the train just as I got there and were immediately set upon by an infuriated populace. I fought hard for their protection, at first almost alone but soon had the assistance of a part of my force who hurried from the neighboring beats, and had the gratification of seeing all but those who took shelter in neighboring houses put on another train and under escort of police accompanied by myself sent safely out of the city on their return to Philadelphia. The earnest expressions of gratitude which I received from the persons thus rescued left on my mind the conviction that I had done my duty.
On the occasion I was ably assisted by Deputy Marshal Gifford and by some noble-hearted and fearless citizens, but feel bound to say that I did not recognize as thus engaged one single individual of those now actively employed in defaming the city and its authorities.
It may be proper to state that up to this time I did not know anything of the origin of the rencounter nor the extent of the killed and wounded; but only know that our whole city seemed filled with horror at the knowledge that peaceful and respected citizens had been shot on our public streets.
From this time till a late hour of the night my office was beset by those anxious to ascertain the truth of rumors that a renewal of the difficulties was likely to occur. Near midnight I received from William Prescott Smith, esq., the master of transportation of the Washington and Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, information that he head received a dispatch from President Thomson, of the Pennsylvania road, "that it was impossible to prevent these troops from going through Baltimore; the Union men must be aroused to resist the mob. "
I felt it my duty to communicate this information to his honor Mayor Brown; and went to his house for that purpose and made the statement to him. He deemed it all important to confer with His Excellency Governor Hicks and visited him in his chamber.
The governor then sent for me; and in company with the mayor I went to his chamber; and the condition of the city, the dangers of a sanguinary conflict in the event of troops coming to it whilst the public mind was so highly inflamed being fully discussed the governor deemed it proper and agreed with Mayor Brown and myself that the bridges on the roads by which troops would likely come should be destroyed as the only means of impeding them and avoiding the threatened conflict; and the mayor and board of police them issued the order to that effect.
It was in the midst of this excitement while our entire community was laboring under the most intense apprehension--the volunteers, militia and large numbers of the citizens being under arms under the apprehension of a collision, and with the knowledge that the great mass of our citizens looked to myself as the immediate commanding officer (under the board) of armed police for the best protection which under such circumstances could be afforded--in reply to a dispatch from Bradley Johnson, esq. (now or lately the State's attorney for Frederick County) offering the services of a body of patriotic citizens of that gallant county who true to the instinct of every son of Maryland were ready to come as did their sires in 1814 to defend the homes of their friends in Baltimore, [that] I used the language of the dispatch which is made the pretext for the disgraceful and libelous assault referred to.
What the condition of Baltimore city would be at this time had I failed to execute the order to destroy the bridges referred to by which the troops were arrested at Cockeysville on the morning of Sunday, the 21st of April, instead of coming to the city is too horrible to contemplate and can better be imagined than described.
The strictures in regard to the action of the police in removing flags which were being raised as it is well known not from any patriotic motives but for the sole purpose of exciting riot and disorder are too absurd to require extended notice.
I have the conviction that I have faithfully discharged the duties of the office of marshal of police during the extraordinary excitement which has pervaded this community probably beyond anything of the kind in its previous history, and that the force under my command has been successful in protecting the persons and property of people of the most intensely obnoxious character to another portion of our community from the slightest violence of injury. I feel that I can well afford to endure assault coming from such sources.
It may be proper in this connection to refer to the insinuation so broadly conveyed of complicity on the part of the police in appropriating the property of the Federal Government to improper uses. The charge is untrue. It was taken into the custody of the police solely for the purpose of preserving it, of which the proper notice was given to the authorities of the United States Government in Washington and this city.
Yours, very respectfully,
GEO. P. KANE,