decided by the authorities of the city and State to order the destruction of the bridges on the Philadelphia
Accordingly, on Saturday night, a detachment of militia, assisted by citizen volunteers, set fire to several railroad bridges on the line of the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad and the Northern Central Railroad, and thus effectually prevented any further passage of troops.
Early on Sunday morning, the news reached the city that a large force of military were encamped at Ashland
, on the Northern Central Railroad, about fifteen miles from Baltimore
, and that this force would advance and take possession of the city during the day. The most intense excitement ensued.
The congregations left the churches en masse
, and in a comparatively short time the streets were thronged with excited men. Had the troops actually attempted to enter Baltimore
, an immense loss of life must have resulted, for the riotous elements were inflamed to the point of desperation.
The relatives and friends of the men who had been killed the day before were particularly anxious to “get at” the troops, and the bare announcement to the citizens that twelve Baltimoreans had been killed, enraged them beyond measure.
Fortunately, however, the troops were ordered to return to Harrisburg
, and the danger, for the time being, was averted.
For days after this occurrence Baltimore
was the centre of warlike preparations.
It was, in fact, an armed camp.
Nearly every citizen capable of bearing arms presented himself for enrolment, and in a short space of time there were riot less than twenty thousand men under arms.
There were not enough muskets, of course, for this large force and, accordingly, the men were provided with pikes until muskets could be obtained.
I have seen in a Northern city two of these pikes exhibited as a curiosity.
The person in charge of them — an ordinarily intelligent man by the way-informed me that they were Marshal Kane
's pikes, and that they had been used against the Massachusetts
and Pennsylvania volunteers on the memorable 19th of April.
The absurdity of the declaration will appear when it is stated--first, that Marshal Kane
armed the mob simply in order to make it believe that the authorities were in sympathy with it, and prevent untold mischief; second, that Marshal Kane
knew that so long as the mob was kept busy drilling, it could, to a certain extent, be held in control; third, that the idea of the authorities was that, by pacifying the mob, a few days could be obtained, and it might thus be possible to take such steps as would effectually prevent any recurrence of the trouble; fourth, that Marshal Kane
's pikes were never used against the Northern
soldiers at all.