Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Charles Du Pont Bird Letter - 1861

Charles du Pont Bird a student at Loyola college in Baltimore in 1861 wrote this letter to the Governor of Virginia, that eventually was forwarded to Gen'l Robt E Lee. No action was ever taken on it.

NORFOLK, 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,

Colonel and Aide-de-Camp

Loyola College
Baltimore, April 25, 1861

A Strong feeling in the two lower counties of Delaware is aroused in favor of Delaware joining the Southern Confederacy. With a man or two from you to give directions 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 Government 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 relatives 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 theses works for a few weeks the stock of powder for the Southern Confederacy would be largely increased. Information 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 thousand 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, your, and every moment waiting your orders, I am
Charles Du Pont Bird
Loyola College, Baltimore, Md.

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