The Military Occupation of Baltimore


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, May 25, 1861

This edition of Harper's Weekly featured a number of popular images. The issue includes a dramatic picture of the Fire at Willard's Hotel in Washington. The issue also contains news of the opening days of the Civil War. There is a nice picture of loading ships in preparation for war.

(Newspaper Thumbnails will take you to the page of interest. Scroll Down to See Full Page)


Fire Zouaves

The Fire Zouaves

Warning to South

Jeff Davis Cartoon

The Occupation of Baltimore

Civil War Parade

Treasury Building

Troops at the US Treasury Building


Dubuque Iowa

Camp Cameron

Camp Cameron, Georgetown


Loading a Civil War Ship


The Highlanders

Pennsylvania Soldiers

Pennsylvania Soldiers

Steam Gun

Winans Steam Gun

Troops in Capitol

Civil War Troops Housed in Congress

Map Civil War

Civil War Map




MAY 25, 1861.]



(Previous Page) " History was ransacked for instances of adventurers who, by the help of mercenary troops, had subjugated free nations or deposed legitimate princes ; and such instances were easily found." "What was the Lacedemonian phalanx in the best days of Lacedemon ? What was the Roman legion in the best days of Rome? What were the armies which conquered at Cressy, at Poitiers, at Agincourt, at Halidon, at Flodden ? What was that mighty array which Elizabeth reviewed at Tilbury ? In the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth centuries, Englishmen who did not live by the trade of war had made war with success and glory. Were the English of the seventeenth century so degenerate that they could not be trusted to play the men for their own homesteads and parish churches ?"

To this argument the reply of Somers and the army party was very brief and cogent. If the spirit of the English people was such that, almost without training, they could successfully withstand the oldest soldiers, was it not absurd to suppose that such a people could be easily reduced to slavery by their own countrymen ?

Somers himself wrote a little treatise upon the text that. much was to be said on both sides, and showed the advantages and disadvantages of a standing army in the Balancing Letter.

The result of the discussion was that the peace establishment was reduced to about ten thousand men.

Macaulay was a Whig, but he was always favorable to what is called a strong government, which means simply a military government. But the true and final strength of a government lies at last in the people. Only ideas are permanently strong. Now mercenary soldiers are machines. They do not think. They are not to reason, but to obey. And for that very reason they may be turned against you. The mill grinds. But it will grind the miller equally with the grist. A man thinks, and when he is willing to give his life for a cause he is more terrible than any machine. The true strength of a government lies, therefore, in men who seriously believe in the government and are willing to die for it. Such men are not soldiers who can be bought, and when they fall there are a hundred to stand in the place of each one of them.

A militia of such men is, if properly commanded, a hundred times more effective than mercenary troops. And one of the great and lasting lessons that we are likely to learn from this rebellion is that our militia must be military ; that our population must be, as the people of Germany and France are, always prepared to use arms intelligently. If every man who marches now to the field were an accomplished soldier, how irresistible the army would be ! Hereafter, let every citizen pay that homage at least to his country that he will understand how to handle a musket in her defense.


IN speaking recently of the heroes who first fell, the Lounger said that the Massachusetts men were " first in the field." His attention has been called to his forgetfulness of the Pennsylvania line, which was actually first upon the ground. It is a heroic emulation, and the Lounger most cheerfully corrects his statement by the following explanation from Schuylkill County. The name of the newspaper in which it appears was not sent to him:

" On Thursday, the 18th day of April, five hundred Pennsylvanians marched through Baltimore on their way to defend the National Capital, exactly twenty-four hours before the Massachusetts regiment so bravely celebrated the battle of Lexington in the streets of that delectable city. Over 230 of these volunteers started from the borough of Pottsville on Wednesday afternoon, April 17, and of these the National Light Infantry, commanded by Captain E. M'Donald, were the very first whose services were offered to and accepted by the Secretary of War. If the volunteers from Pennsylvania did not present the handsome appearance that their brethren from the land of steady habits presented upon their appearance in Washington, they at least should not be deprived of the credit of having arrived there first. It is Schuylkill County that

asks that kind of justice at the hands of the newspapers of the country, and Schuylkill County has today more than two thousand men in the field. Will Harper's Weekly please make a note of that?"



