War of the Rebellion: Serial 002 Page 0153 Chapter IX. BALTIMORE POLICE COMMISSIONERS.

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any reason assigned for superseding them and depriving the citizens of Baltimore of their only legal police authority.

The board of police, yielding to the force which prevented their execution of the laws of this State, submitted to the practical suspension of their functions, and neither offered nor permitted any resistance to such action as the general in command saw fit to adopt.

The provost-marshal, appointed by the general in command to execute the police laws of Maryland for the government of the city of Baltimore, took possession of the offices belonging to the city, and removed certain officials not appointed by the board, but by the mayor and city council of Baltimore, appointing others in their place.

The memorial of the board of police has presented at length the considerations of official duty which made it impossible for them either themselves to aid, or to permit the officers under their command to aid, in violations of the law under which they hold office. A comparison of the reasons assigned by them, with the provisions of the police law, to which they direct your attention, will prove the correctness of their conclusions. Under date of July 1 appeared a third proclamation of the general in command, announcing the arrest of the members of the board of police. Again disclaiming for those under whose authority he acts any intention to interfere with the municipal affairs of Baltimore, he assigns certain reasons for the summary arrest of these gentlemen whom without complaint on oath or civil process he arrested and now holds in custody. Examined in connection with the law under which they were appointed, the pretended offenses charged against them amount together to the simple performance of their official duty. Had they aided or acquiesced in the establishment of any police authority other then their own, they would have plainly violated the law under which they hold office.

By a fourth proclamation, dated July 10, the major-general in command informs the public that he has removed the "provost-marshal," and has appointed a "marshal of police," in all respects to administer every department of the police law in full freedom for the peace and prosperity of the city and the honor and perpetuity of the United States. This officer now affects to administer the law for the police government of Baltimore by means of a force organized under and acting by his direction.

Whatever professions of regard for our laws accompany these transactions the facts are too plain to be concealed. The local laws of the State of Maryland for the police government of the city of Baltimore, to which all officers of the Federal Government are bound to yield obedience within our limits, have been set aside. The only officers competent to administer those laws have been superseded and then imprisoned. The general in command, professing to act under instructions from the Federal Government, has marched large bodies of armed men into the city, planted cannon in the principal streets and public squares, and, by the law and authority of superior force, has established the present acting police force, has enabled its officers to take possession of the offices and buildings belongings to the city of Baltimore, to effect officers appointed by the mayor and city council, and to assume the function of executing laws whose fundamental provisions they daily violate by the exercise of police authority. Your memorialist need not dwell on the embarrassments which must certainly result from thus disorganizing the civil government of a city, nor on the sense of insecurity which affects citizens who reflect that the present police acts without legal warrant or authority. A community thus deprived of its lawful government is en-