previous next

From the 19th of April until the 13th of May, Baltimore was practically a Confederate town — a wedge of disaffection between the North and the South. President Lincoln and his Cabinet were greatly annoyed by this fire in the rear, and it was decided that the city must be reduced to submission as soon as possible. The President and his advisers wisely concluded, however, to allow things to remain as they were until the excited passions of the multitude had subsided. After the retreat of the volunteer troops from Ashland, the city was placed under patrol, guard-houses were established, and every precaution was taken to prevent a surprise. Colonel Isaac R. Trimble, who afterward became a general in the Confederate service, was placed in command of the ununiformed volunteers, and took possession of the Northern Central Railroad depot, where a regular camp was established. A curious feature of the preparations for defense was the tender, on the part of several hundred colored men, of their services “against the Yankees!” The Mayor thanked them for the offer, and informed them that their services would be called for if required.

Colonel Huger, of the regular army, afterward general under Lee, who had been for some time in command of the arsenal at Pikesville, a village near Baltimore, was in the city during all these troublous times, and, being a prime, social favorite of the young men about town, was approached for advice and assistance. The old colonel, who was decidedly Southern in his sympathies, and, in fact, went South shortly afterward, did a great deal to avert serious trouble. He was a splendid old fellow — a high liver, witty, good-humored, and a fine old-school officer. It was he who suggested the arming and drilling of the mob as the best means of keeping them employed and out of trouble. He was full of sadness, however, at the prospect before him, and when some of the young swells came to him bubbling over with indignation and sectional fervor, he would cry out: “Ah, boys, you'll get enough of this before you're through!”

In this connection, General Huger said to the city authorities: “If we don't give these fellows plenty to do, gentlemen, they will give us plenty to do!” And he was right. Baltimore had, at that time, one of the worst elements with which any city was ever afflicted. There was a certain class of men which lived and fattened on disorder. For a number of years the city had been the prey of brutal ruffians, who controlled the elections, and conducted themselves exactly as they pleased. You have probably heard of the “Plug-Uglies” and “Rip-Raps” of Baltimore. Well, these men had been cowed by the election of a reform administration; but the

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Baltimore, Md. (Maryland, United States) (4)
Pikesville (Maryland, United States) (1)
Ashland (Virginia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Frank Huger (2)
Isaac R. Trimble (1)
Abraham Lincoln (1)
Fitz Lee (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
May 13th (1)
April 19th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: