War of the Rebellion: Serial 002 Page 0011 Chapter IX. RIOT IN BALTIMORE, MD.

Search Civil War Official Records

presence of a large body of Pennsylvania troops, amounting to about twenty-four hundred men, [who] had reached Ashland, near Cockeysville, by the way of the Northern Central Railroad, and were stopped in their progress toward Baltimore by the partial destruction of the Ashland Bridge. Every intelligent citizen at all acquainted with the state of feeling then existing must be satisfied that if these troops had attempted to march through the city an immense loss of life would have ensued in the conflict which would necessarily have taken place. The bitter feelings already engendered would have been intensely increased by such a conflict; all attempts at conciliation would have been vain, and terrible destruction would have been the consequence, if, as is certain, other bodies of troops had insisted upon forcing their way through the city.

The tone of the whole of the Northern press and off the mass of the population was violent in the extreme. Incursions upon our city were daily threatened, not only by troops in the service of the Federal Government, but by the vilest and most reckless desperadoes, acting independently, and, as they threatened, in despite of the Government, backed by well-known, influential citizens, and sworn to the commission of all kinds of excesses. In short, every possible effort was made to alarm this community. In this condition of thins the board left it to be their solemn duty to continue the organization which had already been commended for the purpose of assuring the people of Baltimore that no effort would be spared to protect all within its borders to the full extent of their ability. All the means employed were devoted to this end, and with no views of producing a collision with the General government, which the board were particularly anxious to avoid, and an arrangement was happily effected by the mayor with the General Government that no troops hold be passed through the city. As an evidence of the determination of the board to prevent such collision, a sufficient guard was sent in the neighborhood of Fort McHenry several nights to arrest all parties who might be engaged in a threatened attack upon it, and a steam-tug was employed, properly manned, to prevent any hostile demonstration upon the receiving-ship Allegheny, lying at anchor in the harbor, of all which the United States officers in command were duly notified.

Property of various descriptions, belonging to the Government and individuals, was taken possession of by the police force with a view to its security. The best care has been taken of it. Every effort has been made to discover the rightful owners, and a portion of it has already been forwarded to order. Arrangements have been made with the Government agents satisfactory to them for the portion belonging to it, and the balance is held subject to the order of its owners.

Amidst all the excitement and confusion which has since prevailed, the board take great pleasure in stating that the good order and peace of the city have ben preserved to an extraordinary degree. Indeed, to judge from the accounts given by the press of other past week and up to this date, will compare favorably, as to the protection which persons and property have enjoyed, with any other large city in the United States.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

By order of the board:

CHARLES HOWARD, President.