I returned to Washington about the 1st of July on urgent private business in no way connected with the Government. I did not go until I had taken the precaution to know whether I would be safe from arrest. A friend who is now in this city wrote that I would be in danger if I expressed my sentiments. My business was so important that I took the risk, and having concluded all I had to do - which by-the-by amounted, to nothing - I was prepared to leave for Kentucky next morning (Tuesday, 23rd of July), and would probably have been here via Tennessee soon after if I had not met Mr. Magraw on Monday evening, who stated that he had been requested by the friends and family of Colonel Cameron to make an effort to obtain his body and that he had promised to do so provided either Mr. Johan D. Hoover or myself would accompany him. I had know Mr. Magraw long and well as sound friend of the South, and believing that it was simply an act of humanity, and with no intention to violate any of the usages of civilized warfare or any desire or design to aid the Government of the United States to do so I consented to accompany him. I was not acting for the Government or in connection with it. With that concern or its members I have had no interest or sympathy, and I think the honorable Secretary judges me very harshly when he classes me as an enemy and that he is also unjust to me in prejudging my case upon ex parte testimony (from from I know not) as to my status in Washington.
I write this particularly for your gentleman who so promptly offered to vouch for me, to satisfy you that you were not mistaken in me; and promising you that you shall never have cause to regret your confidence I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WASHINGTON, April 27, 1861.
DEAR ABRAMS: Your welcome letter of the 19th was received this morning just in time for me, as I am off to-morrow and it might have chased me for some time without catching me. I go to Philadelphia for Mrs. Harris and Ella and take them to Kentucky, where they will stay some time - perhaps all summer. I will remain with them a few days and then be ready for anything. Must take a part in the great drama going on- make myself useful in some way, though I am not fit for very hard service. I shall get letters from Montgomery on my arrival in Kentucky which will decide my course. Most likely I will return to Richmond.
We have a terrible conflict before us. You cannot imagine the state of things at the North. The hordes are out to a man and those we relied on the check the aggressive spirit of the abolitionists have all caved in and are most violent in their hostility to the South, or as they say in sustaining the Government; all fighting under the cry that the Stars ans Stripes must be sustained - an attractive but false issue. They come from hill vale and I verily believe can raise a million of men and all the money they want. The New York banks have offered the Government all their specie, $47,000,000. This place is under a despotism. All who are not loyal to Lincoln must leave. I have been warned by a friend to start or I would be sent out. Seventeen thousand troops here now and 20,000 more in a week. Maryland will have to succumb and they may even attempt to subjugate Virginia. Many openly avow that to be the object. The South must strain every nerve or there is great danger that the Northern rascals will win their game.
96 R R-SERIES II, VOL II