Early on the morning of April 19th, 1861, a train of thirty-five cars left the Broad
avenue depot, Philadelphia
, having on board twelve hundred troops from Boston
, and Acton, Massachusetts
, and known as the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment, under the command of Colonel Edward F. Jones
, a gallant soldier and courteous gentleman; and a regiment, one thousand strong, from Philadelphia
, under the command of Colonel William F. Small
Nothing was known in Baltimore
of their departure from Philadelphia
, but about eleven o'clock it became noised abroad that a large force of Federal soldiers had arrived at President street depot.
This depot is in the southeastern portion of the city, and is connected with the Baltimore and Ohio depot
, which is situated in the southwestern section, by a line of rail along Pratt street — a leading thoroughfare-and some minor streets.
It was necessary for the troops, on disembarking at President street depot, either to march to the Baltimore and Ohio depot
or to be drawn thither in the cars by horses.
The news of the arrival of the troops spread like wildfire, and in a comparatively short time an immense crowd gathered on Pratt street, with the intention of preventing the passage of the troops.
While waiting for the appearance of the soldiers the crowd kept itself up to the requisite pitch of indignation and enthusiasm by “groaning” for Lincoln
, and the Federal Government
, and by cheering Jefferson Davis
and the Southern Confederacy.
The first intimation had by the city authorities that the troops were about to enter the city was received by Mayor Brown
about ten o'clock. Mr. Brown
at once repaired to the office of the Police Commissioners, but found that the Marshal
of Police had already gone to Camden station
, where he had concentrated his men by request of the railroad authorities.
at once followed him to Camden station
, and on arriving there found him posted with his men prepared to put down any attack.
Unfortunately the mob had gathered not at Camden station
but on Pratt street, at a point a short distance west of the depot where the troops were disembarking.
Pratt street is a narrow thoroughfare, and easily capable of defense.
The strategical position of the mob was excellent as they proceeded to fortify it.
About half-past 11 o'clock a car drawn by horses was seen approaching, and was greeted by the mob with cheers for the South
The car, and eight others which followed, were, however, permitted to pass without any molestation, except the usual taunts and gibes at the occupants.
A trivial accident, which happened to the tenth car, let loose all the elements of disorder in the mob, and precipitated the