riots of April 18th and 19th, 1861, and the disorders which followed them were, next to the conflict at Fort Sumter
, the most exciting and significant of the events which preceded the general outbreak of hostilities between the North
and the South
and his Cabinet were seriously inconvenienced, the North
was aroused, the leaders of the new Confederacy were led to entertain hopes of valuable assistance from the Border States
, and a formidable obstacle was interposed to the active prosecution of those military measures which the government at Washington
had decided upon.
The attack upon the Massachusetts
troops was, in another sense, one of the most remarkable events of the civil war; for, unlike similar disturbances elsewhere, it was largely participated in by the friends of order and the enemies of secession.
Parodoxical as the statement may appear, the riots of April, 1861, were the work mainly of the strong Union element in Baltimore
The sentiment of the best men of the city was overwhelmingly opposed to secession; but, on the other hand, it was just as strenuously opposed to coercion.
The people of Baltimore
loved the old flag; but they loved their brethren of the South
, also; and, when it was proposed to whip them back into the Union
, even the most ultra anti-secessionists were roused into angry opposition to the passage of Northern troops southward.
It is easy to prove by actual occurrences in this city at the time that the feeling here was, as I have said, overwhelmingly against secession.
On the 10th of January, 1861, in answer to a call