Maryland in the Civil War

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Maryland in the American Civil War

Maryland and the Civil War (1861-1865)

Maryland (1861-1865)

At the beginning of the secession movement Maryland was a
much coveted prize by the states that were determined to with-
draw from the Union. Located between the great free state of
Pennsylvania on the north and the great slave state of Virginia on
the south, her secession meant the surrender of the national capital
to the South and the extension of the Confederacy up to Mason
and Dixon's line. The South had great hopes that such would be the
case. In the election of 1860 Maryland had cast her electoral vote
for Breckenridge and Lane, the ticket that stood for Southern
Rights, which was considered a strong indication that she would
ultimately link her fortunes with the Confederacy. Although
nominally a slave state, the slaves within her borders constituted
only about 12 per cent, of the total population, and this percentage
was gradually decreasing. According to the census of 1860 the
population of the state was made up of 515,918 whites, 83,942 free
negroes, and 87,189 slaves. The ratio of increase during the pre-
ceding ten years had been 23.49 for the whites and 12 for the free
negroes, while the slaves had decreased nearly 4 per cent. A Con-
federate writer, Bradley T. Johnson, in describing the situation in
Maryland about this time, says: " She had no sympathy with
slavery, for she had emancipated more than half her slaves and
had established a negro state of Maryland in Africa, where she was
training her emancipated servants to take control of their own
destiny as free men. and this colony she supported by annual
appropriations out of her public taxes. There was no involuntary
servitude in Maryland, for as soon as a servant became discon-
tented he or she just walked over the line into Pennsylvania, where
they were safely harbored and concealed."
Notwithstanding this state of the public mind, there were many
who believed that the state would readily pass an ordinance of
secession if the proper authorities could only be induced to take
action. Shortly after the election of President Lincoln, Gov.
Thomas H. Hicks was importuned by a number of citizens, headed
by Thomas G. Pratt and S. T. Wallis, to call an extra session of
the legislature, that that body might take the legal steps to provide
for a state convention which would express the sentiment of the
people. To the petition of these gentlemen the governor replied
in a long letter, under date of Nov, 27, 1860, setting forth his
views as follows: "I cannot but believe that the convening of
the legislature in extra session at this time would only have the
effect of increasing and reviving the excitement now pervading
the country, and now apparently on the decline. It would at once
be heralded by the sensitive newspapers and alarmists throughout
the country as evidence that Maryland had abandoned all hope of
the Union, and was preparing to join the traitors to destroy it."
Gov. Hicks was something of a paradox. Although he declined
to call a special session of the legislature, he wrote a letter on Dec.
6, 1860, to a Capt. Contee, of Prince George county, in which he
said: "If the Union must be dissolved, let it be done calmly, delib-
erately, and after full reflection on the part of a united South.

* * * * * After allowing a reasonable time for action on the
part of the Northern States, if they shall neglect or refuse to
observe the plain requirements of the constitution, then, in my
judgment, we shall be fully warranted in demanding a division of
the country. * * * * * I shall be the last one to object to a
withdrawal of our state from a Confederacy that denies to us
the enjoyment of our undoubted rights; but believing that neither
her honor nor interests will suffer by a proper and just delay, I
cannot assist in placing her in a position from which we may
hereafter wish to recede. When she moves in the matter, I wish
to be side by side with Virginia — our nearest neighbor — Ken-
tucky and Tennessee." When the contents of this letter were
made public, the secessionists took fresh courage, for they thought
they saw in it that the governor was coming round to their views.
Again he was urged to call a special session, but again he declined.
The first decisive action came on Dec. 19. 1860, when a public
meeting was called at Baltimore to listen to an address by Judge
A. H. Handy, the commissioner sent by the state of Mississippi to
the state of Maryland. In the course of his remarks Judge Handy
said: "Secession is not intended to break up the present govern-
ment, but to perpetuate it. Our plan is for the Southern states to
withdraw from the Union for the present, to allow amendments to
the constitution to be made, guaranteeing our just rights; and
if the Northern States will not make these amendments, by which
these rights shall be secured to us, then we must secure them the
best way we can. This question of slavery must be settled now or
never. Many remedies have failed, we must try amputation to
bring it to a healthy state. We must have amendments to the con-
stitution, and if we cannot get them we must set up for ourselves."
To this address the governor replied on behalf of Maryland
declaring it to be his purpose to act in harmony with the other
border states, with the governors of which he was then in corre-
spondence. expressing as his opinion that the people of Maryland,
would sustain such a policy. He agreed as to the necessity for
protection to southern rights, acknowledged his sympathy with the
gallant sons of Mississippi, but hoped that they would act with
prudence as well as courage. A few days later a Union meeting
was held, which has been referred to as "one of the most impress-
ive and influential assemblages ever convened in Baltimore for po-
litical purposes." The spirit of the people may be seen in the
resolutions adopted at this meeting, declaring "that the present
condition of our country demands of all who love her a spirit of
fairness, of candor, of conciliation, of concession, and of self-
sacrifice; that we hail with thankful and hopeful hearts the patri-
otic efforts now being made in Congress for the settlement, we
trust forever, of the dangerous questions at issue, on some consti-
tutional, just and equitable principle; that such of our statesmen
and states, whether North or South, as may contribute most to this
holy end, will challenge the highest place in the affections of our
country; that those who may refuse to lend their aid to this holy
purpose may justly expect, as they will be sure to receive, the con-
demnation and reprobation of the present, as well as of future
This meeting demonstrated that the Unionists were in a decisive
majority, and about this time 5,000 representative citizens ad-
dressed a letter to Gov. Hicks, approving his action in refusing to
call the legislature together in the interests of the disunionists.
