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DETERMINATION OF THE NORTH.
course to be taken was an energetic support of the gov ernment.
The journals, which drift with public opinion, felt that it was impossible to resist the torrent, and, as is their cus tom, boisterously proclaimed that they had all along counseled the policy which it was evident must now be followed. Some of them, which but a few days previously had accused Lincoln of picking a quarrel with the South, became at once his loud supporters. The North would no longer tolerate treason, no matter what guise it might assume.
The garrison of Fort Sumter lowered their flag and marched out of the work on Sunday, April
The surrender of the
fort followed by the 14th. Next morning appeared the proclamation of the President of the United States (p. 25), calling forth the militia, appealing to the people, and summoning an extra session of Congress.
The governors of all the Northern States at once responded to the proclamation; they infused
the North to resist energy into the administration. To an eyewitness there was something very impress ive in the action of the people. A foreign observer remarked,' "With them all is sacrifice, devotion, grandeur and purity of purpose-with the poor, if possible, even more than with the rich." In the large cities great meetings were held, in which men of all parties united. Party lines vanished. There was none of that frantic delirium which was manifested in the Slave States, but a solemn acceptance of what was clearly recognized to be a fearful but unavoidable duty-"Faint not, falter not; the republic is in peril."
If the Northern communities had been thrown into a Contemplated seiz- momentary reverie, followed by indignation. ure of Washington. at the outrage on the national flag at Fort Sumter, they were thoroughly roused to resistance on
CHAP. XXXVII.] RUMORED SEIZURE OF WASHINGTON.
finding that an attempt was forthwith to be made for the seizure of Washington City. The highway to that capital lay through Baltimore. The plot of the secessionists was for Maryland to stop the passage of all re-enforcements through her territory, under the plea that such proceedings outraged her sovereignty, and Virginia might then, with a prospect of success, attempt to capture the place.
Once committed to the insurrection, there were four great captures which it was essential that Virginia should make: (1.) Washington City; (2.) Fortress Monroe; (3.) The Armory at Harper's Ferry; (4.) The Navy Yard at Norfolk. She did accomplish the third and fourth; the first and second were beyond her power. Had she been able to carry out her intention fully, the Union would have been in the most imminent peril. The loss of Fortress Monroe would have been a great military calamity to the nation; that of Washington would perhaps have been fatal.
It is one of the duties devolving on Virginia.
Plans for its ac
All through the winter there had been rumors that the Virginians contemplated a surprise of Washcomplishment. ington. When it was plain that their state was on the brink of secession, it became certain that the attempt would be made. It was expected that a few res olute conspirators would carry it by a coup de main. A Texan adventurer was affirmed to be at the head of the plot. The President, his cabinet, and other chief officers of state were to be sent as hostages to the South. Not that there was any intention of a permanent occupation under Southern rule. All that was proposed was to blow up the Capitol and the Treasury building, to burn the President's house and other public edifices, and to leave in the blackened wreck of the ruined city a proof to the world that the Union was ruined.
It is impossible to give an adequate idea of the effect of these tidings on the Northern people. They literally rose up as one man. When, as we are now to find, all communication with Washington was for several days cut off by the partial success of the plot, and nothing was known of what had befallen the government, the patriotic fervor knew no bounds.
TROOPS HURRIED TO ITS DEFENSE.
On the day after the proclamation was issued some Pennsylvania companies reported for duty in Washington. They marched at once to the Capitol, and were quartered in the Hall of Representatives. They were just in time to prevent the seizure of the city. Matters had become so urgent that Senator Wilson had already telegraphed to the Governor of Massachusetts to send instantly twenty companies. Four regiments forthwith mustered with full ranks on Boston Common. General Butler was commissioned by the governor as a brigadier general. The Massachusetts Sixth was ordered without delay through Baltimore; an other regiment was dispatched to secure Fortress Monroe. Thus, in four days, that state, true to her glorious annals, had troops five hundred miles on their march, and in less than a week her whole quota was far advanced toward Washington. The Legislature of Pennsylvania passed a resolu tion pledging the faith and power of that state to support the government, sanctioned a loan of three millions of dollars, and organized a reserve corps. The Legislature of New York, instead of furnishing 17,000 men for three months, gave 30,000 for two years, and added a war loan of three millions of dollars. Many other of the states acted in like manner. Rhode Island not only instantly sent her quota and added a loan, but her governor, Sprague, went at the head of her troops.
The Sixth Massachusetts left Boston on the 17th, and
Troops hurried to the defense of the city.
Energy in supporting the government.
CHAP. XXXVII.] THEY ARE RESISTED IN BALTIMORE.
reached Baltimore on the 19th. They found that city the scene of great excitement, news having just arrived of the capture of Harper's Ferry by the Virginians. The slavery and secession party received them with threatening cheers for "the Southern Confederacy and President Davis," and in passing from the Philadelphia to the Washington Railroad station they were assaulted by a mob. A part of the reg iment which happened to be in the rear cars was separated, and compelled to fight its way through an infuriated rabble who had obstructed the track in the streets. The mayor, with a police force, attempted to clear the way; but one of the soldiers being shot dead with his own musket, wrested from him by a rioter, the troops were compelled to fire, killing eleven and wounding four of their assailants. The fire being returned with revolvers and muskets, the loss of the regiment was three killed and eight wounded. In this manner they forced their way for two miles and a half, from the Philadelphia to the Washington station in Baltimore, bricks, stones, pieces of iron being thrown from the upper windows of the houses upon them. Even after they had reached the cars for Washington they were fired at, and attempts were made to tear up the rails.
As soon as the news reached Massachusetts, the gov ernor of that state telegraphed to the Mayor of Balti
Attack on the Mas-
Attempts to prevent re-enforcements passing through that city.
"I pray you to cause the bodies of our Massachusetts soldiers dead in Baltimore to be laid out, preserved in ice, and tenderly sent forward by express to me. All expenses will be paid by this Com
To this the mayor returned an appropriate reply, deploring the event, and declaring that the authorities had exerted themselves to the best of their ability to prevent the trouble; but that the people viewed the passage of
armed troops of another state through the streets as an invasion of their soil, and could not be restrained.
The Governor of Massachusetts replied:
OBSTRUCTIONS TO RE-ENFORCEMENTS.
"I appreciate your kind attention to our wounded and our dead. I am overwhelmed with surprise that a peaceful march of American citizens over the highway to the defense of our common capital should be deemed aggressive to Baltimoreans."
The excitement had now reached such a pitch that President Lincoln was obliged to interfere. government. He requested the Governor of Maryland and the Mayor of Baltimore to come to him for consultation. The governor happening to be absent, the mayor went without him, and was informed by the President that either troops must be brought through Maryland, or the capital surrendered to armed treason. The wishes of the Baltimoreans were, however, so far gratified that some Pennsylvania troops then approaching by railroad were ordered back to their own state.
This, however, did not end the commotion. Maryland was full of emissaries from the Cotton States.
The bridges burned. The rioters were determined that Washington should not be relieved. They therefore destroyed the bridges over the streams. They stopped the mails, cut the telegraph wires, and detained military stores belonging to the government. The more audacious of them made ready for an attack on Fort M'Henry. Still unwilling to be drawn into a collision, though compelled to have troops from the North to defend the national capital, the President, under the advice of General Scott, directed that the regiments should march round Baltimore, and not through it.
Among the influences brought to bear upon the Presi dent by the Baltimoreans was that of a society known as the Young Men's Christian Association. A deputation from this body
Request of the Christian Association.