in infroming you that if a dispatch of mine to Baltimore did not reach there in time to prevent it, which I doubt, I have at Fredericksburg a large and swift steamer subject to my orders, and which I beg to place at the disposal of the Virginia authorities, should they desire to run guns or other material of war up the Potomac or elsewhere. I do not know what steamer has been sent, but presume the George Peabody.
Very respectfully, your obdedient servant,
FRANCIS J. THOMAS,
Colonel and Adjutant-General.
NORTFOLK, April 26, 1861.
Major General ROBERT E. LEE:
Comdr. of the Land and Naval Force of the State of Virginia:
GENERAL: I herewith send you a communication from Charles Du Point Bird, Loyola College, Baltimore, Md., sent to me by Governor Wise.
By order of Walter Gwynn, major-general, commanding forces in Nortfolk Harbor:
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CHAS. F. COLLIER,
Colonel and Aide-de-Camp.
Baltimore, April 25, 1861.
A strong feeling in the two lower couties of Delaware is aroused in fovor of Delaware joing the Southern Confederacy. With a man or two from you to give direction and a hint that arms and men would come if necessary, the people of Sussex themselves would destroy the Delaware railroad terminating at Seaford, on the Nanticoke. This railroad, I am confident, the General Governor of Lincoln wish to secure, that they may transport troops by the Nanticoke River to the Chesapeake, and thence to Washington by the Potomac River. A vessel or two sunk in the Nanticoke will hinder this design. There is considerable trestling work on the Delaware railroad near Dover which would retard that road if it were broken. The arms that Delaware owns are in the hands of the secessionists. The powder mills on the Brandy-wine (owned by relations of mine) should be secured at all hazards. With a not very large force, if we cannot hold them, they should be destroyed. Some of the Du Ponts are friendly to the South. If it is possible to guard these works for a few weeks the stock of powder for the Southern Confederacy would be largely increased. Information is received this a. m. that 8,000 Northern troops are at Annapolis. Do not wait for our Legislature to invite you. Start up the bay at once. If haste is not made, by Saturday night 25,000 troops will be in Washington. The Legislature meets at Frederick to-morrow. Nine thousland one hundred and thirty-five was the vote polled in Baltimore for secession candidates. No opposition being made, the vote was small. Come to our help. We need force at the Susquehanna to stop the hordes of the North.
Respectfully, yours, and every moment waithing your orders, I am,
CHARLES DU PONT BIRD,
Loyola College, Baltimore, Md.