Backed by this sentiment the governor grew more outspoken in
favor of the Union. To the commissioner from Alabama he
replied that he regarded the proposed cooperation of the slave
states as an infraction of the constitution of the United States, which
he, as governor of Maryland, had taken an oath to support; that
the people of the state were firm in their devotion to the Union;
that they had seen with mortification and regret the course taken
by South Carolina; and that it was better to use the union for the
enforcement of their rights and the redress of their griev-
ances than to break it up because of apprehensions that the provi-
sions of the constitution would be disregarded. The seces-
sionists, however, continued to urge a special session of the
legislature, and on Jan. 3, 1861, the governor issued an address to
the people of the state in which he stated more fully his views, as
the following extracts will show: "I firmly believe that a division
of this government would inevitably produce civil war. The seces-
sion leaders in South Carolina and the fanatical demagogues of
the North have alike proclaimed that such would be the result, and
no man of sense, in my opinion, can question it. What could the
legislature do in this crisis, if convened, to remove the present
troubles which beset the Union? We are told by the leading spirits
of the South Carolina convention that neither the election of Mr.
Lincoln nor the non-execution of the Fugitive Slave Law, nor both
combined, constitute their grievances. They declare that the real
cause of their discontent dates as far back as 1833. Maryland and
every other state in the Union, with a united voice, then declared
the cause insufficient to justify the course of South Carolina. Can
it be that this people who then unanimously supported the cause
of Gen. Jackson will now yield their opinions at the bidding of
modern secessionists? * * * * * The people of Maryland,
if left to themselves, would decide, with scarcely an exception,
that there is nothing in the present causes of complaint to justify
immediate secession; and yet against our judgments and solemn
convictions of duty, we are to be precipitated into this revolution,
because South Carolina thinks differently. Are we not equals?

Or shall her opinion control our actions? After we have solemnly
declared for ourselves, as every man must do, are we to be forced
to yield our opinions to those of another state, and thus in effect
obey her mandates? She refuses to wait for our counsels. Are
we bound to obey her commands? * * * * * The whole plan
of operations, in the event of the assembling of the legislature,
is, as I have been informed, already marked out, the list of ambas-
sadors who are to visit the other states is agreed on, and the reso-
lutions which they hope will be passed by the legislature, fully
committing this state to secession, are said to be already prepared.
* * * * * In the course of nature, I cannot have long to live,
and I fervently trust to be allowed to end my days a citizen of
this glorious Union. But should I be compelled to witness the
downfall of that government inherited from our fathers, estab-
lished, as it were, by the special favor of God, I will at least have
the consolation at my dying hour that I neither by word nor deed
assisted in hastening its disruption."
On Jan. 10, 1861, — the same date as the Union meeting
already referred to — a "Conference Convention" met in the Law
Building in Baltimore "for the purpose of conferring relative to
the threatening condition of public affairs." Col. John Sellman
was chosen president; D. M. Ferine and W. T. Goldsborough,
vice-presidents; Horace Resley and J. H. Stone, secretaries. The
convention remained in session for two days, during which time
resolutions were adopted declaring devotion to the Union and
concurring in the wisdom and propriety of the Crittenden com-
promise, then pending in the national Congress. R. B. Carmi-
chael, W. T. Goldsborough, A. B. Davis, John Contee, A. B. Hag-
ner and Ross Winans were appointed a committee to wait on the
governor and solicit him to issue a proclamation calling on the
people to vote, on the last Monday in January, on the proposition
to call a convention, and in case the people indorsed the move-
ment to proclaim the second Monday in February as the date of
electing delegates to such convention. Gov. Hicks received the
committee with courtesy, but firmly refused to issue the proclama-
tion. Finding their efforts to secure a special session of the legis-
lature or a vote of the people for or against a convention, the se-
cessionists began working by underhand methods. The center of
their operations was at Baltimore, where they secretly established
a recruiting office at which men were enlisted for the Confederate
cause and sent to Charleston, S. C. They received some encour-
agement to work more openly when the Virginia legislature,
on Jan. 19, 1861, passed the resolution calling on the states to
send delegates to a "Peace Conference" to be held in the City of
Washington on Feb. 4. Gov. Hicks acquiesced in this move-
ment and appointed as commissioners Reverdy Johnson, A. W.
Bradford, W. T. Goldsborough, J. W. Crisfield and J. D. Roman.
Nothing was accomplished by the conference, which recom-
mended a substitute for the Crittenden amendment, but which
was rejected by Congress.
Meantime the advocates of a convention adopted another
course. On Feb. 1 the citizens of Baltimore who were "in favor
of restoring the constitutional Union of states, and who desire
the position of Maryland in the existing crisis to be ascertained
by a convention of the people," gathered in a town meeting in the
Maryland Institute. Scharf says the meeting "was an immense
one of citizens who regarded with anxiety and indignation the
position of Maryland and the course of Gov. Hicks." Resolu-
tions setting forth this view were adopted and the meeting ex-
tended an invitation to the several counties of the state to send
delegates to a convention to meet in Baltimore on Feb. 18, Pur-
suant to this call the "State Conference Convention," as it was
called, assembled in the Universalist church on the day appointed
and organized by electing Judge E. F. Chambers, of Kent coun-
ty, as president; J. C. Groome, D. M. Ferine, H. G. S. Key, J. F.
