Home | Mission & Goals | Meeting Schedule | Search | Contact Us | Submit A Story | Links

Maryland's Part in Saving the Union

By William L. W. Seabrook, Ex-Commissioner of the Land Office

Part Three

Read Part One | Part Two | Part Four

The regular religious services were held in the churches of the city and were as well attended as usual. Citizens generally seemed to be calmly awaiting the issue of events.

I now come to the consideration of Gen. Butler's story of his correspondence and interviews with Governor Hicks, upon which I shall make such comments and in connection with which I shall relate such facts as will disclose the real motives that prompted the governor's course and actions in the matter. Butler says:

"Before I went ashore Capt. Haggerty gave me two notes which had been received, one from the governor of the State, and one from Lietu. Miller, who was quarter-master of the army at the post. The governor's note read as follows:

" 'I would most earnestly advise that you do not land your men at Annapolis. The excitement here is very great, and I think it prudent that you should take your men elsewhere. I have telegraphed to the Secretary of War against your landing your men here.'

"This was addressed to the 'Commander of the Volunteer Troops on Board the Steamer.' Capt, Morris J. Miller wrote thus:

" 'Having been entrusted by General Scott with the arrangements for transporting your regiments hence to Washington, and it being impracticable to procure cars, I recommend that the troops remain on board the steamer until further orders can be received from General Scott.' "

The Man-of-War Constitution; Old Ironsides

This is perhaps only a side issue, but it is given here to show that the governor, even if he had been sincere in his protest (which I will show he was not,) was sustained in a measure by an officer of the United States Army. Butler says he suspected Miller of disloyalty, and reported him to General Scott, who relieved him and sent another quarter-master in his stead. In reply to the protest of Governor Hicks, Butler wrote to that official as follows:

"I had the honor to receive your note by the hands of Lieutenant Matthews of the United States Naval School at Annapolis. I am sorry that your Excellency should advise against my landing here. I am not provisioned for a long voyage. Finding the ordinary means of communication cut off by the burning of railroad bridges by a mob, I have been obliged to make this detour, and hope that your Excellency will see, from the very necessity of the case, that there is no cause of excitement in the mind of any good citizen because of our beings driven here by an extraordinary casualty. I should at once obey, however, an order from the Secretary of War."

Referring to his further communication with the governor in relation to landing his troops, Butler says:

"On Monday morning I went ashore at the academy and received Gov. Hicks at headquarters. He was accompanied by the mayor of Annapolis, and both of them exhorted me not to think of landing. They said all Maryland was ready to rush to arms; that the enthusiasm of the people in Annapolis could not long he restrained and that the railroad towards Washington had been torn up and was fully guarded. I replied that I certainly should land and go on through to Washington, but that I could not march then as I had no provisions."

At the time when this interview occurred the steamer, with the troops aboard of her, was hard and fast aground outside of Horn Point and did not get back to the Naval Academy wharf till sometime Monday night, or Tuesday morning. Butler states that at this same interview with the governor and mayor he said to them that he "desired to purchase the provisions needed, as Maryland was to be treated as a State that had not seceded," and that "they then said I could not buy an ounce of provisions in Annapolis. The mayor assured me that no patriot would sell to Yankee troops provisions with which to march to Washington "

Butler's book was not published until more than thirty years after the story he tells of this interview and when Governor Hicks had been dead for twenty-nine years, so that his version of it can never be known; but Mayor Magruder is still living and in reply to an inquiry concerning his recollection of the occurrence, wrote me the following:

Annapolis, Sept. 30th, l909

My Dear Sir:

Both Governor Hicks and I urged against General Butler's landing at the Naval Academy, but not exactly for the reasons as he states them. The excited condition of affairs in Baltimore, Southern sympathizers having been in control there, made us fear that his landing might provoke an attack upon the city of Annapolis and the Naval Academy from that, quarter, which we greatly desired to avoid, and so told him. We referred to the fact that the railroad between Washington and Annapolis was in some places torn up and suggested that it would be easier for him to reach Washington via one of the rivers below us and nearer Washington.

If Gen'l. Butler intended to reflect upon Gov. Hicks' loyalty by his statement of what occurred at that interview, he does him great injustice; he was true to the Union and his native State.

Very Cordially Yours, John R. Magruder.

Taking this letter of Mr. Magruder into consideration and comparison with other exaggerated statements made by General Butler, I am inclined to believe that his account of what occurred at that interview is greatly overdrawn and that he placed a false interpretation on the description of the difficulties which confronted him at that time, as the case was presented to him by the mayor and governor. The very day on which, all this occurred a leading butcher of Annapolis, a pronounced secessionist, visited Butler to arrange for supplying his men with meat and made a contract with him for that purpose. The butcher reported that he said to Butler: "We'll feed you first and fight you afterwards." That part of the butcher's story may be open to question, but it is probably substantially true, as he was a man not lacking in courage. But, however that may be, it is certain that Butler experienced no serious difficulty in obtaining all the meat and other provisions necessary to feed his troops, from citizens of Annapolis. It is a fact, also, that when Butler, after landing, needed teams to haul supplies to the railroad depot, he found no difficulty in purchasing half a dozen fine horses and carts from Solomon Phillips, a coal dealer in Annapolis and a thoroughly loyal unionist.

