and of the South.
We have violated no right of either section.
We have been loyal to the Union.
The unhappy contest between the two sections has not been commenced or encouraged by us, although we have suffered from it in the past.
The impending war has not come by any act or wish of ours.
We have done all we could to avert it. We have hoped that Maryland and other Border Slave States, by their conservative position and love for the Union, might have acted as mediators between the extremes of both sections, and thus have prevented the terrible evils of a prolonged civil war. Entertaining these views, I cannot counsel Maryland to take sides against the General Government, until it shall commit outrages upon us which would justify us in resisting its authority.
As a consequence, I can give no other counsel than that we shall array ourselves for Union and peace, and thus preserve our soil from being polluted with the blood of brethren.
Thus, if war must be between the North and South, we may force the contending parties to transfer the field of battle from our soil, so that our lives and property may be secure.
The Legislature, thus instructed, decided not
to secede from the Union
--unanimously in the Senate--53 to 13 in the House
; but proceeded to pass an act to provide for the public safety, constituting a “ State Board” of seven, whereof all were rank Secessionists but Gov. Hicks
; which Board was to have full control over the organization and direction of the military forces of Maryland
; appointing all officers above the rank of captain.
This Board was to have full power to adopt measures for the safety, peace and defense of the State
; and was directed to proscribe no officer for “his political opinions.”
Its oath of office included no promise of allegiance to the Federal Constitution
The purpose of this measure was more fully developed by a report from the Committee
on Federal Relations, in which the President
was charged with acts of tyranny and schemes of subjugation; and the attempt to bring the State
, step by step, into collision with the Federal Government
But by this time the strength and resolution of the Free States
had been demonstrated, and the sober second thought of Maryland
began to assert its ascendency.
The violence and preternatural activity of the Secessionists had, for a time, concealed the paucity of their numbers; but it was now evident that they were scarcely a third of the entire white population, and less than a fourth in all that major portion of the State
lying north and west of Baltimore
A Home Guard of Unionists
was organized in Frederick
, comprising her most substantial citizens.
A great Union meeting was held in Baltimore
on the evening of May 4th; whereat the creation of the Board of Public Safety, and all kindred measures, were unsparingly denounced.
Next day, Gen. Butler
pushed forward two regiments from the Annapolis Junction
to the Relay House
, nine miles from Baltimore
, and controlling the communications between that city and Frederick
On the 9th, a force of 1,300 men from Perryville
debarked at Locust Point
, under cover of the guns of the Harriet Lane
, and quietly opened the railroad route through that city to the Relay House
, encountering no opposition.
took permanent military possession of the city on the 13th, while a force of Pennsylvanians from Harrisburg
advanced to Cockeysville
, reopening the Northern Central railroad.
The Legislature adopted, on the 10th, the following:
Whereas, The war against the Confederate States is unconstitutional and repugnant to civilization, and will result in a bloody