Dashiell and Andrew Rench, vice-presidents. The session lasted
but two days. A series of resolutions were adopted, asserting
that, as the governor had signified his intention of issuing a
proclamation calling a convention, in the event of a failure on
the part of the peace conference and Congress to reach some
satisfactory plan of compromise; and as this was the best method
of securing a full and fair expression of the popular will, the
convention approved a delay until the action of Congress and
the conference could be definitely ascertained. An address to
the people was also adopted and the convention adjourned to
March 12, with the proviso that if the governor did not by that
time issue his proclamation calling a convention the adjourned
session should recommend to the people to proceed at once to
elect delegates to such a convention. When the convention re-
assembled on March 12, it was in greatly reduced numbers. It
declared in favor of a border states convention, and appointed
Walter Mitchell, E. F. Chambers, W. H. Norris, E. L. Lowe, I.
D. Jones and J. H. Thomas a committee to wait upon the Virginia
convention, then in session, and urge that state to cooperate in
such a movement. An effort was made by some of the more
radical delegates to secure the passage of a resolution declaring
that "all attempts upon the part of the Federal government to
reoccupy, repossess or retake any forts or any other property
within the limits of the seceded states, would be acts of war, and
that such acts would absolve Maryland and the border states
from all connection with the United States." This resolution
was opposed by the conservative members "as in reality opening
the way to secession, and as initiating a program that would not
be sanctioned by the people of Maryland," and in the end it was
Some little excitement occurred in the latter part of Febru-
ary, over the report of a conspiracy to assassinate President elect
Lincoln, as he passed through Baltimore on his way to Washing-
ton. According to the program Mr. Lincoln was to arrive in
Baltimore by the Northern Central railroad from Harrisburg,
Pa., about noon on Saturday, the 23d, take dinner at the Eutaw
house and proceed to Washington in the afternoon. Instead of
this arrangement being carried out the President elect left Har-
risburg at 6 p. m. on the 22nd. on a special train for Philadelphia,
passed through Baltimore in the night and arrived at Washing-
ton at 6 o'clock Saturday morning. On Friday afternoon a com-
mittee of prominent citizens left Baltimore to meet Mr. Lincoln
at Harrisburg. Upon their arrival there they repaired to the
Jones House and were informed that Mr. Lincoln had retired for
the night. Early the next morning they renewed their demand
to see him and were informed that he was "safe in Washington."
Concerning the affair the Baltimore American of the 26th said
editorially: "We were yesterday informed by Marshal Kane
that the following statement, which appeared yesterday in the
despatch of our Washington correspondent 'Special,' is literally
correct, so far as it refers to himself:
"'It appears that a few hundred men, particularly obnoxious
to the people and public sentiment of Baltimore, had determined
to avail themselves of the opportunity to use Mr. Lincoln, and
to accompany him in procession from the depot to his hotel. They
applied to Marshal Kane for protection by the police. He ad-
vised against the proceeding, assuring the parties that while
Mr. Lincoln, in his passage through Baltimore, would be treated
with the respect due to him personally and to his high official
position, there was no guaranty that the procession would be
similarly respected. He thought, moreover, that the proceeding
would be calculated to place the people of Baltimore in a false
position, as neither they nor the citizens of Maryland sympathized
with Mr. Lincoln's political views. He advised, therefore, that
the idea of a procession should be abandoned, lest it might pro-
voke some indignity which would involve the character of Balti-
more and be very unpleasant to the president elect.'
"Marshal Kane informed us that he did give the information to
Mr. Corwin and other friends of Mr. Lincoln, so that the change
of route and incognito entrance to Washington was caused by a
desire to escape from his pretended friends here, and thus pre-
vent a breach of the peace that would have been disgraceful to
the city and derogatory to American character. We do not be-
lieve there was any intention to assault or even insult the presi-
dent elect on the part of our community, but it is a notorious
fact that the Baltimore Republican committee, who proceeded
to Harrisburg and declared their determination to escort Mr.
Lincoln to his quarters, would have been assailed and pelted
with eggs, if not otherwise maltreated. This would have in-
volved Mr. Lincoln in the disturbance, and we cannot but think
that he acted wisely under the information communicated by
Col. Kane, in preventing the possibility of such an occurrence as
was feared by our police authorities."
This is doubtless the correct version of an affair which, owing
to the intense excitement prevailing over the country at the time,
was magnified into a conspiracy against the president's life.
With the attack on Fort Sumter by the Confederates on April
12, and its subsequent surrender, the excitement was increased.
That event was quickly followed by a call for volunteers to sup-
press the rebellion and the departure from New York of armed
vessels to coerce the seceded states into obedience, which added
fuel to the flames in Maryland. On the 17th Mayor George W.
Brown, of Baltimore, issued a proclamation calling on all good
citizens to refrain from every act which could possibly lead to an
outbreak of any kind; to avoid heated arguments and harsh
words, and to render in all cases prompt and efficient aid to the
authorities in maintaining peace and order. But the day of
proclamations had passed and the mayor's good advice was un-
heeded. The conditions were further intensified when on the
same day Virginia passed an ordinance of secession and some
young men, whose sympathies were with the South, determined
to hoist the Confederate flag and fire a salute of 100 guns in
honor of Virginia's action. About noon on the 18th they hoist-
ed their flag on Federal hill, near the Marine observatory, and
began firing their salute. Three rounds had been fired when they
were driven away, their flag torn in shreds, their powder thrown
into the Basin, and the gun carriage broken to pieces. Later in
the day another Confederate flag was raised in the northern
part of the city and the salute of 100 guns was fired.
When it became known that troops from the Northern states
had been ordered to the defense of the national capital, and that
these troops would pass through Maryland, the secession leaders
asserted that the defense of Washington was but a pretense, the
real object of the administration being the military occupation
of Maryland in order to prevent its secession. This rumor still
further inflamed the public mind, and when about 2 p. m. on the
18th six companies of Pennsylvania volunteers arrived in the
city, their march from the corner of Howard and Cathedral
streets to the Mount Clare station was made through an excited
populace, who amused themselves with singing "Dixie," cheering
for the Southern Confederacy and jeering the unarmed soldiers.
