|The 6th Massachusetts Regiment had to battle its way through|
Baltimore, Maryland on its ways to Washington, D.C. on April
19, 1861. (Library of Congress)
April 22, 1861
On Friday morning, the excitement which had been gradually rising in Baltimore for some days, with reference to the passage of Northern volunteer troops southward, reached its climax upon the arrival of the Massachusetts and other volunteers, some from Philadeiphia, at President street depot, in that city, at 10 Â½ o'clock. A large crowd had assembled, evidently to give them an unwelcome reception. The arrangements contemplated the passage of thirty-one cars occupled by the volunteers, from President street depot to the Camden station of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, over the intervening space oceupied by the Pratt street track. The Sun says:
The cars were dispatched one after the other by horses, and upon the arrival of the first car at the intersection of Gay and Pratt sts., a vast assemblage having collected there, demonstrations were made which evidently contemplated the stopping of the troops at that point. Just there, repairs of the road were in progress, and a number of paving stones were lying in heaps, which were seized by the crowd and used for purposes of assault.
Six of the cars had succeeded in passing on their way before the crowd were able to accomplish their purpose of barricading the track, which they now began to effect by placing large heavy anchors lying in the vicinity directly across the rails. Some seven or eight were borne by the crowd and laid on the track, and thus the passage of the cars was effectually interrupted.
Having accomplished this object, the crowd set to lustily cheering for the South, for Jefferson Davis, South Carolina and secession, and groans for sundry obnoxious parties. In the mean while the troops thus delayed at the depot remained quietly in the cars until tired of their inaction, and apprehending a more formidable demonstration, they came to the conclusion to face the music and march through the city.
They accordingly evacuated the cars, and rapidly gathering on the street north of the depot, formed in line and prepared to make the attempt. The word was given to "march," and the head of the line had advanced some fifteen paces, when it was driven back upon the main body by the immense crowd, still further increased by a body of men who marched down to the depot, bearing at their head a Confederate flag.
Eight of the cars started from the President street depot and six passed safely to the Camden station. The other two soon returned, the track in the meantime having been obstructed at the corner of Pratt and Gay streets by anchors, paving stones, sand, &c., being put on it by the crowd. Attempts had previously been made to tear up the track, but the police by strenuous effort prevented. A cart load of sand which was being driven along was seized and thrown upon the track.
The bridge across Jones' Falls on Pratt street, was also soon after barricaded with boards, &c., which were being used previously by workmen in repairing it.
After considerable delay it was determined to make the attempt to march the remaining troops through the city, only about sixty of whom were supplied with arms. The remainder were recruits, and occupied second-class and baggage cars.
At the head of this column, on foot, Mayor Brown placed himself, and walked in front, exerting all his influence to preserve peace.
Just before the movement was made from the cars, a large crowd of persons went down President street with a Southern flag, and met the troops as they emerged from the cars. The Southern flag was then carried in front of the column, and hooting and yelling began, and as soon as the troops turned out of Canton avenue, they were greeted with a volley of stones.
At the corner of Fawn street, two of the soldiers were struck with stones and knocked down; one of them was taken by the police to the drug store of T. J. Pitt, at the corner of Pratt and High streets, and the other to the Eastern police station.
The yelling continued, and the stones flew thick and fast. At Pratt street Bridge a gun was fired, said by Policeman No. 71 to have been fired from the ranks of the soldiers.
Then the crowd pressed stronger, until the body reached the corner of Gray street, where the troops presented arms and fired. Several persons fell on the first round, and the crowd became furious. A number of revolvers were used, and their shots took effect in the ranks.
People then ran in every direction in search of arms, but the armories of the military companies of the city were closely guarded and noue could be obtained. The firing continued from Frederick street to South street in quick succession, but how many fell cannot now be ascertained.
Among those wounded was a young man named Francis X. Ward, who resides at corner of Baltimore and Aisquith streets. He was shot in the groin, but the wound is not thought to be mortal.
A young man named James Clark, formerly connected with No. 1 Hock and Ladder Company, was shot through the head, and instantly killed.
James Myers, residing on Fayette street, was shot in the right side of the back, near the spine, and the ball, a Minnie, passed through him, and lodged amongst the false ribs. He was mortally wounded. John McCann, of No. 2 North Bond street, was mortally wounded.
A man named Flannery, residing on Federick street, near Pratt, wasmortally wounded, and died shortly after.
