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MAROH OF THE GATHERING HOSTS.
through the efforts of these same politicians, who had an influence with the government at Washington, was sent home to Troy in disgrace. Contractors all over the country took advantage of the general enthusiasm to rob the public treasury, and unmolested by the Secretary of War, experienced no difficulty in amassing wealth out of the public necessities. The people had no eyes for these gigantic swindling operations—they saw only their country's flag in danger, and were pressing to its defense. From east to west arose the murmur of gathering hosts. Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana, and the far west moved simultaneously. The Massachusetts Sixth led the van, and four days after the President's proclamation was issued were entering Baltimore. Threats had been uttered that northern troops should not be allowed to pass through the city to the Capital, which was now threatened on every side. Patrols were kept up night and day over the long bridge-cannon commanded its passage—the government, under the veteran and patriot Scott, was securing itself as best it could with its limited means, anxiously looking northward for the troops hastening to its defense. The Massachusetts Sixth, occupying eleven cars, reached Baltimore on the 19th of April, and proceeded quietly through the streets, drawn by horses, to the depot on the farther side. As they advanced, the crowd, which had been collected, steadily increased, so that the horses could hardly effect a passage through it. Soon shouts and yells, mingled with threats, arose on every side, followed by stones, brick-bats, and other missiles, which rained in a perfect shower on the cars, smashing the windows and wounding the soldiers within. The latter, however, made no resistance, but kept quietly on
and nine of the cars reached the depot in safety, and started for Washington. The two remaining cars, carrying about one hundred, were thus cut off from the main
MASSACRE IN BALTIMORE.
body, and hemmed in by some eight thousand infuriated
At this moment news came that the Pennsylvania volunteers had arrived, and were about to follow the Massachusetts regiment. This increased the excitement, and the Massachusetts troops, finding the cars could not go on, came out, and forming in a solid square, with fixed bayonets, and at the double-quick, began to advance--the Mayor of Baltimore, who had in vain endeavored to keep the peace-at their head. This was the signal for a storm of brick-bats, stones, and clubs, varied with an occasional shot from a revolver or musket. The soldiers suffered severely, but bore the indignity and violence with a forbearance that was wonderful. The firing increasing in severity, and one after another of the soldiers falling wounded, and two being killed, their companions became exasperated, and leveled their muskets at the crowd. No order was given to fire, nor was there any platoon firing—the shots that were delivered were scat: tering, being fired by a few whose forbearance was not equal to such a trial—and thus, struggling through the crowd, they at length reached the depot with two killed and eight wounded, and embarked for Washington. Seven of the rioters were killed, and several wounded. No other but New England troops (with loaded muskets in their hands) would have borne that attack with such moderation. The commanding officer would have been perfectly justified in order ing a general volley ir:to the crowd, and then a charge of bayonet, which would have left the streets of Baltimore slippery with the blood of its lawless citizens. The news of this murderous outrage filled the north with boundless rage, and the universal cry was, to lay the city in ashes, if necessary, to secure a safe transit for our troops. The mob im. mediately took possession of Baltimore, and the President was notified by the Mayor and Governor that no more troops would be allowed to pass through the city. But the stop
ENTHUSIASM OF THE PEOPLE.
page of the direct route to the Capital was not to be entertained for a moment. If troops could reach the seat of government in no other way, they must do it over heaps of dead and smouldering ruins. The news reached New York just before the Seventh Regiment—the favorite regiment of the city, composed of some of the most intelligent and wealthy young men of the metropolis, and perfect in its
appointments and drill-set out. This superb body of men heard it, and took forty-eight rounds of cartridge to clear a passage
for themselves. Other regiments followed, and a bloody fight was expected in Baltimore.