No assault was made, but the troops were jostled about by the
crowd and greeted by groans and hisses along the entire line
of march. After the departure of the soldiers the situation be-
came quieter, but that evening a meeting of the State-Rights con-
vention was held at Taylor's hall, at which the following reso-
lutions were adopted: "That, in the opinion of this convention,
the prosecution of the design announced by the president, in his
late proclamation, of recapturing the forts in the seceded states,
will inevitably lead to a sanguinary war, the dissolution of the
Union, and the irreconcilable estrangement of the people of the
South from the people of the North.
"That we protest in the name of the people of Maryland against
the garrisoning of Southern forts by militia drawn from the
free states; or the quartering of militia from the free states in
any of the towns or places of the slaveholding states.
"That, in the opinion of this convention, the massing of large
bodies of militia, exclusively from the free states, in the District
of Columbia, is uncalled for by any public danger or exigency,
is a standing menace to the State of Maryland, and an insult to
her loyalty and good faith, and will, if persisted in, alienate her
people from a government which thus attempts to overawe them
by the presence of armed men, and treats them with contempt and
"That the time has arrived when it becomes all good citizens
to unite in a common effort to obliterate all the party lines which
have heretofore unhappily divided us, and to present an unbroken
front in the preservation and defense of our interests, our
homes and our firesides — to avert the horrors of civil war, and to
repel, if need be, any invader who may come to establish a mili-
tary despotism over us."
In some of the speeches on the resolutions strong ground was
taken against the passage of any more troops to Baltimore, and
armed resistance to it was advised. At another meeting the fol-
lowing morning in the same hall, under the auspices of the "Na-
tional Volunteer Association," fiery speeches were made de-
nouncing any attempt at coercion and recommending thorough
preparation by Maryland to meet the crisis. These ill advised
utterances, notwithstanding strong proclamations by Gov. Hicks
and the mayor of Baltimore, bore fruit about noon on the 19th,
when the 6th Mass. and Small's "Washington" brigade, of Phil-
adelphia, arrived at Baltimore on their way to the national cap-
ital. (See Baltimore in the Cyclopedia of Battles.) Following
the riot a consultation was held by the board of police commis-
sioners, Coleman Yellott, the state senator from Baltimore coun-
ty, and some of the prominent secessionists, which resulted in
Yellott's issuing a proclamation for the convening of the legis-
lature at Baltimore. Yellott had no constitutional authority to
issue such a call, and to have had the legislature assemble at
Baltimore would have placed that body under the direct influ-
ence of the most active secessionists in the state. In speaking
subsequently of the state of affairs at this time, Gov. Hicks said:

"I knew it was time for me to act. True, I might then have
called upon the president of the United States to quell the insur-
rection, but that would almost certainly have caused the destruc-
tion of the city of Baltimore. I might have called out the militia
to endeavor to restore quiet; and, indeed, I did make an effort
to that end. But I discovered that nearly all the officers were in
league with the conspirators, and the volunteer corps of the city
and vicinity which possessed arms were almost entirely in the
same category. It is true, there was a considerable loyal mili-
tary force in Baltimore, but it was undisciplined and entirely
unarmed. So that if I had effectively called out the militia at
that time, I should have actually assisted the conspirators in
their designs. I concluded, therefore, after anxious deliberation,
that there was but one course left to me. I summoned the legis-
lature to assemble at Frederick City, in the midst of a loyal
population, on the 26th day of April, believing that even the few
days thus gained would be invaluable."

In the meantime other and more stirring events were trans-
piring. The excited people, immediately after the riot of the
19th, became an uncontrolled and uncontrollable mob. Union
citizens were maltreated, newspapers mobbed, and mercantile
establishments, especially those handling guns and ammunition,
were broken into and their contents appropriated. By sunset
the national colors had disappeared and the Confederate flag
could be seen on every hand. Toward evening the rumor became
current that more troops were coming in over the Northern Cen-
tral railroad. A consultation of the mayor and police authorities
was called, and about midnight an order was issued for the de-
struction of the bridges on all the railroads leading into the city
from the free states. At 2:30 a. m. on the 20th two parties left
Baltimore — one under command of Capt. J. G. Johannes and the
other under Marshal George P. Kane in person. (See Scharf's
History of Maryland, vol. Ill, page 413.) The former
moved out on the line of the Northern Central, the men being
well provided with picks, crowbars and a good supply of turpen-
tine, and by daylight the bridges at Melvale, Relay House and
Cockeysville were in ruins. The other party, similarly equipped,
took the Philadelphia railroad, destroyed the bridges over the
Bush and Gunpowder rivers and Harris creek, thus completely
severing railroad communications with the North. The order for
the destruction of the bridges was issued secretly and it was
charged that Gov. Hicks had given the order, but this he after-
ward publicly and officially denied.
Just before daylight on Sunday morning, April 21, Gen. B. F.
Butler arrived at Annapolis with the 8th Mass. infantry, and
was joined there 24 hours later by Col. Lefferts with the 7th
N. Y. Here Butler was met by the governor, who sent a note to
the two commanders, warning them not to land their troops.
John G. Nicolay, Lincoln's private secretary, says: "With all
his stubborn and ingrained loyalty, the governor was of a timid
and somewhat vacillating nature, and for the moment the clamor
of the Baltimore mob overawed his cooler judgment. In this
conflict between lawful duty and popular pressure, he, too,
caught at the flimsy plea of 'State' supremacy and, in addition
to presuming to forbid the national flag on Maryland soil, wrote
a letter to the president, asking that the troops be ordered else-
where, and suggesting that Lord Lyons, the British minister, be
requested to mediate between the government and the rebels, a
proposal which was at once answered by a dignified rebuke from
Mr. Seward."