Referring again to (he governor and mayor, after the interview on Monday morning, Butler says:

"A few days of the presence of our troops changed the minds of the governor and mayor, for within thirty days the mayor of Annapolis was an applicant, for the place of post sutler. He did not get it from me, however. The governor changed the place of meeting of the legislature, which had been called to meet at that time in Annapolis, to Frederick, upon the ground that it was improper for it to meet in a city which was held by United States troops. Yet within fifteen days there afterwards he brought to me the great seal of the State of Maryland and placed it in my hands for safe keeping so that it could not be attached to an ordinance of secession, if the Maryland legislature should pass one."

The only further correspondence between Governor Hicks and General Butler, with which I have to deal, is the following:

"Executive Chamber, "Annapolis, Friday, April 23, 1861.

"Dear Sir: Having by virtue of the power vested in me by the Constitution of Maryland, summoned the legislature to assemble on Friday, the 26th inst., and Annapolis being the place in which, according to law, it must assemble, and having been creditably informed that you have taken military possession of the Annapolis & Elkridge Railroad, I deem it my duty to protest against this step, because, at present, without assigning any other reason, [ am informed that such occupation of said railroad will prevent the members of the legislature from reaching this city. "Very Respectfully Yours, "Thomas H. Hicks."

The day of the week on which this letter is dated was evidently an error and for "Friday" "Tuesday" should be read. Indistinct chirography is probably responsible for the mistake on the part of General Butler, who promptly replied to the communication as follows:

"Headquarters U. S. Militia,

"Annapolis, Md., April 23, I861

"To His Excellency, "Thomas H. Hicks, Governor of Maryland.

"You are credibly informed that I have taken possession of the Annapolis and Elkridge Railroad. It might have escaped your notice, but at the official meeting which was held between your Excellency and the mayor of Annapolis, and the committee of the government and myself, as to the landing of my troops, it was expressly stated as a reason why I should not land, that my troops could not pass the railroad because the company had taken up the rails, and they were private property. It is difficult to see how it can be that if my troops could not pass over the railroad one way members of the legislature could pass the other way. I have taken possession for the purpose of preventing the execution of the threats of the mob, as officially represented to me by the master of transportation of the railroad in this city, that if my troops passed over the railroad the railroad should be destroyed.

"If the government of the State had taken possession of the road in any emergency I should have long hesitated before entering upon it; but as I had the honor to inform your Excellency in regard to another insurrection against the laws of Maryland, I am here armed to maintain those laws, if your Excellency desires, and the peace of the United States, against all disorderly persons whomsoever. I am endeavoring to save and not to destroy; to obtain means of transportation, so that I can vacate the capital prior to the sitting of the legislature, and not to be under the necessity of encumbering your beautiful city while the legislature is in session.

"I have the honor to be, very respectfully, "Your Excellency's obedient servant, "B. F. Butler, "Brigadier General."

Butler then says that "the result of this correspondence was that the governor ordered the legislature to convene at Frederick City instead of Annapolis." He also tells the following remarkable story:

"Before my landing the governor came to me with the announcement that he was informed that there was an intended rising of the negroes against the people of Annapolis, and that the citizens were fleeing .from their homes. His Excellency was in a state of great excitement and fear, and I immediately wrote him the following letter:

"I did myself the honor, in my communication yesterday, wherein I asked permission to land on the soil of Maryland, to inform you that the portion of the militia under my command were Armed only against disturbers of the peace of the State of Maryland and of the United States. I have understood within the last hour that some apprehension is entertained of an insurrection of the negro population of this neighborhood. I am anxious to convince all classes of persons that the force under my command are not here in any way to interfere with the laws of the State. I therefore, am ready to co-operate with your Excellency in suppressing most promptly and efficiently any insurrection against the laws of the State of Maryland. I beg, therefore, that you announce publicly, that any portion of the forces under my command is at your Excellency's disposal, to act immediately for the preservation of the peace of this community."

"The effect of that offer was extremely beneficial. It brought back all the inhabitants who had fled. It allayed the fears that we were undertaking a servile war. It brought me at once into personal friendly relations with Governor Hicks, who was not at heart a secessionist, but only a very timid and cautious man."

I have no means of controverting Butler's story that the governor went to him with this story of a threatened negro insurrection; but I do not hesitate to say that it was a gross exaggeration of actual conditions. I was in almost constant communication with the governor at the time and the subject of a negro insurrection was never alluded to between us. There was a vague rumor that such an uprising of the negro race might occur and very timid people were probably alarmed by it, but the people generally gave it no credence, and I do not believe that any of them fled from their homes on account of it. There were no signs of concerted action of any sort among the blacks, most of whom were in actual fear of the soldiers, at the time Butler says this incident occurred, and were looking to the whites to protect them.

Butler follows his statement about the friendly relations into which ho was brought with the governor in consequence of his assurances of a purpose to preserve order, by saying:

"I informed him in a private friendly conversation, that he must not recommend, in his message to the legislature, any discussion of the question of secession, and that if he did I should certainly proceed against him. He assured me that nothing was further from his wish or thought than secession, and that he would never permit the great seal of Maryland to be affixed to any such ordinance, or give force and validity to it if it were passed; and as a guarantee of his good faith in that regard, he placed the seal for safe keeping in my hands, and I so held it during the session of the legislature.

