different route to Camden station
A portion of the rioters at once started to head them off, while the main body maintained its position on Pratt street. A. large crowd assembled at the depot during the disembarkation of the troops, and here several exciting, but not very sanguinary, encounters occurred between Unionists
and secessionists in the crowd.
As the troops descended from the cars they were hooted, jeered, and twitted.
They succeeded, however, in forcing their way to the footway, which extends for several hundred yards along the outer edge of the depot, where they formed in double file and awaited the orders of their officers.
At this point a man appeared bearing a Confederate flag at the head of about one hundred rioters.
His appearance was the signal for wild cheering.
A rush for the flag was made by several Northern sympathizers in the crowd, and the flag-staff was broken.
One of these men was caught by the flag-bearer who, with his companions, throttled, and would have killed him, but for the interference of the police, who succeeded in bearing him away.
The shreds of the flag were caught up and tied to the flag-staff.
On being raised again they were saluted with an outburst of cheering.
The men surrounding the flag then began to taunt the troops, and declared that they would be forced to march behind it to the Camden depot
. Colonel Jones
gave the order to march, and the troops started.
The men surrounding the flag, however, planted themselves directly in front of the soldiers and refused to yield an inch.
The troops wheeled about, but found themselves surrounded on. all sides, and were unable to move in any direction.
Several of the soldiers were hustled away from their comrades, and would have been roughly used by the crowd but for the police, who succeeded, with great difficulty, in rescuing them.
The troops again endeavored to force a passage, and this time, with the assistance of the police, they succeeded.
As they started, however, the Confederate
flag was borne to the front, and they were compelled to march for several squares behind this flag.
Too much praise cannot be given to the commander or men for their admirable self-control during this trying episode.
The presence of the Confederate
flag was the immediate cause of the sanguinary street fight and loss of life which followed.
Several Northern sympathizers in the mob, exasperated at the triumph of the flag-bearer and his friends, made another dash for the flag, but were defeated and pursued.
Some of them took refuge in the ranks of the soldiers.
This exasperated the citizens against the soldiers, and a savage attack upon the latter was made with stones and other missiles.
One of the soldiers, William Patch, was struck in the back