--Carr, residing at the corner of Exeter and Bank streets, was wounded by a musket ball in the knee. The wound is severe.
John Staub, clerk with Tucker & Smith, on Charles street, shot in the fore finger of the right hand.
A young man named Malony was shot on Pratt street, near Gay, and died at the central police station.
James Keenan was wounded by having a Minuie ball pass through his body. He was one of the stranger soldiers. His wound was supposed to be mortal. He was taken to the office of Dr. Hintze, where he received surgical attendance, and was then taken to the Protestant Infirmary.
At the police station, an old man, who did not give his name, was badly wounded.
How many were wounded it is impossible to ascertain, as many of the soldiers who left on the cars were known to have been injured.
Kirk Hatch, of Philadelphia, was wounded on the head by a blow from a stone or bludgeon. He was severely injured.
--Conner, of Baltimore, was also wounded on the head with a stone, and was taken to his residence on Bond street.
At the central police station two soldiers were taken in dead, as also two citizens. --Three soldiers and one citizen were taken to the same place wounded. The crowd passed on up Pratt street, and near Light street there was another volley fired.
At Light street wharf a boy named William Reed, a hand on board the oyster sloop "Wild Pigeon," of York county, Va., received a ball through the abdomen, and was dying, at last accounts, in the hold of the schooner.
Another boy, Patrick Griffin, employed at the Green House, Pratt street, was shot through the bowels while looking from the door.
A frenzied crowd returned the fire from revolvers, and with bricks. Andrew Robbins, a member of a volunteer company from Stonington, Conn., was shot in the back of the head, and fell from the ranks. He was taken into the drug-store of Jesse S. Hunt's corner of Pratt and Charles streets. His wound is dangerous.
Another soldier, S. H. Needham, a member of the Massachusetts regiment, was struck by a brick and knocked insensible from the ranks. He was taken into the bookstore of T. N. Kurtz, 181 Pratt street. He subsequently died. Prof. J. W. R. Dunbar was very active in rendering assistance to the wounded, as were also other physiclans.
The firing on the citizens at Howard and Dover streets.
At the corner of Howard and Dover streets one of the marching companies was pressed upon, when the troops in one of the cars fired a volley into the citizens. The ball struck in the brick walls of the dwelling, dashing out pieces of brick, and making large holes in the walls. The fire was returned from several points with guns and revolvers, and with bricks by the crowd. Several soldiers were wounded here, but it is thought no citizens were struck by the bullets of the soldiers. The faces of many of the soldiers, as seen through the car windows, were streaming with blood from cuts received from the shattered glass of car windows, and from the missiles hurled into them. Several wounded, supposed to have been shot in their passage along Pratt street, were taken out of the car in a bleeding and fainting condition at the Camden station, and transferred to the other cars.
From Gay to South street, on Pratt, the fight with the soldiers who marched, or rather ran through town, was terrific. Large paving stones were hurled into the ranks from every direction, the negroes who were about the wharf, in many instances, joining in the assault. At Gay street the soldiers fired a number of shots, though without hitting any one, so far as could be ascertained. After firing this volley the soldiers again broke into a run, but another shower of stones being hurled into the ranks at Commerce street with such force as to knock several of them down, the order was given to another portion of them to halt and fire, which had to be repeated before they could be brought to a halt. They then wheeled and fired some twenty shots, but from their stooping and dodging to avoid the stones, but four or five shots took effect, the marks of a greater portion of their balls being visible on the walls of the adjacent warehouses, even up to the second stories.--Here four citizens fell, two of whom died in a few moments, and the other two were carried off, supposed so be mortally wounded.
As one of the soldiers fired he was struck with a stone and knocked down, and as he attempted to arise another stone struck him in the face, when he crawled into a store, and prostrating himself on the floor, clasped his hands and begged piteously for his life, saying that he was threatened with instant death by his officers if he refused to accompany them. He said one-half of them had been forced to come in the same manner, and he hoped all who forced others to come might be killed before they got through the city. He plead so hard that no further vengeance was bestowed upon him, and he was taken to the police station to have his wounds dressed. As soon as they had fired at this point they again wheeled and started off in a full run, when some three or four parties issued from the warehouses there and fired into them, which brought down three more soldiers, one of whom was carried into the same store with the one above alluded to, and died in a few moments. The others succeeded in regaining their feet, and proceeded on with their comrades, the whole running as fast as they could and a running fire was kept up by the soldiers from this point to the depot, the crowd continuing to hurl stones into the ranks throughout the whole line of march.