Butler made a suitable reply to the governor's request, but
nevertheless went on with his arrangements to land his men.
The frigate Constitution, fondly named "Old Ironsides," which
for more than a generation had been used as a school ship at the
naval academy, was in danger of being seized by the secession-
ists, and Butler determined to take possession of it. Calling for
volunteers from his command, he soon found enough mariners
to man the vessel, when she was towed out into the stream by
the Maryland, her guns shotted and trained on the shore. The
troops were then landed and efforts pushed forward to reach
Washington. The Annapolis & Elk Ridge railroad had been de-
stroyed by the mob, but Butler's men went to work to repair it,
and on the 25th had it ready for the transportation of the com-
mand to the national capital.
The next day the legislature assembled at Frederick City. In
his message the governor reviewed the riot of the 19th, his ef-
forts to prevent the landing of troops at Annapolis, and added:
"Notwithstanding the fact that our most learned and intelligent
citizens admit the right of the government to transport its troops
across our soil, it is evident that a portion of the people of Mary-
land are opposed to the exercise of that right. I have done all in
my power to protect the citizens of Maryland, and to preserve
peace within our borders. Lawless occurrences will be repeated,
I fear, unless prompt action be taken by you. It is my duty to
advise you of my own convictions of the proper course to be
pursued by Maryland in the emergency which is upon us. It is
of no consequence now to discuss the causes which have induced
our troubles. Let us look to our distressing present and to our
portentous future. The fate of Maryland, and perhaps of her
sister border slave states, will undoubtedly be seriously affected
by the action of your honorable body. Therefore should every
good citizen bend all his energies to the task before us, and
therefore should the animosities and bickerings of the past be
forgotten, and all strike hands in the bold cause of restoring
peace to our state and to our country."
Early in the session was presented a petition, signed by 216
voters of Prince George county, praying the legislature, if in its
judgment it possessed the power, to pass an ordinance of seces-
sion. The petition was referred to the committee on Federal re-
lations, consisting of S. T. Wallis, J. H. Gordon, G. W. Golds-
borough, J. T, Briscoe and Barnes Compton, a majority of whom
reported that in their opinion the legislature did not have the
power to pass such an ordinance, while a minority reported in
favor of granting the prayer of the petitioners. On the question
to substitute the minority for the majority report, it was rejected
by a vote of 53 to 13, thus settling the question of secession so far
as the legislature was concerned. On May 9 the same committee
reported against calling a state convention and against arming
the militia, for the reason that such acts might be regarded as
hostile demonstrations by the national authorities. With the
report was a series of resolutions declaring the war unconstitu-
tional in its origin, purposes and conduct ; that Maryland owed it
to her own self respect to register solemn protest against the war
and to announce her determination to have no part nor lot in its
prosecution; that the state desired the peaceful and immediate
recognition of the independence of the Confederate States, and
that the present military occupation of the State of Maryland
was in flagrant violation of the constitution. These resolutions
passed the house by a vote of 43 to 12. On the 13th both houses
united in the adoption of a resolution providing for a committee
of eight — four from each house — to visit the presidents of the
United and Confederate States, the committee to visit Jeffer-
son Davis being instructed to convey the assurance that Maryland
sympathized with the South, but desired reconciliation and peace,
while those to President Lincoln were to protest against the mili-
tary occupation of the state or the passage of any more troops
over Maryland soil. On the 14th the legislature adjourned to
meet again on June 4, at Frederick City, to hear the reports of
these committees. Both reported they had been courteously re-
ceived, but nothing definitely was accomplished in either case.
When the "Conference Convention," at its adjourned session
in March, failed to call a state convention, Bradley T. Johnson
began the organization of companies of minute men to resist the
invasion of Maryland by Federal troops. By the middle of April
several such companies had been organized and equipped. On
the night of the 19th, a few hours after the riot in Baltimore,
Marshal Kane telegraphed to Johnson at Frederick City as
follows: "Bring your men in by the first train and we will ar-
range with the railroad afterward. Streets red with Maryland
blood. Send expresses over the mountains and valleys of Mary-
land and Virginia for the riflemen to come without delay. Fresh
hordes will be down upon us tomorrow. We will fight and whip
them or die." Johnson responded promptly on the 20th with one
armed company of about fifty men. Early on that morn-
ing the city council appropriated $500,000 for the defense
of the city, the money to be used at the discretion of the mayor,
who issued a notice calling on all citizens who possessed arms to
deposit them with the police, and asking all who were willing to
enroll themselves for military service. On May 2 the advisory
council of Virginia recommended to the governor of that state
to send a special agent to the Maryland legislature to assure
that body of Virginia's sympathy, and offer to furnish arms for
the troops enrolled at Baltimore under the mayor's call. These
acts were looked upon as treasonable by President Lincoln, who
authorized Gen. Scott to suspend the privilege of the writ of ha-
beas corpus, and directed him to arrest or disperse the Maryland
legislature in case it attempted any legislation favorable to the
cause of secession.
