 cavalry which you say can be furnished could be rallied now in defense of the Government. The appearance of such a body of men on the north bank of the Potomac-the property-holders, I may say the elite of the State-ready to sacrifice their lives in defense of her soil and to aid in putting down rebellion, would, I have no doubt, have a moral influence on both sides of the present line of conflict which would do much to bring the war to a speedy conclusion. In this result no one would rejoice more than myself. But when I witness the active movements at this moment to embarrass the Government, misrepresent its motives, and compel it to disarm, in order that the enemy at its door may the more effectually overthrow it, I confess I must come back to the conclusion that, until a better feeling prevails, the preservation of Maryland to the Union (and without her the Union could not exist) cannot be safely left to herself. I trust the time is not far distant when it may, and when my occupation will be gone.
I am, very respectfully, yours,
JOHN A. DIX,
HEADQUARTERS HOOKER'S DIVISION,
Six miles from Budd's Ferry, Md., October 30, 1861.
Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS,
Adjutant-General Army of the Potomac:
GENERAL: I have just returned from Budd's Ferry, where I have been to examine the enemy's defenses, and also, in company with Captain Williamson, to determine on the best point to throw up the earthwork which I was directed to do last night. Instead of establishing it on the line A, as was indicated, we are of opinion that it should be on the bank of the river, and about 70 yards north of Budd's house. The ground is favorable; it cant be approached by the batteries under cover, and is on an angle of the enemy's main work, between the guns which are planted to range upstream and those to fire downstream. Some of their guns, however, are not confined by embrasures, but they are fewer in number. Another advantage in this location, it is three-fourths of a mile nearer to the object in view. It is directly across the river from the steamer Page. We could see about three-fourths of the length of her smoke-pipe and the greater part of her walking-beam. Her hull is entirely concealed from view; near to her, but higher up the stream, are two schooners, indicating that the stream is not navigable much above that point. The steamer may be able to move a little higher up or down the river, but in neither case will it improve her anchorage, as from the nature of the ground she is as much concealed as she can be. She presents a small object to strike at our distance, but it is practicable, and I have given directions for the work to be done to-night. Captain Williamson is on the ground to commence work soon after dark. It is to be merely a shelter for the men and guns. Even if it should not be wanted against the Page at her present anchorage, it may some time be of service when she leaves it, if she ever does. I omitted to state in my report of yesterday that I have no 20-pounder Parrott guns, the largest caliber being 10-pounders, of which I have eight. Lieutenant-Colonel Getty informs me that the rebels have one 30-pounder rifle piece and three of smaller caliber; the former is supposed to be the one captured at Bull Run.