Later that afternoon, a disturbance occurred in the central part of the city, and a crowd of some two thousand people assembled, but were dispersed by the police after several persons had been slightly hurt.
The same evening, an immense assemblage of people gathered in front of Taylor
's building, on Fayette street, where a State's Rights' Convention of Marylanders was being held.
was now at fever heat of excitement.
Business was entirely suspended and the male population of the city turned out en masse
. The streets were crowded all day, and until a late hour that night Baltimore, or Market street as it was then called, was thronged by a surging mob, which was thickest at the newspaper offices and other centres of information.
The Union sympathizers had disappeared, and the city seemed to be a unit in opposition to the passage of Northern troops through Baltimore
The staidest and soberest citizens were infected by it. Men who all along had been opposed to secession, now openly advocated armed resistance, and it was declared, over and over again, in the most public manner, that no Northern troops should be permitted to enter Baltimore
, or, if they did enter, to leave the city alive.
The mob, however, was still under the control of the city authorities — that is to say, the Mayor
of Police retained, in spite of the open threats and great excitement, sufficient power to prevent any outbreak of violence.
Unfortunately, however, the authorities at Washington
attempted a maneuvre similar to that by which Mr. Lincoln
was got through Baltimore
Finding that the feeling in Baltimore
had become intense, and suspecting the city authorities of collusion with the mob, the government directed the officer in command of the troops en route
to proceed to that city, from Philadelphia
, without notice to the authorities of Baltimore
, and to get through as quickly as he could.
This was a most unfortunate order, for there is little doubt that had Mayor Brown
been notified of the expected arrival of the troops, he could have provided for their efficient protection by the police.
and Chief of Police
were not only not
notified, but were kept in the dark as to the movements of the troops-so that when the troops reached the President
street depot, they were completely taken by surprise.
and his advisers are not to be blamed for not taking the Baltimore
authorities into their confidence, for it was exceedingly difficult, in those days, to tell whom to trust and whom not to trust.
It is to be regretted, however, that in this case the President
was over-cautious, for I am pursuaded that, had the police of Baltimore
been notified in time, the loss of life might have been avoided.