About the same time the military department of Annapolis
was created and Gen. Butler was placed in command, the main
object being to keep open the Annapolis & Elk Ridge railroad as
a line of communication with the North. In the dusk of evening
on May 13. Butler, with the 6th Mass. infantry, the same regi-
ment that had been attacked by the mob three weeks before, took
possession of Federal hill, overlooking the city of Baltimore,
and intrenched his position. The next morning he issued a proc-
lamation, stating that this had been done "for the purpose, among
other things, of enforcing obedience to the laws." Although
Gen. Scott reprimanded the movement, Butler was reinforced
and continued to hold the hill. On the 14th Gov. Hicks issued
his proclamation calling for four regiments, in compliance with
the president's call for volunteers for three months, "to serve
within the limits of the State of Maryland or for defense of the
capital of the United States." Under the suspension of the writ
of habeas corpus, Mayor Brown, Marshal Kane, and several
members of the legislature, among them Ross Winans and Cole-
man Yellott, were arrested and confined in military prisons. The
arrest of these men, the influence of the governor's proclamation
calling for troops; and the prompt and energetic action of But-
ler saved Maryland to the Union. Nicolay says: "Open resist-
ance to the government disappeared from the entire state; a
sweeping political reaction also set in, demonstrating that the Un-
ion sentiment was largely predominant; between which and the
presence of Union troops the legislative intrigue was blighted,
and the persistent secession minority and almost irrepressible
local conspiracy were effectually baffled, though not without con-
stant vigilance and severe discipline throughout the remainder
of the year."
Soon after his inauguration, President Lincoln issued a call
for Congress to meet in extra session on July 4. On June 13 a
special election for Congressmen for this session was held in
Maryland, which resulted in the selection of J. W. Crisfield,
E. H. Webster, C. L. L. Leary, Henry May, Frank Thomas and
C. B. Calvert, every one a stanch Union man. During the sum-
mer a Union party was organized, which nominated Augustus
W. Bradford for governor, and the "Peace" party nominated
Benjamin C. Howard. At the election on Nov. 6, Bradford was
elected by a majority of 31,438 votes and a large majority of
the members of the new legislature were Union men. This
sweeping victory dampened the ardor of the secessionists, and
thereafter they made but little open disturbance in the state,
though they still kept up their underhand practices. Gov. Hicks
called the new legislature in extra session on Dec. 3, at Annap-
olis. The old legislature had held short adjourned sittings in
June, July and September, and its work was thus described by
the governor in his message at the opening of the special ses-
sion: "The history of that legislature is before the country. Not
only did it fail to do its duty, as representing a loyal state, but it
actually passed treasonable resolutions, and attempted to take.
unlawfully, into its hands both the purse and the sword, whereby
it might plunge us into the vortex of secession. It was deterred
from doing this only by the unmistakable threats of an aroused
and indignant people. Restricted in the duration of its sessions
by nothing but the will of the majority of its members, it met
again and again; squandered the people's money, and made itself
a mockery before the country. This continued until the general
government had ample reason to believe it was about to go
through the farce of enacting an ordinance of secession, when the
treason was summarily stopped by the dispersion of the traitors."
Gov. Bradford was inaugurated on Jan. 8, 1862, at Annapo-
lis, and the same day the legislature met in regular session.
Among the acts passed was one appropriating $7,000 for the
relief of the families of the Massachusetts soldiers who were
killed or wounded in the Baltimore riot, and naming Gov. An-
drew of that state as trustee for the distribution of the money,
which was paid soon after the legislature adjourned. On March
6 was passed the act known as the "Treason Bill," which pro-
vided that the penalty of death should be inflicted on any one
convicted of levying "war against this state, or shall adhere to
the enemies thereof, whether foreign or domestic, giving them
aid or comfort, within this state or elsewhere." Various degrees
of punishment were fixed for such offenses as conspiring to burn
bridges, destroy canals or other means of communication, hold-
ing secret meetings, or belonging to any organization, secret or
otherwise, which had for its object the promotion of the seces-
sion cause. A number of resolutions were adopted, among them
one declaring that "Maryland will cheerfully contribute her
proportion of men and means to sustain the nation in its strug-
gle for existence so long as the war is conducted in accordance
with the principles of the constitution, and so long as the pur-
pose of those in power is maintenance of the Union, with the
rights guaranteed by the states unimpaired."
Early in June a camp of instruction was established near An-
napolis, under the command of Gen. Wool, and on July 2 Presi-
dent Lincoln issued his call for 300,000 volunteers, Maryland's
quota being four regiments of infantry. On the 4th Gov. Brad-
ford appointed a committee of fifty citizens of Baltimore, with
John P. Kennedy as chairman, to aid in the recruiting of troops.
This committee appealed to the city council to make an appro-
priation for bounties to those who would volunteer, and one
branch of the council voted unanimously for an appropriation of
$300,000, but it was rejected by the other. Indignation ran high
and the councilmen who had voted against the ordinance were
threatened with lynching. Through the influence of Gen. Wool
they were persuaded to resign and Union men were appointed
to fill the vacancies. The ordinance was then passed, and an
additional appropriation of $30,000 was made toward uniform-
ing and equipping the first light division.
On Aug. 4 the president ordered a draft of 300,000 militia,
to serve for nine months, unless sooner discharged, and direct-
ed that any state, whose quota under the call of July 2 had not
been completed, should supply the deficiency by a draft from
the militia. Bradford ordered an enrollment of all citizens of the
state subject to military duty, preparatory to a draft. Some oppo-
sition was made to the enrollment. In Harford and Anne Arun-
del counties buildings belonging to the enrolling officers were
burned, but Gen. R. C. Schenck, commanding the department,
immediately ordered assessments amounting to about $5,000 to
be made upon "persons known to be disaffected to the loyal
government of the country and encouragers of rebellion who
reside within 6 miles from the points where the barns were
burnt." The enrollment then proceeded without further resist-
ance, and when completed showed that the counties of Allegany,
Cecil, Kent and Washington had already furnished more men
than their apportionment, the excess being 924, which was duly
credited to the other portions of the state. The southern coun-
ties had not done so well, Calvert having furnished none, Charles
but I, St. Mary's 4 and Montgomery 7. In these counties the
draft, which was made on Oct. 15, fell heavily, but it was sus-
tained by the people, and in this way the four infantry regiments
were raised and a light battery (Alexander's) was organized.
