Chapter 18: the Capital secured.--Maryland secessionists Subdued.--contributions by the people.
- Departure of the New York Seventh Regiment, 433.
-- troops under General Butler
-- spirit of the people, 434.
-- Butler's expedition to Maryland, 435.
-- frigate Constitution saved, 436.
-- National troops at Annapolis, 437.
-- preparations to March through Maryland, 438.
-- the March to Annapolis Junction, 439.
-- the New York Seventh in Washington
-- Winans's steam
-- gun, 440.
-- exasperation against Baltimore, 441.
-- plans of Scott and Butler against Baltimore, 442.
-- opposing forces in Maryland, 443.
-- loyal troops pass through Baltimore, 445.
-- Butler's descent on Baltimore, 446.
-- Butler's proclamation, 447.
-- Butler recalled from Baltimore, 448.
-- exercise of War powers by the President
-- the writ of Habeas corpus, 449.
-- imprisonment of alleged disloyalists, 450.
-- movements in the National Capital, 452.
-- preparations of the conspirators for War
-- darkening of Light — houses, 453.
It has been observed that the Seventh Regiment of New York left that city for Washington
on the memorable 19th of April.
It was the favorite military corps of the metropolis, and was composed mostly of young men, a large majority of them connected with families of the higher social positions.
It was known that they were to leave in the afternoon, and all New York appeared to turn out to see them depart, and bid them God speed.
The regiment was formed on Lafayette Place, where an immense National flag was waving over the Astor Library
Just as it was about to march, it received intelligence of the attack on the Massachusetts Sixth, in the streets of Baltimore
Forty-eight rounds of ball-cartridges were served out to each man, and then they moved through Fourth Street into Broadway
, and down that great thoroughfare to Courtlandt Street and the Jersey City Ferry
The side-walks all the way were densely packed with men, women, and children.
Banners were streaming everywhere.
Banners from balcony, banners from steeple,
Banners from house to house, draping the people;
Banners upborne by all-men, women, and children,
Banners on horses' fronts, flashing, bewild'ring!
The shipping at the ferry was brilliant with flags.
Already the Eighth Massachusetts Regiment, Colonel Timothy Monroe
accompanied by General Benjamin F. Butler
, one of the most remarkable men of our time, had passed through the vast throng that was waiting for the New York Seventh, and being greeted with hearty huzzas and the gift of scores of little banners by the people.
At sunset all had gone over the Hudson
— the New York Seventh and Massachusetts
Eighth--and crossed New Jersey
by railway to the banks of the Delaware
It had been a
Private of the Seventh Regiment.. |
day of fearful excitement in New York, and the night was one of more fearful anxiety.
Slumber was wooed in vain by hundreds, for they knew that
their loved ones, now that blood had been spilt, were hurrying on toward great peril.
Regiment after regiment followed the Seventh in quick succession,2
and within ten days from the time of its departure, full ten thousand men of the city of New York
were on the march toward the Capital
regiment had been joined at Springfield
by a company under Captain H. S. Briggs
, and now numbered a little over seven hundred men. It reached Philadelphia
several hours before the New York Seventh arrived there, and was bountifully entertained at the Girard House
by the generous citizens.
first heard of the attack on the Sixth, in Baltimore
His orders commanded him to march through that city.
It was now impossible to do so with less than ten thousand armed men. He counseled with Major-General Robert Patterson
, who had just been appointed commander of the “Department of Washington,” which embraced the States of Pennsylvania
, and Maryland
, and the District of Columbia, and whose Headquarters were at Philadelphia
, commandant of the Navy Yard
there, was also consulted, and it was agreed that the troops should go by water from Perryville
, at the mouth of the Susquehanna River
, to Annapolis
, and thence across Maryland
to Washington City
was ordered to take that route, seize and hold Annapolis
and Annapolis Junction
, and open and thoroughly guard a military pathway to the Capital
Late in the evening General Butler
summoned all of his officers, thirteen in number, to his room.
It was a singular council of war.
On his table lay thirteen revolvers.
“I propose,” said the General
, substantially, “to join with Colonel Lefferts
, of the Seventh Regiment of New York, sail for Annapolis
from Havre de Grace
, arrive there to-morrow afternoon at four o'clock, occupy the capital of Maryland
, and call the State
to account for the death of Massachusetts
men, my friends and neighbors.
If Colonel Lefferts
thinks it best not to go, I propose to take this regiment alone.”
Then, taking up one of the revolvers, he said: “I am ready to take the responsibility.
Every officer willing to accompany me will please take a pistol.”
Not one hesitated; and then the General
sketched a plan of his proposed operations, to be sent to Governor Andrew
after his departure.
He proposed to hold Annapolis
as a means of communication, and, by a forced march with a part of his command, reach the Capital
in accordance with his orders.
He telegraphed to the Governor
to send the Boston
Light Battery to Annapolis
to assist in the march on Washington
did not feel at liberty to accept General Butler
's proposition, and the latter made preparations to go on with the Massachusetts
The President of the Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore Railway Company placed their great steam ferry-boat Maryland
, at Perryville
, at his disposal; and two companies were ordered to go forward early in the morning and take possession of it. Word came meanwhile that the insurgents had already seized and barricaded it, and Butler
resolved to push on with his whole force and capture it. “If I succeed,” he wrote to Governor Andrew
, “success will justify me. If I fail, purity of intention will excuse want of judgment, or rashness.”
at eleven o'clock in the morning,
and when near the Susquehanna
his troops were ordered from the cars, placed in battle order, and marched toward the ferry, in expectation of a fight.
