and threatened by malignant foes.
A spirited body of volunteers — temporary sojourners at or casual visitors to the capital — under Cassius M. Clay
, 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
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.”
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.
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