"I also told him that if the legislature undertook, with or without his recommendation, to discuss an ordinance of secession, I should hold that to be an act of hospitality to the United States, and should disperse that legislature, or, more properly speaking, would shut them up together were they might discuss it all the time, but without any correspondence or reporting to the outer world."

For the sake of Butler's own reputation I hope his threat to deal with Governor Hicks, which can only be interpreted as implying the arrest if that functionary under certain conditions, was not as emphatic as he puts it. It may be that the governor's course, during his correspondence and interviews with Butler, justified the latter in entertaining suspicions that he was opposed to coercion; but the fact that Maryland, up to that time, when it was entirely too late for successful secession action, had been denied by the governor the opportunity to consider the question of secession, should have been sufficient evidence of his determination to keep the State in the Union and to have protected him against such a gratuitous insult. Butler's threat to arrest and imprison the members of the legislature, under certain conditions, was a different proposition, as it was known, or at least supposed, that a majority of them were in favor of secession, and that was the very cause of the governor's refusal to call them in special session at an earlier date.

I have given General Butler's story of his interviews and correspondence with Governor Hicks in considerable detail, to avoid the slightest appearance of a purpose to conceal any fact bearing upon the governor's course and conduct in the trying circumstances under which he was placed and row will proceed to show, from personal knowledge, that, while protesting against the landing of the troops, tie was actually desiring them to do so.

The written protest against the landing was sent to General Butler only a few hours after his arrival at the Naval Academy became known, on Sunday morning. About the same time I received a message from the governor, requesting me, in conjunction with Mayor Magruder, to notify citizens of whose loyalty I was satisfied, that they could obtain muskets and ammunition from the State arsenal, in the Assembly building, that night. The arms were to be distributed by our authority and were only to 'be given lo men known to be loyal to the Government. That was the' governor's order, given about the same time he was protesting against the landing of the troops. The order was carried out to the letter and that night all the. muskets in the arsenal were placed in the hands of trusted unionists. And throughout the night the streets of Annapolis were patrolled by men carrying those arms. I need hardly comment on that fact as evincing the governor's sympathy with the Government and his purpose to aid the cause of the Union.

Comptroller and Land Office Building: It was the entrance to this building the interview which Gov. Hicks acknowledged his mistake in protesting against the landing of General Butler's Troops took place.

It was while I was engaged in selecting the men to whom the arms were to be given that an incident occurred to confirm my opinion that the masses of the working people of Annapolis were generally in sympathy with the Government, as I have heretofore stated. In pursuance of the duty I went to what was then known as Taylor's wharf. At that time an open space, about 75 yards wide, extended from the junction of Main street with Market Space, to Spa creek, a distance of about 150 yards. There were then no buildings on the market wharf and only a single small building on Taylor's wharf, which fronted on the harbor and extended to Spa creek. I found a crowd of men numbering about 200, working people, almost to a man, congregated on the wharf and looking; out over the harbor with evident interest. as the harbor came within my vision I discovered the cause of their presence and of the interest they were manifesting. I saw Old' Ironsides, in tow by the steamer Maryland, with her prow pointing towards the open waters of the Chesapeake bay. The steamer could not be seen, as she was lashed to the opposite side of the ship, which hid her from view.

As I approached the men I could hear their voices in conversation, but as I drew near them they became silent and uttered no word except to acknowledge my greeting. It was a clear, beautiful Spring day, with a stiff breeze blowing from the southeast, the direction in which the Constitution was being towed, and the Star Spangled Banner, now familiarly known as "Old Glory," was streaming straight out from her masthead.

At the sight, memories of the achievements of the grand old man-of-war, familiar from my boyhood, crowded upon me and thoughts of the perils which then encompassed the nation which she had greatly aided in making renowned on the sea,, filled me with emotions which I cannot describe. The draught of the ship was greater than the depth of water in the harbor and her keel was dragging in the mud. When I first saw her she was either stationary or moving so slowly that her motion was imperceptible, and for a few moments I stood gazing upon her in silence. Then my emotions overcame what some persons called prudence. I did not know how many Southern sympathizers, if any, were among the men collected on the wharf, but I did not stop to think of possible consequences to myself if secession should possibly prevail. Suddenly raising my right arm, and pointing toward the ship, I said:

"Men, the man who would raise his hand to dishonor the flag floating from the masthead of that ship deserves to be hanged to the highest yard of the grand old frigate."

I was not prepared for the effect of this exclamation upon the men to whom it was addressed. Their reticence disappeared in a twinkling and they crowded about me with expressions of astonishment and signs of gratification and pleasure. One man asked, not in a threatening but a questioning manner: "Are'nt you afraid to talk that way?" And when I replied: "No, why should I be?" another said, and I use his exact words: "Why, we thought all you big men had gone over to the secessionists."

When I assured them that was not so; that the governor was still loyal and that few of the prominent unionists of the city had weakened in their fealty to the Government, they were jubilant.