Rumor had been untrue.
There were no insurgents in arms at Perryville
or Havre de Grace
; and there lay the powerful ferry-boat in the quiet possession of her regular crew.
The troops were soon embarked, and at six o'clock in the evening the huge vessel — with a captain who seemed to need watching by the vigilant and loyal eyes of the soldiers, lest he should run them into Baltimore
or aground — went out toward Chesapeake Bay
Making good time, she was off the old capital of Maryland
at a little past midnight, when, to Butler
's surprise, Annapolis
and the Naval Academy were lighted up, and the people were all astir.
The town and the Academy were in possession of the secessionists.
They were expecting some insurgents from Baltimore
, and they intended, with united force, to seize the venerable frigate Constitution
, then moored there as a school-ship, and add her to the “Confederate navy.”
For four days and nights her gallant commander,
of the Academy, had kept her guns double-shotted, expecting an attack every moment.
The arrival of the Massachusetts
troops was just in time to save the Constitution
. Communication was speedily opened between General Butler
and Captain Blake
, and a hundred of the troops, who were seamen at home, with the Salem Zouaves
as a guard, were detailed to assist in getting the Constitution
from the wharf, and putting her out beyond the bar in a place of safety.
With the help of the Maryland
, acting as a tug, this was accomplished.
That venerable vessel, in which Hull
, and Bainbridge
, and Stewart
had won immortal honors in the Second War for Independence, was built in Boston
, and was first manned by Massachusetts
men; now she was preserved to the uses of the Government
, for whose sovereignty she had gallantly fought, by the hands of Massachusetts
men. “This,” said General Butler
, in an order thanking the troops for the service, “is a sufficient triumph of right; a sufficient triumph for us. By this the blood of our friends, shed by the Baltimore
mob, is so far avenged.”
We will add, that the Constitution
was soon afterward taken to New York; and when the naval school was removed to Newport, Rhode Island
, she became a school-ship there.
In assisting to get out the Constitution
, the Maryland
grounded on a sand-bank.
The suspected captain was confined, and the vessel was put under the management of seamen and engineers from among the Massachusetts
There she lay helpless all that day and the next night, to the great discomfort of her passengers.
Her water-casks were nearly emptied, and their provisions were almost exhausted.
In the mean time Governor Hicks
, who was in Annapolis
, and still under the malign control of the secessionists, was urging Butler
not to land “Northern troops.”
“The excitement here is very great,” he said; “and I think that you had better take your men elsewhere.”
, in reply, spoke of his necessities and his orders, and took the occasion to correct the Governor
's sectional phraseology by saying of his force: “They are not ‘Northern
troops;’ they are a part of the whole militia of the United States
, obeying the call of the President
This was the root of the matter.
Therein was the grand idea of nationality as opposed to State Supremacy, in which the General
acted throughout with the clearest advantage.
now went ashore, and had a personal conference with the Governor
and the Mayor
,” they said, “is at the point of rushing to arms.
The railway is broken up, and its line guarded by armed men. It will be a fearful thing for you to land and attempt to march on Washington
.” --“I must
land,” said the General
, “for my troops are hungry.” --“No one in Annapolis
will sell them any thing,” replied these authorities of the State
intimated that armed men were not always limited to the necessity of purchasing
food when famishing; and he gave both magistrates to understand that the orders and demands of his Government were imperative, and that he should land and march on the Capital
as speedily as possible, in spite of all opposition.
At the same time
he assured them that peaceable citizens should not be molested, and that the laws of the State
should be respected.
He was ready to co-operate with the local authorities in suppressing a slave insurrection, or any other resistance to law. The Governor contented himself with simply protesting against the landing of troops as unwise, and begged the General
not to halt them in Annapolis
All the night of the 21st, the Maryland
lay aground, and immovable by wind or tide.
At dawn on the 22d, another steamer appeared approaching.
It was the Boston
, bearing the New York Seventh Regiment. Colonel Lefferts
had become convinced that he could not pass through Baltimore
, so he chartered this steamer at Philadelphia
with the intention of going to Washington
by way of the Potomac
They embarked at four o'clock in the afternoon.
Only a few officers were intrusted with the secret; the men had no knowledge of their route.
Quietly they passed down the Delaware
to the ocean, on a beautiful April evening, and entered the waters of Virginia
between its great Capes, Charles and Henry.
Informed of batteries near Alexandria
, and finding no armed vessel to convoy the Boston
, Colonel Lefferts
deemed it prudent to follow General Butler
; so they went up the Chesapeake
, and came in sight of the grounded Maryland
The Seventh cheered the old flag seen at her fore, and the two regiments soon exchanged greetings.
now attempted to get the Maryland
from the ground.
For many hours both regiments worked faithfully, but in vain.
Landing at the Naval Academy8 grounds. |
troops were without a drop of liquid of any kind to drink for twelve hours, and were suffering intensely.
Finally it was agreed that the Boston
should land the Seventh at the Naval Academy's wharf, and then take the Eighth from the Maryland
and put them ashore at the same place.
This was done,
and in the course of the afternoon both regiments were landed and quartered in the buildings of the Academy (the National
property), when the members of the Seventh hastened to share their rations with their famished friends.
The threat of the secessionists, that if Butler
should land with the intention of passing over the railway to Washington
, the track should be destroyed, was carried out. The rails were removed and hidden, and locomotives were taken in pieces and concealed.
