Sunday, September 18, 2016

Major H. Adams Ames to Governor John A. Andrew, April 23, 1861

PERRYVILLE, April 23, 1861

To His Excellency Gov. JNo. A. ANDREw, Commander in Chief

I HAVE just returned from Annapolis, whither I repaired yesterday to learn the exact situation of the 8th regiment under Genl. Butler, and to carry supplies and provisions. I found Genl. Butler engaged in the most energetic prosecution of his plans for opening communication with Washington, in which he had been delayed from various causes. He had only time to spare from his pressing duties before my return, to write you the following dispatch:

To His Excellency, JoHN A. ANDREw

“I have brought the regiment entrusted to me safely here. I believe we have had but one man sick. We have landed at Annapolis. Have full possession of the town, and are gathering in means of transportation to Washington. We have the railroad in our possession. The troops of Massachusetts have done good service, and are worthy of all praise. Major Ames will telegraph more in detail.”

The regiment left Havre de Grace for Annapolis in steamer for transportation troops at six P.M. Saturday, April 20th. Arrived late at night, when secret measures were taken to ascertain the condition of the town. A plot to take possession of the United States Ship Constitution, moored at the wharf of the naval academy, by the secessionists was discovered, and Capt. Devereaux of Salem was detailed with his company to repair on board, & she was towed some five miles out of the town. Sunday, the ferry boat unfortunately got aground, and the troops were obliged to remain on board until this morning, when they effected a landing with the seventh regiment of N. York, which had in the meantime arrived. The Secessionists were preparing to erect a battery, which they were prevented from doing. This morning, hearing of the threatened slave insurrection, Genl. Butler tendered the forces under command to Governor Hicks for its suppression. He is now most vigorously engaged in pushing forward advanced parties toward Washington, returning the rails which were displaced, and will, on the arrival of the troops expected tonight via. N. York, be fully prepared to keep and maintain open communication between Washington and Annapolis. In the meantime, troops are pouring in from Harrisburg to Havre de Grace, now in possession of Penn. troops. And they will, after today, be transported in large numbers to Annapolis, steamers for that service having been sent there from Phil.

I am preparing, by request of Genl. Butler, from data furnished by him, a more detailed account of the doings of the 8th regiment which I will forward you by mail. The troops are in excellent condition and spirits. I am hurrying back to Phil. for future supplies, as well as for cannon and men to fortify and garrison the fort in Annapolis.

H. ADAMs AMEs, Major, Acting Adjt. Com. in Chief

SOURCE: Jessie Ames Marshall, Editor, Private and Official Correspondence of Gen. Benjamin F. Butler During the Period of the Civil War, Volume 1: April 1860 – June 1862, p. 29-30

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