Massachusetts, in six days, responded to the President's proclamation with five full regiments of infantry, a battalion of rifles, and a fine corps of flying artillery. The south was equally alert in answering the call of Davis for volunteers, and even Alabama, in the same short space of time, had five thousand ready to march for the seat of war. The same enthusiasm attended the passage of troops from both sections of the country. Crowds were gathered to witness their departure and herald their progress through the various towns. Flags were presented, patriotic speeches delivered, and shouts and words of greeting, and waving of handkerchiefs, and flaunting of streamers, made their march one great ovation. To a spectator, these hostile forces appeared as if they were gathering to some grand and peaceful review, instead of, being citizens of the same republic, hastening to imbrue their hands in each other's blood.
In the mean time, all eyes at the north were turned towards Baltimore, in expectation of a bloody battle in its streets. A delegation from the young men's “Christian Association” of the city waited on the President, and Governor Hicks presented a communication, asking that the troops might not pass through Maryland, and for a cessation of hostilities till a reference of the national dispute could be
ARRIVAL OF TROOPS IN WASHINGTON.
made to Lord Lyons, the British Minister to the United States, at Washington. The President, through the Secretary of State, replied that our troubles could not be referred to a foreign arbitrament, and that the Commander-in-Chief had decided that the troops must come through to Washington-there was no alternative.
The dreaded collision was prevented by the troops stopping at Havre de Grace, and taking steamers for Annapolis. General B. F. Butler had taken his regiment by this route, and there the New York Seventh joined it, and were placed under the command of that officer. We had the Naval Academy here, and the old frigate Constitution, with cadets aboard, was attached to it.
This the rebels had planned to seize, but were prevented by the prompt action of Butler. This officer then seized the railroad leading to Washingtonrelaid the track that had been torn up-took possession of the hights around Annapolis, and hurried on the troops to the menaced Capital. Marching through the darkness along the uneven track, expecting every moment to be greeted with hostile vollies from the woods that lined the deep cuts in the way, the New York Seventh, tired and worn out, at length reached Washington, and marched up Pennsylvania avenue to the President's mansion. Shouts and the waving of handkerchiefs greeted them, and the hearts of the loyal men of the city were relieved of the heavy fears that had oppressed them. A feeble effort was made by Governor Hicks to prevent troops from crossing the state by this route, but a passage had been cleared, and it was resolved that nothing should close it. Regiment after regiment was now hurried forward, and though much privation and suffering were endured, owing .to the want of proper preparations, which there had been no time to make, yet no murmuring was heard. Both chambers of Congress, all the public squares, and even the President's house, were filled with
DEFECTION IN THE ARMY AND NAVY
troops, till Washington looked like a besieged city. Arms were stacked in the Rotunda of the Capitol, fire Zouaves lounged in the cushioned seats of members of Congress, and the building itself was turned into a fortification. General Scott, though past his three-score-and-ten, seemed endowed with the energy of youth, and immediately set on foot measures for the security of the national Capital. The nation breathed free again, for the seat of government was safe. The south had threatened to seize it, and its possession by them, it was felt, would be an advantage at the outset not easily overcome. Had Virginia been the first, instead of among the last to have joined the southern confederacy, it would easily have fallen into their hands. A few heavy guns, planted on Arlington Hights, would have rendered it untenable.
Now commenced defections in the army and navy, and it was impossible to tell whom to trust. A large portion of the officers in both branches of service were natives of the south. Since the war with Mexico, resignations of officers of the army belonging to the north, in order to accept more lucrative civil positions, had been numerous, while those from the south had retained their places. Colonel Robert E. Lee, connected with the family of Washington, and a great favorite of Scott's, and who stood high in the public estimation, hesitated long before he cast his lot in with the rebels. As he sat on his piazza at Arlington House, and gazed off on the Capital, he shed bitter tears while he revolved the painful question in his mind whether he should stand by the Union or
with his native state, but finally felt it his duty to cast his fortunes in with the latter. In this crisis of our affairs, we first felt the full evils of the states' right doctrine, so long and so ably advocated by Calhoun. We saw, too, one of the inherent weaknesses of our form of government. There ever will be more or less of a conflict between state sovereignty