Terrible stories of the gathering of insurgents at Annapolis Junction
, and other places on the route to Washington
, now came to the ears of General Butler
and Colonel Lefferts
The former did not believe half that was told him. He had positive information that the secessionists had torn up much of the railway between Annapolis
and the Junction
, and carried off the materials, and that bitterness of spirit prevailed everywhere; yet he resolved to move forward at once and rebuild the road, for over it supplies, and also other troops, must follow him. He again invited Colonel Lefferts
to join him. At first that prudent commander declined, thinking it best to wait for reenforcements.9
He changed his mind, and early the next morning the two regiments joined hands in vigorous preparations for that strange, eventful march on the Capital
, which has no parallel in history.
In the mean time, two companies of the Massachusetts
troops had seized the railway station, and there found a locomotive engine disabled and concealed.
“Does any one know any thing about this machine?”
inquired General Butler
. “Our shop made that engine, General,” said Charles Homans
, of the Beverly Light Guard, as he looked sharply at it. “I guess I can put her in order and run her.” --“Do it,” said the General
; and it was soon done, for that regiment was full of engineers, workers in metal, and mechanics of all kinds.
It seemed like a providential organization, made expressly, with its peculiar leader, for the work in hand.
Such impediments of civil authority, hostile feeling, armed resistance, and destructive malignity, would have appalled almost any other man and body of men; but Butler
generally exhibited an illustration of the truth of the saying, “Where there's a will there's a way,” and the Massachusetts
Eighth was an embodiment of the axiom.
The engine was speedily repaired; the rails hidden, some in thickets, and some in the bottom of streams, were hunted up, and on the evening of the 23d, the troops were nearly ready for a forward movement, when General Butler
formally took military possession of the Annapolis
and Elkridge Railway.
protested against such occupation, on the ground that it would prevent the assembling of the Legislature, called to meet at Annapolis
on the 26th. General Butler
reminded the Governor
that his Excellency
had given as a reason why the troops should not land, that they could not pass over the road because “the Company
had taken up the rails, and they were private property.
It is difficult to see,” said the General
, “how it can be, that if my troops could not pass over the railroad one way, the members of the Legislature could pass the other way.”
He told the Governor
that he was there to maintain the laws, and, if possible, protect the road from destruction by a mob. “I am endeavoring,” he said, “to save and
not to destroy; to obtain means of transportation, so that I can vacate the capital prior to the sitting of the Legislature, and not be under the necessity of encumbering your beautiful city while the Legislature is in session.”
This logic and this irony were unanswerable, and the General
was never again troubled with the protests of the Maryland Executive
On the morning of the 24th, the combined regiments moved forward at the rate of about a mile an hour, laying the track anew and building bridges.
Skirmishers went ahead and scouts on the flanks.
The main column was led by a working party on the road, behind which followed a car with a howitzer loaded with grape-shot, in charge of Lieutenant Bunting
It was a hot April morning, and the men suffered much from heat and fatigue.
They had a stretch of twenty-one miles to go over between Annapolis
and the Junction
A shower in the afternoon, and balmy air and bright moonlight in the evening, with the freshness of early spring, gave them pleasure in the midst of their toil.
All night long they moved forward, keeping very vigilant eyes upon the surrounding country, but falling in with none of those terrible Marylanders which the Governor
and the Mayor
had predicted would be upon them.
These braves seemed to have a wholesome fear of the “Yankees,” and made their observations, if at all, at a safe distance.
The country appeared to be depopulated.
The inhabitants had fled or hidden, with the evident expectation of an invasion by almost savage men. “I know not,” said a member of the Seventh,11
“if I can describe that night-march.
I have a dim recollection of deep cuts through which we passed, gloomy and treacherous-looking, with the moon shining full on our muskets, while the banks were wrapped in shade, each moment expecting to see the flash and hear the crack of the rifle of the Southern
guerrillas. . . . On all sides dark and lonely pine woods stretched away, and, as the night wore on, the monotony of the march became oppressive.”
The troops reached Annapolis Junction
on the morning of the 25th, when the co-operation of the two regiments ceased, the Seventh New York going on to Washington
, and the Eighth Massachusetts remaining to hold the road they had just opened.
Before their departure from Annapolis
, the Baltic
, a large steam-ship transport, had arrived there with troops, and others speedily followed.
ordered General Butler
to remain there, hold the
town and the road, and superintend the forwarding of troops to the Capital
The “Department of Annapolis,” which embraced the country twenty miles on each side of the railway, as far as Bladensburg
, was created, and General Butler
was placed in
command of it, with ample discretionary powers to make him a sort of military dictator.
This power, as we shall observe presently, he used with great efficiency.
The railway from Annapolis Junction
was uninjured and unobstructed, and the Seventh Regiment reached the Capital
early in the afternoon of the 25th, where they were heartily welcomed by the loyal people.
They were the first troops that arrived at the seat of Government after the sad tragedy in Baltimore
six days befere,
and they were hailed as the harbingers of positive safety for the Capital
Although they were wearied and footsore, they marched up Pennsylvania Avenue with the firm and united step which always characterized their parade marches in Broadway
, and halted only when they arrived at the front of the “White House
,” whither they went to pay homage to the President
, whom they had come to protect and support.
Their discipline and fine appearance were a marvel, and loyal crowds followed them to the President's house
, and filled the air with vociferous cheering.12
Then they marched to the Capitol
, and made their quarters there; and that night the anxious loyal citizens of Washington
went to rest with a sense of positive security.