I did not think my action under the circumstances was at all extraordinary and did not mention it even in my own home. At that stage of the secession movement there was little danger of bodily harm to the partisans of either side of the controversy and the only consequence I had to apprehend, if tri-State should join the Southern Confederacy, was deprivation of the office I was then holding. I had already been notified by some zealous, but indiscreet secessionists, who believed that Maryland was about to sever her connection with the Union, that I must either take an oath of allegiance to the new Confederacy, or vacate the office, and had, in that event, about decided to leave Maryland and seek a home upon loyal territory. Mr. Purnell, the comptroller of the treasury, and I had been considering a plan to organize a colony of unionists and ask the Government for a grant of land upon which we could settle in one of the Western Territories. Neither of us felt that we could be happy under any other than the Id flag. Happily the contingency for such a proceeding did not arise, .but the fact of its consideration will serve to accentuate the sort of loyalty by which some citizens of Maryland were actuated.

The men on Taylor's wharf who had witnessed my gesture and heard my words were not slow in telling the story and probably exaggerated what I had said and done. At any rate I was heartily congratulated by numbers of unionists upon the open stand I had taken for the Union cause, while I probably lost nothing in the esteem of the secessionists on account of it, although I was informed that one young lady with secession proclivities, declared that she would like to see me hanged. She was too the daughter of one of the most prominent and pronounced unionists in the city, but was at war in sentiment with her father.

The most emphatic and at the same time the most gratifying evidence of the approbation of my course by the unionists of Annapolis was received from Judge Brewer, who expressed in unmeasured terms his approbation of my conduct.

Judge Brewer was not one of those who required such a stimulant to express his unionism. He had made no attempt to cloak his sentiments. He could not keep silent nor simulate, even by forbearing to speak, the least motion toward secession. Everybody in the community knew where he stood in the crisis through which the State was then passing There were many others, also, who had shown no sign of wavering in their loyalty, but to none of them had fallen such an opportunity to give expression, openly, to their sentiments, as came to me that Sunday afternoon on Taylor's wharf.

I have told this story, egotistical as it may seem, not to exploit myself personally, but to give force to my testimony to the loyalty of Governor Hicks and the State of Maryland as well. I think it bears sufficient in lenient evidence that it is not manufactured, and thus so to demonstrate my own loyalty as to make me a competent and reliable witness in the case.

I did not tell the men who crowded the wharf at the time, collectively, the purpose of my visit to the locality, but selected a number of them whom I knew to be most trustworthy and reliable and directed them to go to the arsenal after nightfall and get arms. In this I was materially assisted by a man named William Freeman, (familiarly and generally called Bill), a mechanic and humble citizen, but one or the truest and staunchest unionists in the country, and well deserving the mention I make of him in this connection.

When the Maryland, with the Constitution in tow, finally made Annapolis Roads, Old Ironsides spread her sails and disappeared down the Chesapeake. The Maryland, with Butler's troops on board, in attempting to return to the harbor ran aground on the bar outside of Horn Point and lay there for thirty hours or more. That Sunday night was an anxious period to the people of Annapolis, and especially to the unionists. Rumors were rife and persistently circulated that the Baltimore mob was preparing to make a descent upon the town and the Naval Academy. It was rumored also, that in view of the hostile attitude of so many Marylanders towards the troops, the Government at Washington contemplated the abandonment of the effort to enforce its authority in the seceding States and would order the withdrawal of the troops then on the way to the National Capital. This rumor was decidedly more disconcerting to the unionists than their fears of a raid upon the place by the Baltimore mob. Above every other consideration they desired the preservation of the Union and had then arrived at the conclusion that the only means to be used successfully to that end lay in the employment of the military power of the Government. The rumor that this was not to be done turned many an anxious eye toward the lights of the Maryland as she lay outside the harbor that Sunday night. I could see them from a dormer window of my residence on Duke of Gloucester street near the church circle, and the last thing I did before retiring, at nearly midnight, was to look out over the harbor and Horn Point to see if they were still there. I saw them gleaming in the distance and somehow felt comforted at the sight and encouraged to hope that the Government would not desert us and abandon its purpose to save the Union.

The apprehension that it might possibly do so, however, caused some weak-kneed unionists to flop over temporarily to the side of the secessionists. One of them, a clergyman who had been an emphatic unionist, approached me the following day and expressed the opinion that nothing was left for Maryland to do but secede. My reply to that was that I could see no reason whatever why the State should be dragged out of the Union by a mob of Baltimore roughs. I told him of the notice served upon me to the effect that I must take the oath of allegiance to the Southern Confederacy and added that I would see them all in a much hotter place than Annapolis before I could do so. Within the next two days that clergyman became as ardent a unionist as ever; but his lapse led me to reflect that the weakness of such men might have led to the secession of the State, if an uprising of Southern sympathizers had taken place before the inauguration of President Lincoln.

About 10 o'clock the Monday following that memorable Sunday of Butler's arrival in Annapolis I went to the executive chamber to give Governor Hicks an account of what-had been accomplished under his order to distribute the State arms to loyal citizens. He expressed gratification at my report that the arms were then in the hands of trusted unionists. 1 informed him that the secessionists were very indignant because they had been kept in ignorance on the subject and were denouncing it as a mean and unfair trick. He was amused at that and laughed heartily over it, but immediately gave me such a shock, as I have only experienced once in a lifetime, by suddenly asking if I knew that he had protested to General Butler against landing his troops at the Naval Academy. I replied that 1 had not heard of it. Then he said: "Yes, I sent him a written protest yesterday morning." I was inclined to be incredulous about it and to believe that he was playing some sort of joke upon me. When finally convinced that he was serious about it and had really made such a protest, I became very indignant and angry and reproached him bitterly for what seemed to me to have been a perfidious action. I told him that in my opinion Butler and his troops had as much right on Maryland soil as he himself had. I pointed out to him what seemed to be self-evident that the presence of Federal troops at Annapolis was a guarantee of protection to the unionists of that city and that with my whole heart I wanted them to land. To this, with lips close to my ear and with great earnestness, he whispered: "And 1 want it as much as you do."