A MAN and his wife were seated by the fire. He was intently occupied in reading—she in some domestic cares. At length he raised his eyes from his book, and said,

"It is here stated that Lot's wife looked back, and was converted into a pillar of salt, because she coveted something she had left behind ;" and added, "I never thought it was for that reason."

His wife very quietly asked,

" What do you suppose induced her to look back, if it was not covetousness ?"

He replied,

" I always imagined it was curiosity." And after sitting a moment, he said, It seems to me that I should have wanted to look back if I had been in her place, should not you?"

" Yes," she replied, "I think I should, especially if I had been told not to do it."


"I'll trouble you for my month's rent, Madam," said a landlord last Monday to one of his tenants.

"Is it yer rint ye ax for now?"

" Yes, Ma'am, two rooms at two shillings per week each." "Ah, now, can't ye wait a little time? Sure the likes of ye must have plenty of money," replied the woman, looking at the thin, bent form of the landlord with great contempt.

" But, my dear woman, the money is due, and—"

"Oh, murther ! is it dearing me ye are ? an honest, married woman, and blessed mother of siven boys, each big enough to lick the life out of ye. Out of my house, ye monster !" and, unable to give vent to her indignation in words, she seized his coat-collar, and fairly threw him into the street.

The owner intends to let his agent collect the rent of that house in future.

A DIALOGUE.—We overheard the following dialogue in the street the other day between an old lady and a ditto boy:

" Mike," said the lady, " how's your mother today ?" "A good deal better, I guess," answered Mike ; "she's being ateing some soup sitting up on her elbow this morning."

Should think she was a good deal better. Eating soup, and at the same time sitting on one's elbow, is a tolerably smart gymnastic feat for an invalid.

A young bachelor, who had been appointed deputy-sheriff, was called upon to serve an attachment against a beautiful young widow. He accordingly called upon her, and said,

" Madam, I have an attachment for you."

The widow blushed, and said she was happy to inform him his attachment was reciprocated.

"You do not understand me : you must proceed to court."

"I know it is leap-year, Sir, but I prefer you would do the courting."

" Mrs. P—, this is no time for trifling; the justice is waiting."

"The justice! why, I should prefer a parson."

"Mr. Brown, you say the witness was honest and intelligent. What makes you think so? Are you acquainted with him?"

" No, Sir, I have never seen him."

" Why, then, do you come to such a conclusion?" "'Cause he takes ten newspapers, and pays for them all in advance."

Gentlemen who smoke allege that it makes them calm and complacent. They tell us that the more they fume the less they fret.

DONALD'S DEFINITION OF SLANDER.-"Donald,' said a Scotch dame, looking up from the Catechism to her son, "what's a slander?"—"A slander, gude mither?" quoth young Donald, twisting the corner of his plaid. " Aweel, I hardly ken, unless it be an ower true tale which one gude woman tells of anither."

A writer in one of our local papers speaks of a friend of his who has always been accustomed to the pen. Is the friend an author or a pig?

MISERABLE PEOPLE.-Young ladies with new bonnets on rainy Sundays, and dresses playing dip, dip at every step. A witness in a bribery case. A smoking nephew on a visit to an anti-smoking aunt. A young doctor who has just cured his first patient and has no prospect of another. A star actress with her name in small type on the bill.

"I like to hear a child cry," jocosely said the Abbe Morold. " Why ?" "Because then there is some hope of his being sent away."

Housewifery.—An ancient art, said to have been fashionable among girls and wives; now out of use, or practiced only by the lower orders.

Wealth.—The most respectable quality of man. Friend.—A person who will not assist you, because he knows your love will excuse him.

Wedded Bliss.—A term used by Milton.

Bargain.—A ludicrous transaction, in which each party thinks he has cheated the other.

Doctor.—A man who kills you today, to save you from dying to-morrow.

Tragedian.—A fellow with a tin pot on his head, who stalks about the stage, and gets into a violent passion for so much a night.

Critic.—A large dog that goes unchained, and barks at every thing he does not comprehend.

"Doctor," said a man to Abernethy, "my daughter had a fit, and continued for half an hour without sense or knowledge."