In July Col. William Birney was authorized by the war de-
partment to enlist free negroes for military service, such troops
to be credited to the state the same as white volunteers. Many
slaves took advantage of this to run away, declare themselves
as free negroes and enter the army. This occasioned much ex-
citement and led to considerable correspondence between the
state authorities and the war department, but the enrollment of
negro troops went on, with the effect of increasing the anti-
slavery sentiment, which had already made much headway in the
state since the commencement of the war. During the summer
a number of persons were arrested for treason or disloyalty,
some of them being sent to prison, some took the oath of alle-
giance and were released on parole, and others were sent within
the Confederate lines. Among the last named were Beale H.
and Frank A. Richardson, proprietors, and S. J. Joice, editor,
of the Baltimore Republican and Argus, their offense being the
publication of a poem called the "Southern Cross," which had
previously been published as sheet music and ordered suppressed.
By Gen. Schenck's order the association known as the "Maryland
Club," of Baltimore, was disbanded and its house, papers and
property taken possession of by the military, to be held subject
to future orders.
After the organization of the Union party in 1861 Union
Leagues were organized in various parts of the state, represent-
ed by the "Grand League." In the spring of 1863 an effort was
made to unite all these leagues into one general movement to
"more effectually sustain the national administration in its great
struggles." On April 30 a mass meeting was held at Cumber-
land, at which resolutions were adopted asking for a conference
of all who were in favor of maintaining the Union. In response
to these resolutions the Grand League issued a call for a state
convention to assemble in Baltimore on June 16, the call being
addressed to "all who support the whole policy of the govern-
ment in suppressing the rebellion." Before that convention met,
a meeting of conservative Union men was held in Baltimore on
May 14, which resulted in the state committee of the Union par-
ty calling a state convention for June 23. The convention of the
16th met and passed resolutions that the Union men of Mary-
land should vote for no candidate for Congress who did not avow
himself in favor of supporting the whole policy of the adminis-
tration, nor no candidate for the legislature who was not in favor
of calling a constitutional convention, and that the policy of
emancipation ought to be inaugurated in Maryland. After the
adoption of these resolutions the convention adjourned to the
23d, when both conventions met and a conference committee
was appointed by each to agree upon some plan of coalition.
This committee failed to unite on any proposition for the nomi-
nation of candidates and declaration of a policy, and the division
of the Union men in the state became complete. The convention
called by the state committee of the Union party nominated S.
P. Maffitt for comptroller and W. L. W. Seabrook for commis-
sioner of the land office, and the Grand League nominated H. H.
Goldsborough for comptroller and endorsed the candidacy of
Mr. Seabrook. The unconditional or league candidates for
Congress in the five districts were John A. J. Cresswell, E. H.
Webster, Henry W. Davis, Frank Thomas and John C. Holland.
The other Union party nominated but three candidates — John
W. Crisfield, Charles B. Calvert and Benjamin G. Harris. At
the election Goldsborough and Seabrook were elected to the state
offices and the Congressional delegation was composed of Cress-
well, Webster, Davis, Thomas and Harris. The Unconditional
party made emancipation the paramount issue of the campaign,
and upon this question elected a majority of the legislative can-
didates who favored a constitutional convention.
The first expression of sentiment in favor of the emancipation
of slaves was on May 14, 1862, when the Union convention of
Baltimore adopted a resolution recommending a constitutional
convention, and approving the policy "proposed by the president
in his message of March 6, 1862, and sanctioned by Congress,
tendering pecuniary aid to such states as may choose to adopt a
system of gradual emancipation." The invasion of Maryland
by Lee in September following this declaration (see Antietam
and South Mountain in the Cyclopedia of Battles), the presi-
dent's emancipation proclamation and the enlistment of negro
troops had a tendency to increase and crystallize this sentiment
until it became the winning issue in the campaign of 1863. The
legislature met at Annapolis on Jan. 6, 1864, organized on the
7th and elected ex-Gov. Hicks to the United States senate, and
immediately took up the question of a constitutional convention.
A bill calling a state convention with a view to the abolition of
slavery passed both houses on Jan. 28 and was approved by the
governor on Feb. 3. By the provisions of this act the people
were called upon to vote on the first Wednesday in April for or
against a convention, and at the same time were to elect dele-
gates to the convention, said delegates to assemble at Annapolis
on the last Wednesday in the month, provided a majority of the
votes favored the convention. The election was held on April
6, and a majority of 12,069 in a total vote of 51,314, declared
in favor of a convention, which assembled on April 27, elected
H. H. Goldsborough permanent chairman, and remained in ses-
sion until Sept. 6 before its labors were completed. The new
constitution was submitted to a vote of the people on Oct. 12,
and was ratified by the small majority of 375 in a vote of 59,973.
The opponents of the new organic law immediately put up the
plea that the election had been carried by illegal votes of soldiers
who belonged to other states, and by the suppression of legal
votes of citizens of the state, but Gov. Bradford issued his proc-
lamation declaring the new constitution in effect on Nov. 1, 1864.
Article 24 of the constitution provided that "Hereafter, in this
state, there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude,
except in punishment of crime, whereof the party shall have been
duly convicted; and all persons held to service or labor as slaves
are hereby declared free."