That security was well assured the next day, when the Seventh, Twelfth, and Seventy-first New York Volunteer Regiments arrived, and reported the Fifth, Eighth, and Sixty-ninth at Annapolis
, in the mean time, had become firmly grasped by the secessionists; and the authorities there, civil and military, had prepared to dispute the passage of any more loyal troops through their city.
Armed men flocked into the, town from the country, with all sorts of weapons, scarcely knowing for what purpose; while the secessionists in the city were organized for treasonable work under Colonel J. R. Trimble
On Sunday, the 21st, cannon were exercised openly in the streets.
A remarkable piece of ordnance, called a steam-gun, invented by Charles S. Dickinson
, and manufactured by Ross Winans
, a wealthy iron-worker of Baltimore
, was purchased by the city authorities at the price of twenty-five hundred dollars. Much was expected of this invention, for it was claimed that it could throw two hundred balls a minute a distance of two miles. It was supposed to be ball-proof, and admirably adapted to the purposes of city defense.13 Marshal Kane
, under the direction of a city ordinance, passed
by the Common Council, ordered the National
flag to be humbled for thirty days, by forbidding its display during that time, under the pretense that it would cause “a disturbance of the public peace.”
The old flag suddenly disappeared, and on the day when the order went forth, only a single banner was seen in the harbor of Baltimore
, and that was a secession ensign floating over the steamer Logan
For a few days, it seemed as if all patriotism, all national feeling had suddenly died out in Maryland
, and the exasperation felt toward the city of Baltimore
in the Free-labor States was intense and universal.
The stand taken by its authorities was perilous to its very existence.
That action was considered a national insult; and, so long as that gate stood barred across the great highway to the Capital
against the passage of troops summoned for its protection, the nation was dishonored.
The people could hardly be restrained from banding in thousands and tens of thousands, for the purpose of opening that way. “Turn upon it the guns of Fort McHenry
cried one.--“Lay it in ashes!”
cried another.--“Fifty thousand men may be raised in an hour,” exclaimed a third, “to march through Baltimore
Bow down in haste thy guilty head!
God's wrath is swift and sore:
The sky with gathering bolts is red--
Cleanse from thy skirts the slaughter shed,
Or make thyself an ashen bed,
wrote Bayard Taylor
And an active citizen of New York (George Law), in a letter to the President
, in which he declared that the people of the Free-labor States demanded of the Government
measures to open and establish lines of direct communication with the Capital
, said: “Unless this is done, they will be compelled to take the matter into their own hands, let the consequences be what they may, and let them fall where they will.”
The same sentiment animated the Government
as soon as
Railway Battery. |
it felt assured of its own safety by the presence of many troops, and measures were speedily adopted for taking military possession of Baltimore
Preparations were made to repair the burnt bridges between Havre
de Grace and Baltimore
; and a singular railway battery was constructed in Philadelphia
, to be used for the protection of the men engaged in the work.
It was a car made of heavy boiler iron, musket-proof, with a 24-pound cannon mounted at one end, on a gun-carriage.
This was to fire grape, canister, and chain shot, while a garrison of sixty men inside would have an opportunity to employ musketry, through holes pierced in the sides and ends for the purpose.
planned a grand campaign against Baltimore
“I suppose,” he said, in a letter to General Butler
, General Patterson
, and others,
“that a column from this place [Washington] of three thousand men, another from York
of three thousand men, a third from Perryville
, or Elkton
, by land or water, or both, of three thousand men, and a fourth from Annapolis
, by water, of three thousand men, might suffice.”
Twelve thousand men, it was thought, might be wanted for the enterprise.
They were not in hand, for at least ten thousand troops were yet needed at the capital, to give it perfect security.
thought some time must elapse before the expedition could be under-taken against the rebellious city.
had other views.
He had become satisfied that the secession element in Baltimore
was numerically weak, and that the Union
men, with a little help,. might easily reverse the order of things there.
He hastened to Washington
to consult with General Scott
He did not venture to express any dissent to the plans of the General-in-chief
He simply asked permission to take a regiment or two from Annapolis
, march them to the Relay House
, on the Baltimore and Ohio Railway, nine miles from Baltimore
, and hold it, so as to cut the secessionists off from facile communication with Harper's Ferry
It was granted.
He then inquired, what were the powers of a General commanding a Department.
“Absolute,” replied the Lieutenant-General
; “he can do whatever he thinks best, unless restricted by specific orders or military law.”
ascertained that Baltimore was within his Military Department, and, with a plan of bold operations teeming his brain, he returned to Annapolis
At the close of April, General Butler
had full ten thousand men under his command at Annapolis
, and an equal number were guarding the seat of Government.
Already the Unionists of Maryland
were openly asserting their rights and showing their strength.
An extraordinary session of the Legislature, called by Governor Hicks
, was not held there, for obvious reasons, but was opened on the 27th,
, about sixty miles north of Baltimore
, and far away from National troops.
In his message to that body, the Governor
said it was his solemn conviction that the only safety for Maryland
lay in its maintaining a neutral position in the controversy, that State having “violated no right of either section.”
He said: “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 the 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 secessionists in the Legislature, doubtful of gaining control of Maryland
by constitutional means, if not made circumspect by a threat, said to have been made by General Butler
, that he would arrest them all if they should pass an Ordinance of Secession, changed their tactics.
They procured a vote against the secession of the State
, and then.
proceeded to appoint a State Board of Public Safety, which was invested with full powers to control the organization and direction of all the military forces in the commonwealth, and to “adopt measures for its safety, peace, and defense.”