"Oh," replied the doctor, "never mind that; many people continue so all their lives."

" What dogs are these?" inquired a gentleman of a lad who was drawing a couple of terriers along.

"I dinna ken, Sir," replied the boy; "they cam' wi' the railway, and they ate the direction, and dinna ken where to gang."

There are as good horses drawing in carts as in coaches; and as good men are engaged in humble employments as in the highest.

A San Francisco merchant takes a white cur, and with stencil-plate and black ink fixes his business card upon each side of the dog, and sends him forth, a locomotive advertisement—a dogerrotype of the fast people of a fast country.

He who thinks he can do without others is mistaken; he who thinks others can not do without him is still more mistaken.

When you feel pity for the poor, you do not make the most appropriate gesture by putting your hand upon your heart, but into your pocket.

"I think I have seen you before, Sir ; are you not Owen Smith?" "Oh yes, I'm owin' Smith, and owin' Jones, and owin' Brown, and owin' every body."



A DISPATCH, dated Baltimore, May 13, says : "About eight o'clock this evening a large train, filled with troops, arrived at the outer depot from the Relay House, containing one thousand troops, taken from each of the regiments stationed at the Relay House.

"The Sixth Massachusetts and Eighth New York regiments, with a battery of artillery, marched through South Baltimore to Federal Hill, a high point of ground on the south side of the harbor, directly overlooking the city, and one mile west of Fort M'Henry.

" The sudden appearance of the troops took the citizens by surprise. They were greeted with every demonstration of approbation, and immense crowds eagerly gathered, cheering at every step, ladies waving their handkerchiefs, and many brought lamps and candles to the windows. Prominent citizens accompanied the troops to the hill, and assisted the officers in taking the best route thither, and procuring quarters for the troops until tents could arrive.

" The troops seemed to be highly pleased with their reception, and all expressed surprise and delight at the commanding position and fine prospect, with the whole city and country spread out before them."


The railroad through Baltimore is open, the route clear, and the bridges all secure and well guarded. The first train from Perryville, consisting of three passenger cars well filled, arrived there on 13th. The streets through which the train passed were thronged with people, men, women, and children, and no attempt was made to interfere with it, nor was there any disturbance on the road. When the steamer Maryland left the dock at Perryville, with the train of cars on deck, the American flag was hoisted and saluted by the troops. Crowds lined the river at both sides and cheered vehemently. The same scene occurred at Havre de Grace and all along the route.


A dispatch dated St. Louis, May 10, says : " General Frost's brigade of Missouri militia, encamped at Camp Jackson, on the western outskirts of the city, surrendered unconditionally this afternoon, on demand of Captain Lyon, commander of the United States forces of this city. Captain Lyon marched on Camp Jackson with some six thousand volunteers, surrounded it, and planted eight field-pieces on the adjoining eminences."


The following letter was sent from Captain Lyon to General Frost:


"To General D. M. Frost:

" SIR,—Your command is regarded as evidently hostile toward the Government of the United States. It is, for the most part, made up of those secessionists who have openly avowed their hostility to the General Government, and have been plotting at the seizure of its property and the overthrow of its authority. You are openly in communication with the so-called Southern Confederacy, which is now at war with the United States, and you are receiving at your camp from the said Confederacy, under its flag, large supplies of material of war, most of which is known to be the property of the United States. These extraordinary preparations plainly indicate none other than the well-known purpose of the Governor of this State, under whose orders you are acting, and whose purpose, recently communicated to the Legislature, has just been responded to by that body in the most unparalleled legislation, having in direct view hostilities to the General Government, and co-operating with the enemy. In view of these considerations, and your failure to disperse in obedience to the proclamation of the President, and of the eminent necessity of State policy, and the welfare and obligations imposed upon me by instructions from Washington, it is my duty to demand, and I do hereby demand of you, an immediate surrender of your command, with no other conditions than that all persons surrendering under this demand shall be humanely and kindly treated. Believing myself prepared to enforce the demand, one half hour's time before doing so will be allowed for your compliance therewith.   N. LYON,

"Captain Second Infantry, Commanding Troops"


Just before the troops left for the city, and while the State forces were drawn up between the two lines of volunteers, several rocks were thrown at the volunteers, and a few pistol-shots fired by excited parties in the surrounding crowd, which was composed of a large number of citizens, including many women and children. One shot took effect in the leg of Captain Blautowski, and as he fell he gave word to fire, which was obeyed by some two or three companies, resulting in the death of upward of twenty persons, including two women and several children, and badly wounding several others.