"Then, in heavens name," I exclaimed, "why did you protest against it?" To this he replied: "I did it to keep a hold as long as possible upon the other side," meaning the secessionists. "I don't want them to be fully aware of my attitude just yet."

I was not appeased by this explanation and promptly said to him: "Well, sir, you have made the mistake of your life and have committed an act that will come home to plague your memory when you are dead and gone. Instead of protesting against the landing you should have extended a loyal welcome to the defenders of the Union. You have certainly carried your diplomacy entirely too far in this case." I really said much more in the same vein, for I was thoroughly aroused, but I cannot recall the entire conversation. I do remember that I told him I hoped Butler would not be influenced by his protest, but would promptly land his troops. He at once expressed his concurrence in this desire and said that was just what he wanted. There were ten or twelve persons, some of whom were secessionists, in the executive chamber during our conversation but they were at the opposite side of the room, and as we did not speak in a loud tone, which I saw the Governor did not desire, they did not catch the drift of what we were saying.

I had no doubt that it was the tendency of the governor to endeavor to hoodwink his enemies that had caused him to enter his protest against the landing of the troops, but I was not placated by his assurance that he, too, wanted them to land; and so I spoke to him freely of its effect upon his reputation, though I did not then and have never since doubted his sincerity in agreeing with me about the desirability of the presence of the soldiers with us. I felt, however, that his course in the matter had placed the loyalists of Maryland in a false light before the country and could not refrain from telling him so. Taken alone, it might he argued from his course with General Butler that I was the party he desired to mislead; but he had shown his loyalty on too many previous occasions, and I had been too closely identified with him to place such an interpretation upon his assurance that he sympathized with my desire to have the troops landed.

The governor did not resent my reproaches and no break in our friendly relations resulted from the interview. 1 believe he felt at the time that he deserved all that 1 had said to him. If he did not then, he certainly came to that conclusion soon afterwards and frankly acknowledged to me that he had made a great mistake. This occurred early in the following June. The record building, as it was called, in which the comptroller's and land offices were located, fronted the State House, and I was standing in the hall doorway about sunset of a beautiful day, when the governor left the executive chamber for his residence. His way led past me and when he reached me he stopped and entered into conversation. We talked a few moments about indifferent matters and then he suddenly asked:

"Seabrook, do you remember what you said to me about my protest to Butler against landing his troops at the Naval Academy?" The question startled and embarrassed me. I supposed he intended to take me to task for the heat and vehemence with which I had reproached him, and I answered in an apologetic manner:

"Yes, Governor, I remember it distinctly and fear I was extremely discourteous. But I was greatly excited."

"Stop," he said, "1 did not recall it to reproach you. You convinced me that I had, as you said,, made the mistake of my life, and I shall never cease to regret that I did not consult with you before acting in the matter. You said the protest would come home to plague my memory when I am dead and gone, and in that you spoke truly. It was the one act of my administration that I deeply regret and would gladly recall, if that were possible. I would give my right arm if I could undo it. You have been with me enough to know there has never been a throb of my heart that was not true and loyal to the Government and the cause of the Union."

I did know it, and assured him in the most decided manner, that I could hear irrefutable testimony to that effect. We were both much affected. I had no sense of triumph in hearing him acknowledge his error. On the contrary my heart went out in deep sympathy for him. He was nearly forty years my senior, and it pained me to hear what it must have given him a sense of bitter humiliation to confess. He was a very lovable man. In all my intercourse with him I had never seen him give way to auger, and I was as greatly attached to him as I could have been if he had been my own father.

Upon my assuring him that I knew beyond a shadow of doubt that he had been inflexibly loyal at every moment of the secession movement, he said: "Then I must look to you and others who have been associated with us during the winter and spring to clear my memory of aspersions against my loyalty."

I promised him I would do so and have on many occasions told the story of the events upon which I base my confidence in his sincere and unchanged devotion to the Union. I have still facts to relate and explanations to make which strengthen that confidence and in writing this story am endeavoring to put the evidences which I deem conclusive of his loyalty in a form which will assure their permanent preservation.

I have Quoted General Butler as saying that "the governor had changed the place of meeting of the legislature, which had been called to meet at that time at Annapolis, to Frederick, upon the ground that it was improper for it to meet in a city which was held by United States troops." But to me the governor assigned a very different reason for the change. I believe I was alone in advising against the call at all. I thought it then entirely unnecessary, and time has not changed that opinion. But the other staunch loyal advisors of the governor thought differently. They were impressed with the opinion that the announcement of the call would destroy the pretext for the secession rioting in Baltimore, and would put an end to the riot. It probably had that effect but I believe that within a few days the mob could have been overawed and dispersed by government troops.