The troops reach the Camden Railroad station.
As early as nine o'clock throngs collected about the Camden Station in anticipation of the arrival of the troops from the President street depot. The througs gradually augmented until about 10 Â½ o'clock, when a large body of police appeared, and the mass took it for granted that the troops were coming. Meanwhile, the assembly kept itself informed on events at the lower depot by several young men on horseback, who rode rapidly forward and back between the depots. The Mayor of the city and the Board of Police Commissioners did their utmost to pacify the crowd, as well as did other prominent citizens. Finally crowds, rushing pell-mell from the lower streets towards the depot, gave notice that the cars were coming, and they arrived one after another, drawn by four horses. The blinds of most of the cars were shut down, and in those not provided with blinds the troops laid down flat to avoid the bricks thrown at them. The car windows were perfectly riddled, and their sides bore great indentations from the rocks and bricks hurled at them.
The scene while the troops were changing cars was indiscribably fearful. Taunts, clothed in the most fearful language, were hurled at them by the panting crowd, who, almost breathless with running, pressed up to the car windows, presenting knives and revolvers, and cursed up into the faces of the soldiers.--The police were thrown in between the cars, and forming a barrier, the troops changed cars, many of them cocking their muskets as they stepped on the platform.
After embarking the assemblage expected to see the train move off, but its departure was evidently delayed in the vain hope that the crowd would disperse; but no, it swelled, and the troops expressed to the officers of the road their determination to go at once, or they would leave the cars and make their way to Washington.
While the delay was increasing the excitement, a wild cry was raised on the platform, and a dense crowd ran down the platform and out the railroad track towards the Spring Gardens, until the track for a mile was black with an excited, rushing mass. The crowd, as it went, placed obstrustions of every description on the track. Great logs and telegraph poles, requiring a dozen or more men to move them, were laid across the rails, and stones rolled from the embankment.
A body of police followed after the crowd, both in a full run, and removed the obstructions as fast as they were placed on the track. Various attempts were made to tear up the track with logs of wood and pieces of timber, and there was a great outcry for pickaxes and handspikes, but only one or two could be found. The police interfered on every occasion, but the crowd, growing large and more excited, would dash off into a breakneck run for another position further on, until the county line was reached. The police followed, running, until forced to stop from exhaustion. At this point many of the throng gave it up from exhaustion, but a crowd, longer winded, dashed on for nearly a mile further, now and then pausing to attempt to force the rails, or place some obstruction upon them. They could be distinctly seen for a mile along the track where it makes a bend at the Washington Road bridge. When the train went out, the mass of people had mostly returned to the depot. Shots and stones were exchanged between the military and citizens at several points, with the result detailed elsewhere.
The Shooting and Killing of Robert W. Davis, Esq.--inquest at the Southern Police station.
The death of Robert W. Davis, Esq., at the hands of the Northern troops yesterday, has created an intense feeling in this community, especially among the merchants, of which class he was an honored member, in the firm of Messrs. Pegram, Paynter & Davis, Baltimore street. He had gone out to the railroad track with the multitude, and when shot was standing apart with some gentlemen on an elevation, between the distillery and Redley street, on the Spring Garden side. He received a Minnie musket ball in his left side, and reeling for a moment or two, fell, and died without uttering a word, though he breathed several times after policemen Pumphrey, Creamer, Butler and Hawkins reached him. A ball also penetrated the back of his coat. Two or three shots were fired from the rear cars after he fell, The body was conveyed in a vehicle to the southern police station, where Justice John Showacre appeared at three o'clockyesterday afternoon and summoned a jury of inquest, composed of the following persons: George R. Berry, (foreman,) Wm.T. Spies, James Cann, J. H. Bradley, John Lloyd, A. C. Wheeler, Peter Leuts, George W. Mitchell, M. Sloan, George R. Rhodes, George Boyce, Henry Fowle. Dr. McKew examined the body for the jury, who, after reviewing it as required by law, adjourned to 9 o'clock this morning, to assemble at the southern station.
