same spirit animated them still which had animated them before, when they openly beat, stabbed, and prodded with awls every citizen who attempted to vote according to his own mind.
When the 19th of April disorder broke out, this element began to show its head again-profiting by the excitement and confusion to commit excesses.
It was of the first importance that these people should be kept out of mischief, and all substantial citizens, whatever their political convictions, were agreed that the only way of keeping them quiet was to organize them into companies, put them under the drillmaster, and, as General Huger
suggested, “give them plenty to do.”
To the government, however, this action of the city authorities seemed to be a deliberate note of defiance, and was, probably, the main cause of the bad blood and suspicion which afterward were found to exist.
This state of things continued for nearly a month, and no enemy having appeared, the rebellious elements began to tire of playing soldier, and, as had been expected, began to disintegrate.
In a few days more the “roughs” were completely under control, a great many having gone off to Harper's Ferry
to join General J. E. Johnston
's army there, and the city authorities had resumed their legitimate influence.
The arms which had been distributed among the rioters were buried, in order to prevent the wholesale stealing which was found to be going on, and also to prevent them from falling into the hands of irresponsible parties.
These arms were afterward recovered by General Butler
, who pretended, with an immense flourish of trumpets, that their concealment was part of a rebel plot to get possession of the city.
This performance was of a piece with several others of the doughty warrior's feats.
The people of Baltimore
were very much excited against Butler
, for his conduct here was marked by the same bravado, the same overbearing “loyalty,” the same disingenuousness, which characterized his “military” career throughout the war. While he was encamped at the Relay House
, seven miles from Baltimore
, he set afloat the most absurd stories-one of them alleging that rebel sympathizers had poisoned the water in the neighborhood, and another that the Baltimore
rebels had attempted to poison his men with strychnine.
One of his soldiers, who was suddenly taken ill, was declared to have been poisoned, but on examination, made by a physician sent by the authorities of Baltimore city
to investigate this particular case, it was found that the man was a person of intemperate habits, that he had been very imprudent in his diet, and that the symptoms were not such as ordinarily accompany poisoning by strychnia.