Governor Hicks voluntarily informed me that instead of having been actuated by the reason he had assigned to Butler for changing the place of meeting to Frederick, he was influenced by other considerations. He found in the presence of the troops a means of impressing the secessionists with the idea that he considered it improper to have the legislature meet in a place under control of Federal soldiers, while his real reason was that at Frederick it would be surrounded by a thoroughly loyal people, that city, and Frederick county generally, having been known as a veritable hotbed of unionism. The governor thought that fact would restrain the legislature from attempting to pass an act of secession, about which there was some talk of its doing. His judgment was hardly at fault if a story current at the time was correct. While some action indicative of a purpose to proceed with the secession program was pending so the story goes a band of sturdy, determined looking citizens appeared in the legislative halls with rope halters hanging on their arms. Members, noticing the singular proceeding, inquired its meaning and were informed that the halters were to be used in hanging such of them as attempted to pass an act of secession. I cannot vouch for the truth of the story, but I do know that the union sentiment in Frederick was very strong, and am confident that the governor gave me his true reason for taking the legislature to that place.

The extra session of the legislature made a special election in Baltimore necessary. The city had no members in the House of Delegates, the seats of those returned as elected in 1859 having been contested by the opposing candidates, at the regular session in 1860, and declared vacant, as I have already stated, upon the theory that, on account of the violence and fraud which prevailed at the election it was impossible to determine who had been chosen; or in other words, that no election had been held in the city.

The election was held after the lapse of the shortest time allowed by law and while the secessionists were still presumably in control of the city. The unionists made no nominations, but put it up to their opponents to demonstrate their numerical superiority by polling a majority of the whole number of votes in the city. Thus challenged, extraordinary efforts were made to poll the full strength of the secession sympathizers. There was then no registration of voters in Maryland, and the exact number of electors in the city cannot be stated, but could not have been much, if any, less than forty thousand. Of these only about ten thousand, notwithstanding the extraordinary efforts to bring out a large vote, cast their ballots at the special election. This was a meagre showing and thoroughly exploded the claims of secession preponderance in Baltimore. The fright produced by the riot was ended. Only a short time elapsed before Butler, who in the meantime had seized the Relay Junction of the Main Stem and Washington Branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, marched with a small force to Federal Hill, in Baltimore, and rode thence, attended by only an orderly, to Barnum's Hotel in the heart of the city.

Only a few weeks after the exhibition of mob sympathy with secession in Baltimore a notable meeting of prominent citizens was held in the auditorium of the Maryland Institute, in that city, to give expression to their views in relation to the action of the Government in resorting to war for the preservation of the Union. Every section of the State was represented and the great hall of the institute was crowded with a body of as representative citizens as ever assembled in Maryland. They came together voluntarily and not by delegation. The call for the convention placed no limit upon the number who might attend and it was a spontaneous outpouring of loyal people. It is worthy of remark that in all that large assembly no voice was raised against the prosecution of the war to prevent the dissolution of the Union. The common sentiment was in favor of the employment of all the resources of the Government to defeat the cause of secession. An address, setting forth the views of the convention and forcibly expressing this sentiment, was adopted without a dissenting voice. This address, it was understood, was written by Samuel S. Maffit, of Cecil county, who was elected comptroller of the treasury at the succeeding November election. Augustus W. Bradford, chosen governor at the same election, delivered an impassioned and eloquent address which created unbounded enthusiasm and placed him at once in the front rank of union leaders in the State. No one who participated in the proceedings of the convention could have doubted that it voiced the sentiments of a majority of the people of the State.