The corpse was laid out at the station dressed in the clothes the deceased had on when he received his death wound--one kid glove on, and the other partly drawn. Great curiosity was evined by the citizens to view the body, and expressions of sympathy were deep and fervent. At four o'clock the remains were placed in a coffin and conveyed to deceased's late residence, corner of Saratoga and Liberty streets, Mr. Davis leaves a widow, but no children. He was an Irishman by birth, and married in Virginia. He has a brother who is an officer in the British army. Immediately upon the announcement of his death many of the wholesale dry goods stores of the city were closed in respect to his memory and in testimony of his worth. He was a gentleman of irreproachable character, fine intelligence, and great popularity in mercantile circles.
We learn from an eye-witness that the deceased had gone out to the railroad track in company with Thomas W. Hall, Jr., Leslie Buckler, of the firm of Buckler, Shipley & Co., and two other gentlemen, and was returning towards the city when they met the train coming out, followed by the excited multitude. At this time very few in the crowd knew of the fearful deed of blood which had been enacted on Pratt street. Mr. Davis and his companions stepped aside to see the train pass, when two or three soldiers pointed their muskets from the car windows in a threatening manner, at which the crowd langhed. In another moment nearly a dozen muskets were fired from the cars into the spectators, and Mr. Davis fell, Mr. Hall, who was leaning on the deceased's shoulder, said, "Davis, are you hurt?" to which he replied, "Yes, I am killed." He then relapsed into the agonies of death. The funeral of the deceased will take place from Emanuel (Episcopal) Church, at 3 o'clock to-morrow afternoon.
The death of Philip Thomas Miles.
Philip Thomas Miles, son of Uriah Miles, Esq., residing at No. 337 West Fayette street, was shot dead in the vicinity of Pratt and South streets, during the discharge of a volley from the soldiers. The ball entered at the navel, and passed entirely through the stomach. He died instantly, and the body was conveyed to the middle district station, where an inquest was held. The verdict was that the deceased came to his death by a discharge from firearms at the hands of some persons unknown. The father of the deceased, on hearing of the tragedy, repaired to the spot, and learning that the body had been removed to the station, repaired thither, and had the remains conveyed to his residence. Deceased was an estimable young man, about 19 years of age, and had but recently left school.
Rushing to arms.
When it became evident that the Northern troops were firing with ball cartridge upon the citizens, there was an instant resort to firearms, and people rushed frantically to their homes and the gun shops. The gun store of Mr. J. C. J. Meyer, 14 West Pratt st., near Mill, was broken into by an excited, unarmed crowd, who armed themselves, assuring the proprietor that his guns would be returned to him, or full compensation made.--Mr. Meyer, with tears in his eyes, said he was a poor man, but a Southerner. A crowd rushed into the gunsmith establishment of Alexander McComas, No. 51 South Calvert street, and armed themselves with a number of the weapons in the store. At the first collision with the troops the citizens were mostly unarmed.
We learn that Col. Isaac M. Denson, of the firm of Messrs. Denson & Buck, No. 100 Light street, has tendered to the Board of Police Commissioners 900 of Hall's patent titles, and the arms are now subject to their order.
Last night Needham, one of the wounded Northern soldiers, was removed to the Lombar Street Infirmary, where he was attended by Prof. Hammond and Dr. Mitholland. His skull is fractured front, over the left eye, and there was a severe cut over the right eye. He will probably die. The boy, Wm. Reed, shot on board the schooner lying at Light street wharf, was wounded near the groin, and is fatal. Robbins, another of the wounded soldiers, will be conveyed to the Infirmary to-day. His wound is a musket or pistol ball in the back part of the neck, ranging up into the head.
The Governor, Mayor, and President of the Board of Police, at noon caused an order for the instant assembling of the military of the city, with instructions to repel the march of any more Northern troops through the city.
In a short time thereafter, Gen. Edgerton appeared on the street and told the people what had been done, and it gave satisfaction. In the afternoon, the First Light Division was on Calvert street, fully armed and equipped.
The Battalion of Maryland Guards, Col. Brush, was out in full force. The Battalion of BaltimoreCity Guards, under Lt. Col. Warner; three companies of Independent Greys; two companies of Law Greys; the Shields Guards; the Jackson Guards; the Wells and McComas Rifles, and the Eagle Artillery. The whole division formed on Calvert street. Gens. Watkins and Egerton, Col. Peters. Majors Fox and Carr, Quartermaster Scott and Adjutant Swinney, were the regimental officers, besides Col. Brush and Lieut. Col. Warner.