The members of the Board were all active secessionists, excepting Governor Hicks
They were not required to take the usual oath to support the Constitution of the United States
, and were left free to act in accordance with their revolutionary proclivities.
It was evident from the composition of the Board, and the character of the men who established it — men who openly advocated the secession of Maryland
, and uniformly denounced the acts of the National Government
as tyrannical — that it was to be used as a revolutionary machine, fraught with immense power to do mischief.
The loyal people of the State
, perceiving with amazement the practical patriotism of the inhabitants of the Free-labor States, and feeling the tread of tens of thousands of armed men hurrying across Maryland
to the defense of the Government
, recovered, in the presence of this new danger, from the paralysis produced by the terrible events of the 19th, and were aroused to action.
A Home Guard of Unionists
was formed in Frederick
, under the direct observation of the disloyal Legislature.
Similar action was taken in other parts of the State
, especially in the more northern portion; and, on the evening of the 4th of May, an immense Union meeting was held in Baltimore
, whereat the creation of the Board of Public Safety and other revolutionary acts of the Legislature were heartily condemned.
On the same day, Otho Scott
, Robert McLane
, and W. J. Ross
, a Committee of that Legislature, were in Washington
, remonstrating with the President
and Secretary of War
against the military occupation, by National troops, of the capital of Maryland
and of some of the railways of the State
They returned to their constituents “painfully confident,” they said, “that a war was to be waged to reduce all the seceding States to allegiance to the United States Government, and that the whole military power of the Federal Government
would be exerted to accomplish that purpose.”
was aware of the latent force of the Unionism of Maryland
, and of its' initial developments, and felt that it was time for him to move.
He had proposed to himself to do at once, with a few men, what the Lieutenant-General
, with more caution, had proposed to do at some indefinite time in the future, with twelve thousand men, namely, seize and hold the city of Baltimore
Accordingly, on Saturday afternoon, the 4th of May, while the Commissioners
of the Maryland Legislature were protesting before the President
's occupation of their political capital, he issued orders for the Eighth New York and Sixth Massachusetts regiments, with Major A. M. Cook
's battery of the Boston
Light Artillery, to be
ready to march at two o'clock the next morning.
These troops were in Washington City
At dawn on the 5th, they left the Capital
in thirty cars; and about two hours later they alighted at the Relay House
, within nine miles of Baltimore
, seized the railway station there, spread over the hills in scouting parties, and prepared to plant cannon so as to command the Washington Junction
of the Baltimore and Ohio Railway at the great viaduct
The Relay House in 1864. |
over the Patapsco Valley
, and the roads leading to Baltimore
and Harper's Ferry
. General Butler
accompanied the troops, and established a camp on the hills, a quarter of a mile from the Relay House
, near the residences of P. O'Hern
and J. H. Luckett
The writer visited this interesting spot late in 1864. Brigadier-General John R. Kenly
, whose meritorious services in Baltimore
will be noticed presently, was then in command there.
On the bights back of the Relay House
, near which General Butler
encamped, was a regular earthwork, called Fort Dix
, and a substantial block-house built of timber, which is seen in our little picture.
It was a commanding position, overlooking the narrow valley of the Patapsco above the viaduct toward Ellicott's mills
, up which passes the railway to Harper's Ferry
, and the expanding valley and beautifully rolling country below the viaduct, wherein may be seen, nestling at the foot of hills, the ancient village of Elkridge Landing, to which, in former days, the Patapsco
Near here, on a range of lofty hills running northward
Great viaduct at the Washington Junction. |
, are the residences of several gentlemen of wealth, among them J. H. B. Latrobe
, a distinguished citizen of Maryland
, whose house may be observed on the wooded hills seen beyond the viaduct in the little accompanying picture.
remained a little more than a week at the Relay House
, preparing to carry out his plan for seizing Baltimore
Meanwhile General Patterson
, anxious to vindicate the dignity and honor of his Government,
and to teach the secessionists of Maryland
a practical lesson of its power, and compel them to submit to lawful authority, sent the. First Pennsylvania Volunteer Artillery (Seventeenth in the line) and Sherman
's Battery, in all nine hundred and thirty men, under the command of his son, Francis E. Patterson
, to force a passage through Baltimore
These troops left Philadelphia
on the 8th of May, and on the following morning, accompanied by a portion of the Third Infantry Regiment of regulars from Texas
, embarked on the steamers Fanny Cadwalader
, and went down Chesapeake Bay
The whole force under Colonel Patterson
was about twelve hundred.
They debarked at Locust Point
, near Fort McHenry
, under cover of the guns of the Harriet Lane
and a small gunboat, at about four o'clock in the afternoon of the same day, in the presence of the Mayor
, the Police Commissioners
, and Marshal Kane
and a considerable police force.16
A counter-revolution in public sentiment was then making the Unionists of Maryland
The presence of troops at the Relay House
was promoting and stimulating the Union
feeling amazingly, and these troops landed and passed through the city on their way toward Washington
The wharves were crowded with excited citizens when the debarkation took place, and hundreds of these gave the Pennsylvanians hearty shouts of welcome.
These were the first of that immense army that streamed through Baltimore
without hinderance, thousands after thousands, while the great war that ensued went on.
was visited at the Relay House
by many Unionists
, who gave him all desired information; and he received such communications from General Scott
, on application, that he felt warranted in moving upon the town.