There were in fact thousands of prominent citizens, all over the State, who never for a moment swerved from their fealty to the Government and who would have resisted any movement to drag the State into secession, if it had been necessary to employ force to prevent it. I have in mind and was personally acquainted with many of these men, who deserve to have their names recorded and perpetuated for their unflinching loyalty. It would extend this story far beyond the limit contemplated to mention them all, but, I cannot forbear naming some of the more prominent ones. Among these were: Ex-Governor Francis Thomas, ex-Congressman Henry W. Hoffman, George A. Pearre, leader of the Allegany county bar and father of the recent Congressman George A. Pearre; A. C. Green, Hopewell Hebb, Col. Charles Gilpin, Lloyd Lowndes, then only a young man, but afterwards a member of Congress and governor of the State; Dr. Charles H. Ohr, Judge Daniel Weisel, Peter Negley, Louis P. Fiery, Andrew K. Stake, Peter B. Small.. Sr., Albert Small, Mittag and Sneary, publishers of the Hagerstown Herald and Torch Light; John V. L. Findlay, afterwards a member of Congress from Baltimore; Louis Nyman, Louis E. McComas, then only a young man and afterwards a United States Senator; Edward Stake, afterwards a Circuit Court judge; Judge William P. Maulsby, John W. Birely, General Edward Shriver, Col. Charles E. Trail, Dr. Lewis Steiner; Joshua Dill, Lewis H. Dill, George T. Dill, Col. Edward Schley, and his sons, Henry and Frank, Major Henry Schley and his son, Dr. Fairfax Schley, Frederick Scliley, editor of the Frederick Examiner; John T. Schley, father of Admiral W. S. Schley; Grayson Eichelberger, Charles Cole, editor of the Maryland Union; B. Amos Cunningham, Michael Zimmerman, Dr. William Zimmerman, M. L. Beckenbaugh, Jos. W. L. Carty, John C. Hardt, Thomas Haller, John H. Seabrook, Dr. Andrew Annan, Lawrence J. Brengle, David Frazier, Capt. George M. Tyler, Mahlon Rhoderick, John E. Smith, a member of the State Senate at the beginning of the war and afterwards judge of the Fifth Judicial district Circuit Court; his father, Joshua Smith, and his uncles, John Smith Of Wakefield and Richard Smith, Col. William A. MeKellip, Joseph M. Parke, George E. Wampler, A. H. Huber, "William H. Grammer, editor of the Westminster American Sentinel; William A. Wampler, Drs. John and Samuel Swoipe, Daniel Swope, Benjamin Shunk, John MeKellip, Dr. William Reindollar, Jonas Ecker, Solomon S. Ecker, Rogers Birnie, Thomas F. Shepherd, Joseph A. Stouffer, Moses Shaw, Daniel Wolfe, Joseph Wolfe, George Everliart, Jacob Campbell, John G. Capito, Augustus Shriver, Dr. Clotworthy Birnie, Andrew K Shriver, Henry Wirt Shriver, Joseph L. Haines, Dr. Jacob J. Weaver, Sr., Dr. James L. Billingslea, Dr. Charles Billingslea, William A. Cunningham, Alfred Troxell, Joshua Yingling, Jesse Reifsnider, Deuton Gehr, Granville S. Haines, Nathan I. Gorsuch, Augustus W. Bradford, William H. Hoffman, John T. Ensor, Robert Fowler, General John S. Berry, Reverdy Johnson, Sr., ex-Attorney General of the United States and afterwards United States Senator; Reverdy Johnson, Jr., Col. Edwin H. Webster, who was in Congress when the war began; Major William H. Dallam, George McComas, John Baker, Edward M. Alien, James T. McCollough, John A. J. Creswell, afterwards U. S. Senator and Postmaster General; Jacob Tome, founder of the Tome Institute at Port Deposit; James W. Clayton, Alexander Evans, F. T. Birely, Isaac O. Baile, Wm. Bachman, Philip H. L. Myers, Leonard Zile, and many others. These were all citizens of the northern tier of counties.

In Baltimore City were such, men as Henry Winter Davis, William Schley, Henry Stockbridge, father of the present Judge Henry Stockbridge; William Price, Thomas S. Alexander, leading members of the bar; Charles C. Fulton, publisher of the Baltimore American and father-in-law of General Felix Agnus, the present publisher of that well known daily, Alexander Fulton, John F. McJilton, R. Stockett Matthews, Archibald, Stirling, Sr., Archibald Sterling, Jr., afterwards United States District Attorney; Judge Hugh Lennox Bond, Republican candidate for governor in 1867; Jos. Gushing, Jos. Whitney, Milton Wihitney, Jacob H. Medairy, Cornelius L. L. Leary, Marcus Dennison, General Andrew Dennison, Frederick Fickey, Sr., Frederick Fickey, Jr., John M. Dennison, Baltis H. Kennard, John L. Thomas, afterwards a member of Congress; Washing Booth, Francis Cochran, Jehu B. Askew,

In Southern Maryland were:

Thomas Donaldson, Judge Edward Hammond, Dr. William W. Watkins, an uncle of ex-Governor Edwin Warfield; George W. Sands, James Gary and his son, James A. Gary, afterwards Postmaster General; Hart B. Holton, once Republican candidate for governor; Alien Bowie Davis, Francis Miller, Judge Richard Johns Bowie, of the Court of Appeals; Charles B. Calvert, elected to Congress in 1861; Frederick Sasscer, Shelby Clarke, Alexander Randall, an Ex-member of Congress; Judge Daniel Magruder, Randall Magnifier, John R. Magruder, Judge Nicholas Brewer, Nicholas Brewer, Jr., Nicholas Brewer of John, adjutant general under Governor Hicks; John Stephen Sellman, several times a State Senator; Frank H. Stockett, a prominent member of the Annapolis bar; J. Wesley White, James M. Munrce, prominent Annapolis merchants; Grafton Munroe, Sr., Grafton Munroe, Jr., J. Edwards Munroe, Richard R. Goodwin, George M. Taylor, Dr. William Goodman, Harry Levely, W. Clement Tuck, Dr. Washington G. Tuck, Dr. Johu Ridout, Dr. Dennis Claude, for many years State treasurer; Elijah Arnold, Thomas Graham, Nathaniel Duke, Mongomery Blair, Postmaster General in the Cabinent of President Lincoln; Frank Blair, father of Montgomery Blair.

On the Eastern Shore, south of Cecil county, were Col. Edward Wilkins, Capt. William D. Burchinal, Dr. Christopher C. Cox, afterwards lieutenant governor; Col. William J. Vannort, afterwards a Republican candidate for governor; Henry H. Goldsborough, a Democratic Senator from Talbot county in the legislature of 1861, but a most determined unionist; William B. Dixon, Col. H. C. Mullikin; Robert J. Jump, afterwards comptroller of the treasury; Judge George M. Russum, Judge Thomas A. Spence, Charles F. Goldsborough, Governor Hicks, Col. James Wallace, Levin Straughn, Henry Straughn, John W. Crisfield, elected to Congress in 1861; Col. William H. Leonard, Judge Brice W. Goldsborough, of the Court of Appeals; William H. Purnell, comptroller of the treasury at the beginning of the war, and during the war postmaster of Baltimore.

