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[470] and threatened by malignant foes. A spirited body of volunteers — temporary sojourners at or casual visitors to the capital — under Cassius M. Clay as Colonel, had stood on guard during those dark days1 and darker nights; and these, in addition to the small force of regulars commanded by Gen. Scott, had constituted, up to this time, the entire defensive force of the Federal metropolis.

The Legislature of Maryland convened in extra session, in accordance with Gov. Hicks's call, not at Annapolis, but at Frederick — far from any Union force, but within easy striking distance of the Confederates at Harper's Ferry. Gov. Hicks, in his Message (April 27th), recapitulated most of the facts just related, adding that Gen. Butler, before landing at Annapolis, asked permission to do so, but was refused. He said: “The people of Annapolis, though greatly exasperated, acting under counsel of the most prudent citizens, refrained from molesting or obstructing the passage of the troops through the city.” Again:

Notwithstanding the fact that our most learned and intelligent citizens admit the right of the Government to transport its troops across our soil, it is evident that a portion of the people of Maryland are opposed to the exercise of that right. I have done all in my power to protect the citizens of Maryland, and to preserve peace within our borders.

Gov. Hicks admits that he has been somewhat swerved from his true course by “the excitement prevailing among our people during the last few days;” but he restates his deliberate and well-considered position, as follows:

It is of no consequence now to discuss the causes which have induced our troubles. Let us look to our distressing present and to our portentous future. The fate of Maryland, and, perhaps, of her sister border Slave States, will undoubtedly be seriously affected by the action of your honorable body. Therefore should every good citizen bend his energies to the task before us; and therefore should the animosities and bickerings of the past be forgotten, and all strike hands in the bold cause of restoring peace to our State and to our country. I honestly and most earnestly entertain the conviction that the only safety of Maryland lies in maintaining a neutral position between our brethren of the North

1 The Richmond Examiner, of April 23d, contained this article:

The capture of Washington City is perfectly within the power of Virginia and Maryland, if Virginia will only make the effort by her constituted authorities; nor is there a single moment to lose. The entire population pant for the onset; there never was half the unanimity among the people before, nor a tithe of the zeal, upon any subject, that is now manifested to take Washington, and drive from it every Black Republican who is a dweller there.

From the mountain-tops and valleys to the shores of the sea, there is one wild shout of fierce resolve to capture Washington City, at all and every human hazard. That filthy cage of unclean birds must and will assuredly be purified by fire. The people are determined upon it, and are clamorous for a leader to conduct them to the onslaught. The leader will assuredly arise; ay, and that right speedily.

It is not to be endured that this flight of Abolition harpies shall come down from the black North for their roosts in the heart of the South, to defile and brutalize the land. They come as our enemies; they act as our most deadly foes; they promise us bloodshed and fire; and this is the only promise they have ever redeemed. The fanatical yell for the immediate subjugation of the whole South is going up hourly from the united voices of all the North; and, for the purpose of making their work sure, they have determined to hold Washington City as the point whence to carry on their brutal warfare.

Our people can take it — they will take it — and Scott, the arch-traitor, and Lincoln, the Beast, combined, cannot prevent it. The just indignation of an outraged and deeply injured people will teach the Illinois Ape to repeat his race and retrace his journey across the borders of the Free negro States still more rapidly than he came; and Scott, the traitor, will be given the opportunity, at the same time, to try the difference between ‘Scott's Tactics’ and the Shanghae Drill for quick movements.

Great cleansing and purification are needed and will be given to that festering sink of iniquity, that wallow of Lincoln and Scott — the desecrated city of Washington; and many indeed will be the carcasses of dogs and caitiffs that will blacken the air upon the gallows before the great work is accomplished. So let it be!

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