He had informed Scott
of the increasing power of the Unionists in Baltimore
; reminded him that the city was in the Department of Annapolis; and expressed the belief that, with his force in hand at the Relay House
, he could march through it. Colonel
(afterward General) Schuyler Hamilton
, who had accompanied the New York Seventh to Washington
, was then on the staff of the General-in-chief
He had learned the metal of General Butler
, and was not inclined to cast any obstacles in his way. The orders of General Scott
, prepared by him, gave Butler
permission to arrest secessionists in and out of Baltimore
, prevent armed insurgents from going to join those already in force at Harper's Ferry
, and to look after a large quantity of gunpowder said to be stored in a church in Baltimore
for the use of the secessionists.
To do this, Butler
must use force; and as no word that came from the General-in-chief
forbade his going into Baltimore
with his troops, he prepared to do so. Already a party of the Sixth Massachusetts had performed good service, in connection with a company of the New York Eighth and two guns of the Boston
Light Artillery, all under Major Cook
, in capturing Winans
's steam-gun at Ellicott's Mills
together with Dickinson
had promised Colonel Jones
, of the Sixth, which had fought its way through Baltimore
on the 19th of April, that his regiment should again march through that city, and now it was invited to that duty.
Toward the evening of the 13th, the entire Sixth Massachusetts Regiment, and a part of the New York Eighth, with the Boston Light Artillerymen
and two field-pieces — about one thousand men in all — and horses belonging to the General
and his staff, were on a train of cars headed toward Harper's Ferry
Before this train was a short one, bearing fifty men, who were ordered up to Frederick
to arrest Winans
When these trains moved up along the margin of the Patapsco Valley
, a spy of the Baltimore
conspirators started for that city with two fast trotting horses, to carry the important: information.
The trains moved slowly for about two miles, and then backed as slowly to the Relay House
, and past it, and at twilight had backed to the Camden Street Station
Intensely black clouds in the van of an approaching thunder-storm were brooding over the city, threatening a
fierce tempest, and few persons were abroad, or aware of this portentous arrival.
was informed of it in the course of the evening, and at once wrote a note to General Butler
, saying that the sudden arrival of a large body of troops would create much surprise, and he would like to know whether the General
intended to remain at the station, that the police might be notified, and take proper precautions for preserving the peace.
and his troops had disappeared in the gloom when the messenger with this note arrived at the Station
; but the inquiry was fully answered, to the astonishment of the whole city, loyal and disloyal, early the next morning, by a proclamation from the General
in the columns of the faithful Clipper
, dated “Federal Hill
, May 14, 1861,” in which it was announced that a detachment under his command occupied the city, “for the purpose, among other things, of enforcing respect and obedience to the laws, as well of the
State, if requested thereto by the civil authorities, as of the United States
laws, which are being violated within its limits by some malignant and traitorous men; and in order to testify the acceptance by the Federal Government
of the fact, that the city and all the well-intentioned portion of its inhabitants are loyal to the Union
and the Constitution
, and are to be so regarded and treated by all.”
How came Butler
and his men on Federal Hill
was a question upon thousands of lips on that eventful morning.
They had moved stealthily from the station in the gloom, at half-past 7 in the evening, piloted by Colonel Robert Hare
, of Ellicott's Mills
, and Captain McConnell
, through Lee
,, Montgomery, and Light Streets, to the foot of Federal Hill
The night was intensely dark, made so by the impending storm.
The flashes of lightning and peals of thunder were terrific, but the rain was withheld until they had nearly reached their destination.
Then it came like a flood, just as they commenced the ascent of the declivity.
“The spectacle was grand,” said the General
to the writer, while on the Ben Deford
, lying off Fort Fisher
one pleasant evening in December, 1864. “I was the first to reach the summit.
The rain was falling in immense volumes, and the lightning flashes followed each other in rapid succession making the point of every bayonet in that slow-moving
column appear like a tongue of flame, and the burnished brass cannon like sheets of fire.”
Officers and men were tho roughly drenched, and on the summit of the, hill they found very little shelter.
A house of refreshment, with a long upper and lower piazza, kept by a German, was taken possession of and made the General
's Headquarters; and there, dripping with the rain, he sat down and wrote his proclamation, which appeared in the morning.
His men had procured wood when the storm ceased, lighted fires, and were making themselves comfortable.
At eight o'clock, long after his proclamation had been scattered over the town, he received the Mayor
's message of the previous evening.
Important events had transpired since it was written, twelve hours before.
Sixth had again marched through Baltimore
, not, as before, the objects of assault by a brutal mob, but as a potential force, to hold that mob and also clothers in subserviency to law and order, and welcomed as deliverers by thousands of loyal citizens.
So confident was General Butler
in the moral and physical strength of his position, and of the salutary influence of his proclamation, in which he promised security to the peaceful and true, punishment to the turbulent and false, and justice to all, that he rode through the city with his staff on the day after his arrival, dined leisurely at the Gillmore House
, and had conferences with friends.
In that proclamation he forbade transportation of sup plies to the insurgents; asked for commissary stores, at fair prices, to the amount of forty thousand rations, and also clothing; forbade all assemblages of irregular military organizations; directed State military officers
to him; offered aid to the corporate authorities of Baltimore
, in the due administration of law; forbade the display of any secession flags or banners; and assured the people that he had such confidence in their loyalty that of the many thousands of troops which he might immediately concentrate there, he had come with scarcely more than a guard.
