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[27]

Therefore there was no sympathy in Maryland for the proceedings convulsing the Southern States. But the proclamation of the President, calling for 75,000 men ‘to redress wrongs already too long endured,’ changed the whole situation in the twinkling of an eye. It was no longer union or disunion, secession or State rights. It was a question of invasion and self-defense. The President had declared war on her sister State. Was Maryland to support that war, or was she to stand by with hands folded and see her friends and kindred beyond the Potomac put to the sword and the torch? War on a State was against the common right. The cause of each was the cause of all; and precisely as Maryland had responded in 1775 to the cry of Massachusetts for assistance, so now did the people of Maryland, over governor, over general assembly, over peace commissioners, respond to the call of Virginia. The peace commissioners reported on May 6th. On the 8th Captain Johnson, having secured from Mason an engagement that all troops that would go from Maryland should be promptly received into the army of the Confederate States, and from Colonel Jackson, in command at Harper's Ferry, permission to rendezvous on the Virginia side, opposite Point of Rocks, marched out of Frederick to that place, crossed the Potomac and reported to Capt. Turner Ashby, then posted there with his troops of horse. Ashby was to feed the Marylanders until further orders. This pioneer company showed the way, and in a few days detachments of companies began to straggle in—the debris of Trimble's fifteen thousand enrolled volunteers in Baltimore. Some marched with a semblance of order from Baltimore to the Point of Rocks. Some straggled in by twos and threes. Some came in squads on the railroad. But the State was aflame and a steady stream of gallant youth poured into the rendezvous at Point of Rocks and Harper's Ferry. By May 21st there were the skeletons of eight companies collected at Point of Rocks:

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