War of the Rebellion: Serial 002 Page 0017 Chapter IX. RIOT IN BALTIMORE, MD.

Search Civil War Official Records

At last, when I found that my presence was of no use, either in preventing the contest or saving life, I left the head of the column, but immediately after I did so Marshal Kane, with about fifty policemen, from the direction of the Camden station, rushed to the rear of the troops, forming a line across the street and with drawn revolvers checking and keeping off the mob. The movement, which I saw myself, was perfectly successful and gallantly performed. I submit herewith marshal Kane's account of the affair, published on the 4th of May last,* which substantially agrees with my own.

It is doing bare just to say that the board of police, the marshal of police, and the men under his command, exerted themselves bravely, efficiently, skillfully, and in good faith to preserve the peace and protect life. If proper notice had been given of the arrival of the troops and of the number expected, the outbreak might have been prevented entirely; and but for the timely arrival of Marshal Kane with his force, as I have described, the bloodshed would have been great. The wounded among the troops received the care and medical attention at the expense of the city, and the bodies of the killed were carefully and respectfully returned to their friends.

The facts which I witnessed myself, and all that I have since heard, satisfy me that the attack was the result of a sudden impulse, and not of a premeditated scheme. But the effect on our citizens was for a time uncontrollable. In the intense excitement which ensued, which lasted for many days, and which was shared by men of all parties, and by our volunteer soldiers as well as citizens, it would have been impossible to convey more troops from the North through the city without a severe fight and bloodshed. Such an occurrence would have been impossible to convey more troops from the North through the city without a severe fight and bloodshed. Such an occurrence would have been fatal to the city, and accordingly to prevent it the bridges on the Northern Central Railroad and on the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad were, with the consent of the governor and by my order, with the co-operation of the board of police (except Mr. Charles D. Hinks, who was absent from the city), partially disabled and burned, so as to prevent the immediate approach of troops to the city, but with no purpose of hostility to the Federal Government. This act, with the motive which prompted it, has been reported by the board of police to the legislature of the State and approved by that body, and was also immediately communicated by me in person to the President of the United States and his Cabinet. I inclose a copy of the report made by the board of police to the legislature on the 3rd of May last.+ On the evening of the 19th of April, a portion of the military of the city were called out. On the 20th of April, your honorable body, by a unanimous vote, placed at my disposal the sum of $500,000 for the defense of the city, and the banks, with great patriotism and unanimity, voluntarily offered to advance the money through a committee of their presidents, consisting of Messrs. Columbus O'Donnell, Johns Hopkins, and John Clark, who notified me, in person, of the fact, on the morning of the 20th of April, at the mayor's office. A number of citizens in all the wards volunteered for the purpose of defense, and were enrolled under the direction of the board of police; and for their use arms were partially provided. The Commander-in-Chief of the forces of the United States, with the approbation of the President, in view of the condition of affairs then existing in the city, on the earnest application of the governor of the State, of prominent citizens, and myself, ordered that hereafter the troops should not be brought through Baltimore, and


*Not found, but see Kane's statement of May 9, p.13.

+Numbers 2, pp.9-11.