Early in June, 1863, the Confederate army under Gen. Lee
began moving down the Shenandoah valley and it soon became
evident that another invasion of Maryland was intended. On
the 15th President Lincoln issued his proclamation calling for
100,000 men, to be immediately mustered into the service of the
United States for six months, unless sooner discharged. Of
this levy Maryland was to raise 10,000 men. Accordingly on
the 16th Gov. Bradford published an appeal to the people of the
state to furnish the 10,000 by voluntary enlistments. The Bal-
timore city council, in extra session, appropriated $400,000 to
be paid as bounties to those enlisting before June 26, $50 to be
paid at the time of enlistment and $10 a month thereafter for
five months. Under this stimulus all the uniformed military
organizations of the city offered their services for the six months
under the call, and other portions of the state were equally
prompt in furnishing their proportion of the levy. Lee's inva-
sion ended disastrously for the Confederates in the battle of Get-
tysburg, and at the expiration of the term of enlistment these
emergency troops, as they were called, were mustered out.
Another invasion of Maryland came in the early part of July,
1864, when the Confederates under Gen. Early suddenly and
unexpectedly entered the Cumberland valley. The people of
Hagerstown were forced to raise $20,000 to prevent the destruc-
tion of the city, and a demand was made upon the merchants
to furnish from their stocks of goods 1,500 suits of clothes,
1,500 hats, 1,500 pairs of shoes, 1,500 shirts, 1,900 pairs of draw-
ers and 1,500 pairs of socks within four hours. There were not
enough articles in the city of the kind described to comply with
the demand, but all that could be found were appropriated, after
which Gen. McCausland gave the city authorities a written as-
surance against any further tribute being levied against the town
or its citizens. From Hagerstown Early moved on Frederick
City, which was evacuated by the Union troops, and a demand
was made for $200,000, in default of which payment the city
would be burned. Mayor Cole called together the officials
remaining in the city and after a short consultation decided to
submit to the terms and ransom the city. The money was ac-
cordingly paid in United States currency, Confederate money and
bank notes being refused, and the Confederate soldiers visited the
stores and "took what they wanted," sometimes offering Confeder-
ate currency in payment, but more frequently without either offer
of compensation or apology. Early's advance was checked by
Gen. Wallace at Monocacy on the 9th and he made a precipi-
tate retreat back to Virginia.
At the elections in 1864 Lincoln carried the state by a major-
ity of 7,432, and Thomas Swann, the Republican candidate for
governor, was elected by a majority of 8,511 over Judge E. F.
Chambers, Democrat. Each voter, before being permitted to
cast his ballot, was required to take the test oath prescribed by the
new constitution, viz.: "I do swear (or affirm) that I am a
citizen of the United States, that I have never given any aid,
countenance or support to those in armed hostility to the United
States, that I have never expressed a desire for the triumph of
said enemies over the arms of the United States, and that I will
bear true faith and allegiance to the United States and support
the constitution and laws thereof as the supreme law of the land,
any law or ordinance of any state to the contrary notwithstand-
ing; that I will in all respects demean myself as a loyal citizen of
the United States, and I make this oath (or affirmation) without
any reservation or evasion, and believe it to be binding on me."
The legislature met on Jan. 4, 1865, and on the 11th Gov.
Swann was inaugurated. The most important bill passed during
the session was one in accordance with the new constitution,
providing for a uniform registration of voters. This law ex-
cluded from the right of suffrage all persons not white male
citizens of the United States; persons not 21 years of age; those
who had been in armed hostility to the United States, or in any
manner in the Confederate service ; those who had left the state
and gone within the Confederate lines with the intention of ad-
hering to the cause of secession; and all who had given aid, com-
fort or countenance to the enemies of the United States. Every
voter applying for registration was required to answer a long
list of interrogatories, as to whether he had aided or abetted in
any way the enemies of his country, and to take the oath above
mentioned. The effect of this act was the disfranchisement of
a large number of citizens. It was claimed by many to be uncon-
stitutional, but in the case of Thomas Anderson vs. the board of
registration in the fourth district of Montgomery county it was
sustained by the supreme court. Judge Bartol dissenting. After
the heat of passion had somewhat subsided, the rigors of the law
were modified by the constitution of 1867. Maryland passed
from the system of slave labor to that of free labor with less
friction and inconvenience than any of her sister slave states,
and during the reconstruction era suffered less, chiefly because
of the patriotism and conservative course of her people. On
the field her sons acquitted themselves with valor, and when the
war was over returned to their occupations, happy in the thought
that they had contributed their due proportion to the maintenance
of the national government and its institutions.
Two incidents reflecting on the Baltimore riot are worthy of
mention. On June 17, 1865, a monument was unveiled in Merri-
mac square, Lowell, Mass., to the memory of Luther C. Ladd and
Addison O. Whitney, two soldiers of the 6th Mass., who were
killed in the riot, and on this occasion Lieut.-Col. T. J. Morris,
of Gov. Bradford's staff, presented to Gov. Andrew, as the rep-
resentative of Massachusetts, a fine silk flag, made by the women
of Baltimore. On the staff was a silver plate bearing the inscrip-
tion: "Maryland to Massachusetts, April 19, 1865. May the
Union and Friendship of the Future obliterate the Anguish of
the Past." The second incident occurred in the spring of 1898,
when the 6th Mass. — a regiment bearing the same numerical
designation as the one assaulted on April 19, 1861, — marched
through Baltimore on its way to take part in the Spanish-Ameri-
can war. Instead of being greeted by a mob it was given an ova-
tion by the patriotic citizens of the Monumental City, thus fully
demonstrating that the hope expressed by the inscription on the
flag-staff of 33 years before had found its fruition in a reunited
From the beginning to the close of the war Maryland fur-
nished twenty regiments and one independent company of in-
fantry; four regiments, one battalion and one independent com-
pany of cavalry; and six light batteries — a total of 50,316 white
troops — and six regiments of colored infantry, numbering 8,718
men. In addition to these volunteers the state furnished her
due proportion to the regular army of the United States and
5,636 men to the navy and marine corps.

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