War of the Rebellion: Serial 002 Page 0143 Chapter IX. BALTIMORE POLICE COMMISSIONERS.

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force of the police law, or to discharge any officer engaged in its execution. If any provision of the law fails to be executed it will be from the choice of the city; and if any officer, except such as are herein named, leave the service, it will be upon his own decision.

You will cause these views to be made known as the rule of your conduct.

I repeat my declaration and my purpose: No intervention with the laws or government of the city whatever is intended, except to prevent secret, violent, and treasonable combinations of disloyal men against the Government of the United States.

I am, sir, truly, yours, &c.


Colonel KENLY, Provost-Marshal.



Matters being thus arranged, the board of police commissioners went into secret session. The result of their deliberation was embodied in the following preamble and resolutions:

Whereas the laws of the State of Maryland give the whole and exclusive control of the police force of the city to the board of police, organized and appointed by the general assembly, and not only are said board bound to exercise the powers is and to discharge the duties imposed upon them, but all other persons are positively prohibited, under heavy penalties, from interfering, with them in so doing; and.

Whereas there is no power given to the board to transfer the control of any portion of the police force to any person or persons whomsoever other than the officers of police appointed by them, in pursuance of the express provisions of the law, and under their orders; and.

Whereas, by order of Major-General Banks, an officer of the U. S. Army commanding in this city, the marshal of police has been arrested, the board of police superseded, and an officer of the Army has been appointed provost-marshal, and directed to assume a the command and control of the police force of this city: Therefore, be it

Resolved, That this board do solemnly protest against the orders and proceedings above referred to of Major-General Banks as an arbitrary exercise of military power, not warranted by any provision of the Constitution or laws of the United States of the State of Maryland, but in derogation of all of them.

Resolved, That whilst the board, yielding to the force of circumstances, will do nothing to increase the present excitement or obstruct the execution of such measures as Major-General Banks may deem proper to take on his own responsibility for the preservation, of the peace of the city and of public order, they cannot consistently with their views of official duty and of obligation to their oaths of office recognize the right of any of the officer and men of the police force as such to receive orders or directions from any other authority than from this board.

Resolved, That, in the opinion of the board the forcible suspension of their functions suspends at the same time the active operation of the police law, and puts the officers and men off duty for the present; leaving them subject, however, to the rules and regulations of the service as to their personal conduct and deportment, and to the orders which this board may see fit hereafter to issue when the present illegal suspension of their functions shall be removed.

[Signed by all the board.]

In conformity with these resolves, the board summoned the different police captains, and informed them that they had concluded to disband the police force, and through the captains the men were informed of this intention. They accordingly vacated the station-houses, and divested themselves of the insignia of office.