This list might be multiplied to thousands, but these are named because, with very few exceptions, they were personally known to me and I was familiar with their views. Their names are given here just as they came to mind and I have not sought to refresh my memory by consulting references. On the other hand I remember a much smaller number of prominent Marylanders who sided actively with the secession movement. In his efforts to make Maryland an effective factor in the struggle for the maintenance of national unity, therefore, I think there can be no doubt that Governor Hicks represented the wishes of a decided majority of the people of the State.

It is but just to the men whose names are mentioned in the foregoing list to say that they were not without sympathy for the masses of the Southern people, in the suffering and distress brought upon them by the war. They the men named believed, with reason, that the secession movement was instigated and precipitated by a small proportion of the people of the South, and that many of those people were dragooned into voting for and consenting to withdrawal from the Union, against their better judgment. It is well known that Lee, the great Southern military leader, was not in favor of secession, but felt it his duty to cast his lot with Virginia when she decided to Join the Confederacy.

The Senate Chamber where general Washington resigned his commission

There were many citizens of Maryland whose hearts and heads were at variance. They did not believe in the right of secession, or if they conceded the right, believed its exercise unwise and impolitic, and could see in it nothing but the disintegration of the country and the ultimate destruction of popular government. I have in mind a citizen who was generally supposed to have been imbued with strong Southern sympathies, who, with the exception of Governors Hicks and Bradford, probably rendered greater service for the government, throughout the war, than any other Marylander not connected with the army. I refer to Mr. J. W. Garrett, the great railroad magnate, who, as president of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, devoted the property of that corporation to its fullest extent, in carrying munitions of war and in the transportation of troops. Under Mr. Garrett's supervision the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad never failed to meet any emergency, however pressing and demanding prompt action, when called upon by the government.

Mr. Garrett was a native of Baltimore and a Democrat politically, and his sympathy was naturally with the South. But it is evident from his course;, from the beginning to the end of the war, that he regarded the preservation of the Union paramount to every other consideration.

While the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was strictly a Maryland work, undertaken by Maryland men and its construction made possible by the liberal aid voted by the Maryland Legislature, its line ran for lone distances through Virginia, and the service it continually rendered the government provoked such an antagonism against it in the Confederacy that it suffered serious damage at the hands of the Confederate armies. But this did not deter Mr. Garrett from doing his duty to the government, and the railroad under his control continued till the very end of the war to do its utmost to aid the Union cause.

That Mr. Garrett possessed the confidence of President Lincoln, to the fullest extent, is well understood. This is corroborated by the fact that he, Mr. Garrett, accompanied Mr. Lincoln to the headquarters of Gen. Grant in front, of Petersburg, near the close of the war, and that the railroad president was photographed standing with Lincoln and Grant, in front of the latter's tent. These facts indicate that Mr. Garrett must have been entrusted with a knowledge of military secrets that would have been withheld from any but a thoroughly loyal man.

I might give, in detail, some account of the great service rendered the government by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, but, as I say in substance elsewhere the scope and purpose of this story is only to show, on the civil side, what the unionists of Maryland and her governor did to prevent, her secession from the Union. Mr. Garrett was a type of Marylanders who were not few in number. They felt the ties of fellowship and the influence of kindred institutions with the South, but they were not blind to the consequences which must have followed a successful attempt to dissolve the Union. Their course is more than justified by the marvelous growth of a united country and its development into a power whose influence is second to none among the great nations of the world and whose people are the freest, most prosperous and happiest on earth.

This part of my story would be incomplete without some reference to the loyal women of Annapolis, of whom there were many among the leading families of the city. During the first year of the war a corps of these ladies, lead by the wife of Judge Brewer and my own wife, visited the soldiers' hospitals in the Naval Academy grounds, almost daily, and ministered to the sick and wounded men brought there from camps and battlefields. The government was not prepared to care for these men properly and the Christian and Sanitary Commissions were not then efficiently organized. The Annapolis ladies provided such luxuries and delicacies as the men were remitted to have and with their own hands served them to the patients. These ministrations were very grateful to the men and many a poor fellow had his last hours soothed by the presence and tender sympathy of these devoted women. In one instance, with my rather reluctant consent, my wife had a boy soldier named Irving Jaques, of Albany, N. Y., brought from a soldiers' camp to our home and nursed him back to health. He was but 16 years old and would have died but for the care he received in my home. I secured his discharge from the army, but he re-enlisted and became sergeant major of the regiment of which Colonel, now General MeDougal, of Auburn, N. Y., was the commander. He was shot through the head and killed at Gettysburg. I have his portrait, sent me by his mother, soon after his death. This is only one of many individual stories that might be told to the credit of the loyal women of Annapolis.

Historical Note: Dr. Andrew Annan was an Emmitsburg Doctor. It was by luck I ran into his name on the list of those men who attended the meeting on the decision of Maryland's fate.  

Read Part Four

Special thanks to John Miller for his efforts in scanning the book's contents and converting it into the web page you are now viewing.