It was worthy the new life of Baltimore. Here, thank God, was an eastern city, able and ready at all times to defend itself. Stuart did not come — if he had, he would have been repulsed. General Tyler (former Colonel of the Seventh Ohio) had been hastily summoned here to assume command of the defences of Baltimore. This display of citizen soldiery was part of the work he had already done. But those “defences!” “Small boy,” exclaimed W., as we sauntered through the street and passed an urchin picking pebbles out of a tar barrel to fling at a passing pig, “small boy,” and he uttered it with impressive dignity, “You must stop that, sir! You are destroying the defenses of Baltimore!” And indeed lie was. Single rows of tar-barrels and sugar hogsheads, half filled with gravel, and placed across the streets, with sometimes a rail or two on top, after the fashion of a “stake and rider” fence, constituted the “defences.” They were called barricades, I believe, in some official paper on the subject. Outside the city, however, were earthworks, (to which additions had been made in the press of the emergency) that would have afforded considerable resistance to an attack; and if cavalry had succeeded in getting into the city, the “barricades” might have been of some service in checking their charges. In the afternoon. Stuart's cavalry was heard from, making the best of its way, by a circuitous route, on the rear and flank of our army, to join Lee in Southern Pennsylvania. Baltimore, then, was safe; and Stuart had made the most ill-advised raid of the war. He had worn out his horses by a terrible march, on the eve of a desperate battle, when, in the event of a retreat, he was especially needed to protect the rear and hold our pursuit in check; and in return he had gained — a few horses, a single army train, which he could only destroy, eighteen hours interruption of communications by rail between the Capital and the army, and a night's alarm in Washington and Baltimore. Our own army was now reported to be concentrating at Westminster, manifestly to march on York. To reach this point, we must take the Western Maryland road, but this had been abandoned in terror by the Company, and the rolling stock was all in Philadelphia. There was nothing for it but to hasten to Frederick, then mount and follow the track of the army. As our party stepped into the train a despatch brought Hooker's vindication, as against Halleck. He had been relieved for insisting on withdrawing the troops from Harper's Ferry, and using them in the active operations of the army. Precisely that thing his successor had done! All honor to Meade for the courage that took the responsibility! It was a curious ride up the road. Eighteen hours ago the rebels had swarmed across it. The public had no knowledge that they were not yet in its immediate vicinity, and might not attack the very train now starting; yet here were cars crowded to overflowing with citizens and their wives and daughters, willing to take the risks rather than lose a train. Mr. Smith had been good enough to provide a car for our party, but the press was so great we had to throw open the doors to make room for women and children, recklessly ready to brave what they supposed the dangers of the ride. Frederick is Pandemonium. Somebody has blundered frightfully; the town is full of stragglers, and the liquor-shops are in full blast. Just under my window scores of drunken soldiers are making night hideous; all over the town they are trying to steal horses, or sneak into unwatched private residences, or are filling the air with the blasphemy of their drunken brawls. The worst elements of a great army are here in their worst condition; its cowards, its thieves, its sneaks, its bullying vagabonds, all inflamed with whiskey, and drunk as well with their freedom from accustomed restraint.
Iii. The rear of a great army.
two Taverns P. O., Pa., July 1.Our little party broke up unceremoniously. Both my companions thought it better to go back to Baltimore and up to Westminster by rail on the expected Government trains; I thought differently, and adhered to the original plan of proceeding overland. I have already good reasons to felicitate myself on the lucky decision. An hour after breakfast sufficed for buying a horse and getting him equipped for the campaign. Drunken soldiers were still staggering about the streets, looking for a last drink or a horse to steal, before commencing to straggle along the road, when a messenger for one of the New-York papers, who had come down with despatches, and myself were off for headquarters. We supposed them to be at Westminster, but were not certain. South-Mountain, historic evermore, since a previous rebel invasion faded out thence to Antietam, loomed up on the left amid the morning mists before us stretched a winding turnpike, upheaved and bent about by a billowy country that in its cultivation and improvements began to give evidence of proximity to Pennsylvania farmers. The army had moved up the valley of the Monocacy through Walkersville, Woodbury, and Middleburgh — all pleasant little Maryland villages — where, in peaceful times, Rip Van Winkle might have slumbered undisturbed. The direction seemed too far north for Westminster, and a courier, coming back with despatches, presently informed us that headquarters were not there, but at Taneytown, a point considerably farther north and west. Evidently there was a change in our plans. We were not going to York, or headquarters would not be at Taneytown; and it was fair to suppose that our movements to the north-west were based upon news of a similar concentration by the rebels. The probabilities of a speedy battle were thus immensely increased, and we hastened the more rapidly on.