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[26] of Baltimore was attributed by Parton and other writers of that period to General Butler's own initiative; yet it now appears from his own report to General Scott, dated May 15, 1861, that this act was performed ‘in obedience to verbal directions received from the War Department through Mr. Harriman.’1

General Scott had, however, written, the day previous, that it was taken without his knowledge and of course without his approbation. It was not till two days after it had happened that General Butler thought it necessary to inform General Scott, and then only in answer to a peremptory telegram.2 The removal of General Butler from the command of Annapolis was undoubtedly due as much to this neglect as to any disapproval of his action. This was more than five months, it must be remembered, before the time when General Scott retired from the command of the Union armies.

The narratives of the day added something of the same melodramatic character to all the details of this occupation. In Mr. Parton's description: ‘A thunderstorm of irregular character, extraordinary both for its violence and extent, hung over the city, black as midnight. . . . The depot was almost deserted and scarcely any one was in the streets. . . . The orders were for no man to speak a needless word; no drums to beat. . . . When the line had cleared the depot the storm burst. Such torrents of rain! Such a ceaseless blaze of lightning! Such crashes and volleys of thunder! . . . Not a countenance appeared in any window; for so incessant was the thunder that the tramp of horses, the tread of the men, the rumble of the cannon were not heard.’3 Such is the melodramatic scene conjured up by the skilled imagination of Mr. Parton,—one of the most amiable of men, but one of the least reliable of historians,—a picture annihilated in a moment by the testimony of his own subject of biography, who writes to General Scott that he ‘took possession of Federal Hill amid the plaudits of many of the people.’4 The Baltimore Clipper of the day after the entry was still more explicit: ‘On the route to the Hill the streets were thronged with people, who greeted the military with cheers at every stop, the ladies at the windows and the doors joining in the applause by waving their handkerchiefs.’ It then describes how, when the troops

1 Official War Records, II, 29.

2 Official War Records, II, 28.

3 Parton's Butler, p. 111.

4 General Butler, in Official War Records, II, 29.

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