He made some important seizures of materials of war intended for the insurgents;19
cast Ross Winans
into Fort McHenry
, in accordance with orders from Washington
, and was preparing to try him by court-martial for his alleged crimes, when a letter, bearing a sting of reproof, came from General Scott
, saying:--“Your hazardous occupation of Baltimore
was made without my knowledge, and, of course, without my approbation.
It is a God-send that it was without a conflict of arms.
It is also reported that you have sent a detachment to Frederick
, but this is impossible.
Not a word have I heard from you as to either movement.
Let me hear from you.”
The operations of a night with a thousand men and a ready pen had made a future campaign with twelve thousand men, which the General-in-chief
had planned, unnecessary.
thought that the Brigadier
had used too daringly the “absolute” power accorded to a “commander of a department,” unless “restricted by specific orders or military law,” and overlooking, for the moment, the immense advantages gained for the Government
by such exercise of power, he insisted upon the recall of General Butler
It was done.
Viewed in the light of to-day, that recall appears like an almost fatal mistake.
“I always said,” wrote Mr. Cameron
, then Secretary of War
, from St. Petersburg
The Department of Annapolis. |
months afterward, “that if you had been left in Baltimore
, the rebellion would have been of short duration.”
There was no rebuke :in President Lincoln
's recall of General Butler
, in compliance with the wishes of General Scott
On the contrary, it had the appearance of commendation, for he immediately offered him the commission of a Major-General
of Volunteers, and the command of a much more extended military district, including Eastern Virginia
and the two Carolinas, with his Headquarters at Fortress Monroe
He was succeeded in command at Baltimore
by General Cadwalader
, of Philadelphia
, and the troops were temporarily withdrawn.
Afterward the Fifth New York Regiment (Zouave), Colonel Abraham Duryee
, occupied Federal Hill
, and thereon built the strong earthwork known as Fort Federal Hill
, whose cannon commanded both the town and Fort McHenry
The 14th of May was a memorable one in the annals of Maryland
, as the time when the tide of secession, which for weeks had been threatening to ingulf it in revolution, was absolutely checked, and the Unionists of the State
were placed upon solid vantage-ground, from which they were never driven a line, but were strengthened every hour.
On that day General Butler
broke the power of the conspirators, by the military occupation of Baltimore
and the promulgation of his proclamation, which disarmed treason.
On that day the dangerously disloyal Legislature adjourned, and Governor Hicks
, relieved of the pressure of rampant treachery around him, and assured by the Secretary of War
troops would not be ordered out of the State
, issued a proclamation calling for the four regiments named in the Secretary
's requisition for militia as the quota of that Commonwealth.
Thenceforth the tongues of loyal Marylanders were unloosed, and treason became weaker every hour; and their State was soon numbered among the stanchest of loyal Commonwealths, outstripping in practical patriotism Delaware
, and Missouri
On that eventful 14th of May, the veteran Major W. W. Morris
, in command at Fort McHenry
(which had lately been well garrisoned), first gave practical force to the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus
, which the exigency of the times seemed to give constitutional sanction for.21
A man claiming to be a soldier of the Maryland State Militia, was imprisoned in Fort McHenry
. Judge Giles
, of Baltimore
, issued a writ of habeas corpus
for his release, which Major Morris
refused to obey.
His letter to the Judge
was a spirited protest against the treasonable practices around him, and seemed to be a full justification of his action.
“At the date of issuing your writ,” he said, “and for two weeks previous, the city in which you live, and where your court has been held, was entirely under the control of revolutionary authorities.
Within that period United States
soldiers, while committing no offense, had been perfidiously attacked and inhumanly murdered in your streets;
no punishment had been awarded, and, I believe, no arrests had been made for these atrocious crimes;22
supplies of provisions intended for this garrison had been stopped; the intention to capture
this fort had been boldly proclaimed; your most public thoroughfares were daily patrolled by large numbers of troops, armed and clothed, at least in part, with articles stolen from the United States
; and the Federal
flag, while waving over the Federal
offices, was cut down by some person wearing the uniform of a Maryland soldier.23
To add to the foregoing, all assemblage elected in defiance of law, but claiming to be the legislative body of your State, and so recognized by the Executive
, was debating the Federal
If all this be not rebellion, I know not what to call it. I certainly regard it as sufficient legal cause for suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus
He added:--“If, in an experience of thirty-three years, you have never before known the writ to be disobeyed, it is only because such a contingency in political affairs as the present has never before arisen.”
Since the 19th of April, the Government
had felt compelled to resort to extraordinary measures for its preservation, and much was done “without due form of law,” excepting what the exercise of the war powers of the President
On the day after the massacre at Baltimore
original dispatches in the telegraph offices in all the principal cities in the Free-labor States, received during a year previously, were, by order of the Government
, issued on the 19th,
seized by the United States
Marshals at the same hour, namely, three o'clock in the afternoon.
The object was, to obtain evidence of the complicity of politicians in those States with the conspirators.
Every dispatch that seemed to indicate such complicity was sent to Washington
, and the Government
was furnished with such positive evidence of active sympathy with the insurgents that the offenders became exceedingly cautious and far less mischievous.
At about the same time, the necessity for arresting and imprisoning seditious persons in the Free-labor States seemed clear to the apprehension of the Government
, and such were made on simply the warrant of the Secretary of State
These offenders were confined in Fort McHenry
, at Baltimore
; Fort Lafayette, near New York, and Fort Warren
, in Boston harbor
Writs of habeas
were issued for their release.
At first some of them were obeyed, but finally, by order of the Government
, they were disregarded, and their issue ceased.
