I exercised neither clemency nor rigor. I gave no orders except for their embarkation. They were under the charge and suryeillance of Captain Way with instructions from the govern of Ohio as to their treatment. They were on parle and allowed to visit some of their secession friends not by me but by Captain Way. When they went to the boat 100 or 200 persons followed the carriages and some of them had the bad taste to shout for Jeff. Davis. There was no intereference with them and a half dozen policemen kept order. I put a guard of twenty men under an officer in the boat to escort them to Fort Monroe as a measure of precauton. This is the whole story.
The deputy marshal told me this morning the city had not been so tranquil since April 19. I have adopted stringent measures to secure quiet but they are to ordered as to attract no notice. The regiments are well drilled to street-firing and in half an hour I can have 1,000 men in any part of the city; in forty minutes five times that number.
I beg you, general, not to change my regiments. They have a peculair service to perform in case of an outbreak and every time a change is made I have to begin the work of preparation anew. The work on Federal Hill was commenced yesterday. The Seventeenth and Twenty-first Massachusetts and the Seventh Maine Regiments arrived to-day. I keep them all and send the Pennsylvania Fourth to you to-morrow; the Pennsylvania First from Annapolis shortly. I wish I could be allowed to keep it and send one of the Massachusetts regiments instead. Colonel Roberts, of the Pennsylvania First, was selected for his peculiar qualifications. He is just suited to Annapolis; very intelligent, gentlemanly and discreet. Everything is going on so well it is a pity to relieve him. I wrote to Major-General McClellan but he is I know very busy and I have not heard from him. I shall unless his former direction is changed send Colonel Roberts to Washington as soon as I can see those colonels who came in to-day and find a suitable substitute.
With the sincerest respect, I am faithfully, yours,
JOHN A. DIX.
FORT McHENRY, August 31, 1861.
Honorable M. BLAIR.
MY DEAR SIR: I have received the letter of the postmaster of Baltimore with your indorsement. * in regard to the Exchange and other secessionist presses in that city. I presume you are not aware that an order for the suppression of these presses was made out in one of the Departments of Washington and in consequence of strong remonstrnaces from Uion men in Baltimore was not inssued. Under these circumstances it would not be proper for me to act without the authority of the Government. Any action by me without such authority would be improper for another reason that probably does not occur to you. The command of General McClellan has been extended over the State of Maryland. I am his subordinate and have corresponded with him on the subject. I cannot therefore act without his direction. But independently of this consideration I think a measure of so much gravity as the suppression of a newspaper by military force should carry with it the whole weight of the influence and authority of the Government especially when the publication is made almost under its eye.