on the issue as it now presented itself.
The governors of the first six of these were already so much engaged in the secret intrigues of the secession movement that they sent the Secretary of War
contumacious and insulting replies, and distinct refusals to the President
's call for troops.
The governor of Delaware
answered that there was no organized militia in his State which he had legal authority to command, but that the officers of organized volunteer regiments might at their own option offer their services to the United States
; while the governor of Maryland
, in complying with the requisition, stipulated that the regiments from his State should not be required to serve outside its limits, except to defend the District of Columbia.
A swift, almost bewildering rush of events, however, quickly compelled most of them to take sides.
Secession feeling was rampant in Baltimore
; and when the first armed and equipped Northern regiment, the Massachusetts Sixth, passed through that city on the morning of April 19, on its way to Washington
, the last four of its companies were assailed by street mobs with missiles and firearms while marching from one depot to the other; and in the running fight which ensued, four of its soldiers were killed and about thirty wounded, while the mob probably lost two or three times as many.
This tragedy instantly threw the whole city into a wild frenzy of insurrection.
That same afternoon an immense secession meeting in Monument Square listened to a torrent of treasonable protest and denunciation, in which Governor Hicks
himself was made momentarily to join.
The militia was called out, preparations were made to arm the city, and that night the railroad bridges were burned between Baltimore
and the Pennsylvania
line to prevent the further transit of Union regiments.
The revolutionary furor spread