The most notable of these cases, at the beginning, was that of John Merryman
, a member of the Maryland Legislature, who was cast into Fort McHenry
late in May.
of the United States
(R. B. Taney
), residing in Baltimore
, took action in the matter, but General Cadwalader
, the commander of the department, refused to obey the mandates of this functionary, as well as that of the inferior judge, and the matter was dropped, excepting in the form of personal, newspaper, and legislative discussions of the subject, the chief questions at issue being, Which branch of the Government
has the power to suspend the privilege of the writ?
and Do circumstances warrant the exercise of that power?
We will not discuss that question here.
Many arrests were made; among them a large number of the members of the Maryland Legislature, the Mayors of Baltimore
, Marshal Kane
and the Police Commissioners
, and a number of other prominent men throughout the country.
Within the space of six months after the tragedy in Baltimore
, no less than one hundred prisoners of state, to whom the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus
was denied, were confined in Fort Lafayette alone.
The Government not only resorted to these extreme measures, but made greater preparations for a conflict of arms, plainly perceiving that insurrection
was rapidly assuming the proportions of formidable and extended rebellion
. By a proclamation on the 27th of April, the blockade24
was extended to the ports of North Carolina
; and by another proclamation on the 3d of May, the President
called into the service of the United States
forty-two thousand volunteers for three years; ordered an increase of the regular Army of twenty-two thousand seven hundred and fourteen officers and enlisted men, for not less than one year nor more than three years; and for the enlistment of eighteen thousand seamen for the naval service.
This was the first call for volunteers
, the former requisition being for the militia of the several States,25
full one hundred and fifty thousand of whom were organized or were forming at the close of April.
The response to this was equally if not more remarkable.
The enthusiasm of the people was unbounded.
Money and men were offered in greater abundance than the Government
seemed to need.
The voluntary contributions offered to the public treasury, and for the fitting out of troops and maintaining their families, by individuals, associations, and corporations, amounted, at the beginning of May, to full forty millions of dollars
Six weeks earlier than this, that sagacious Frenchman, Count Agenor de Gasparin
, one of the few foreigners who seemed to comprehend the American
people, and the nature and significance of the impending struggle, wrote, almost prophetically, saying:--“At the present hour, the Democracy of the South
is about to degenerate into demagogism.
But the North
presents quite a different spectacle.
Mark what is passing there; pierce beneath ap. pearances, beneath the inevitable wavering of a debut
, so well prepared for
by the preceding Administration, and you will find the firm resolution of a people uprising.
Who speaks of the end of the United States
This end seemed approaching but lately, in the hour of prosperity; then, honor was compromised, esteem for the country was lowered, institutions were becoming corrupted apace; the moment seemed approaching when the confederation, tainted with Slavery, could not but perish with it. Now, every thing has changed in aspect.
The friends of America
should take confidence, for its greatness is inseparable, thank God!
from the cause of justice.
Justice can not do wrong
. I like to recall this maxim, when I consider the present state of America
At the middle of May, Washington City
was safe, for thousands of well-armed loyal men were within its borders.
Troops were quartered in the immense Patent Office building.
was a vast citadel Its legislative halls, its rotunda, and other rooms were filled with soldiery, and its basement galleries were converted into store-rooms for barrels of beef, pork, and other materials for army rations in great abundance.
Under the direction of Lieutenant T. J. Cate
, of the Massachusetts Sixth, the vaults under the broad terrace on the western front of the Capitol
were converted into bakeries, where sixteen thousand loaves of bread were bake d every day. The chimneys of the ovens pierced the terrace at the junction of the freestone pavement and the grassy slope of the glacis, as seen in the picture; and there for months,
Government bakeries at the Capitol. |
smoke poured forth in dense black columns like the issues of a smoldering volcano Before the summer had begun Washington City
was an immense garrisoned town, and strong fortifications
were rapidly growing upon the hills around it. And yet the conspirators still dreamed of possessing it. Two days after their Convention at Montgomery
adjourned to meet in Richmond
on the 20th of July, Alexander H. Stephens
, in a speech at Atlanta
, after referring to the occupation of the National
edifices at Washington
by the soldiery, said:--“Their filthy spoliation of the public buildings and the works of art at the Capitol
, and their preparations to destroy them, are strong evidences to my mind that they do not intend to hold or defend that place, but to abandon it, after having despoiled and laid it in ruins.
Let them destroy it, savage-like, if they will.
We will rebuild it. We will make the structures more glorious.
Phenix-like, new and more substantial structures will rise from its ashes.
Planted anew, under the auspices of our superior institutions, it will live and flourish throughout all ages.”
At the beginning of May, by fraud, by violence, and by treachery, the conspirators and their friends had robbed the Government
to the amount of forty millions of dollars; put about forty thousand armed men in the field, twenty-five thousand of whom were at that period concentrating in Virginia
; sent emissaries abroad, with the name of Commissioners, to seek recognition and aid from foreign powers; commissioned numerous pirates to prey upon the commerce of the United States
; extinguished the lights of light-houses and beacons along the coasts of the Slave-labor States, from Hampton Roads
to the Rio Grande
and enlisted actively in their revolutionary schemes the Governors
of thirteen States, and large numbers of leading politicians in other States.
Insurrection had become rebellion; and the loyal people of the country, and the National Government
, beginning to comprehend the magnitude and potency of the movement, accepted it as such, and addressed themselves earnestly to the task of its suppression.
Tail-piece — Light extinguished.|