The following are the only names of those killed that can be ascertained : Messrs. Walter M'Donald, Thomas A. Havens, Nicholas Kurblach, Emily Summers.

The following are fatally wounded: Claiborne Wilson and Trueman Wright.


The City of St. Louis was the scene of another terrible tragedy on Saturday night. The Home Guard, while marching through the streets, was hooted at and reviled by a large crowd of excited citizens, and finally a pistol-shot was fired into the ranks by, it is said, a boy. The troops wheeled and fired upon the crowd, discharging


several volleys. Owing to a lack of discipline, they broke up their ranks and fired at random, killing and wounding some of their own men, as well as many citizens.


A special Government agent has recently visited Harper's Ferry, and ascertained the exact condition of affairs there. From the nature of his statements it is evident that the Government has not so much to fear from a sudden descent from that quarter as has been apprehended. The number of troops concentrated there he puts down at 6000, of whom 200 are Kentuckians and one company South Carolinians. Only about three-fourths of the 6000 have arms, but that number is well armed. They lack provisions, however—only one day's supply being on hand at the time the agent left. Their supplies from Western Virginia had been cut off by the Union men there, and they must soon exhaust all that could be procured from the surrounding country. In the face of this scarcity a retreat was imperative unless provisions could be sent to them. The reports relative to the number who have crossed over to the Maryland side of the Potomac appear to have been exaggerated. Only 600 had crossed, and these had erected no batteries, and it was considered doubtful whether they would do so. The guns recovered from the ruins of the armory buildings do not number over 1000, and many of those are in bad condition.


The rebel troops at Alexandria appear to be fluctuating from point to point. It is said that there are not now more than one hundred and fifty men there. The steamer Pawnee, however, was moored in front of the city on 13th, with her guns (rifle cannon) and mortars so commanding it that they can bombard it with hot shot, grape, and shell, as well as any camp that may be located in the vicinity.


We have received details of late and interesting news from Texas, giving a full account of the recent capture of about four hundred government troops, and one hundred women and children, who were en route for the North, by about eight hundred Confederates, who were on board three armed steamers, well lined with cotton bales to keep the men from being harmed.


The State of Arkansas seceded on Monday by a nearly unanimous vote of her Convention. This makes the ninth State that has openly rebelled.


The delegate to the Convention of Western and North-Western Virginia, called to deliberate upon the best means of opposing the policy of Secession, adopted by the late Convention at Richmond, assembled on 13th at Wheeling, and proceeded to business. A committee of one from each county was appointed, to whom was referred the subject of representation, and the duty of reporting officers for a permanent organization, when a short recess was taken. The subsequent proceedings consisted mainly of discussions as to the proper course to be pursued. The greatest enthusiasm prevailed.


From Montgomery we learn that the Confederate Congress, in secret session, were making arrangements for a vigorous prosecution of the war, and for putting the South in a state of complete defense. It is boasted that they have ordnance, small-arms, and ammunition to employ in the field 150,000 men for one year's campaign.


The Richmond Examiner howls as follows : " The Southern States are both traitors and cowards if they do not come at once to the front. All their available forces should be brought to the banks of the Potomac with the least loss of time. Especially should President Davis give Virginia the advantage of his presence. It would be worth an army of fifty thousand men. It would give confidence and authority to all the State's movement. Why do the wheels of the chariot tarry?"


The blockade of the Southern ports on the Atlantic coast is now probably complete, including Charleston and the Savannah River, and those of the Gulf will soon be in the same condition, if they are not already so. The destination of the Niagara, which left this port several days ago, is understood to be New Orleans. The Secretaries of War and the Navy have been assiduous in their endeavors to perfect the blockade, and for this purpose, in addition to the national vessels, about twenty armed steamers from New York, Boston, and Philadelphia have been and are being put in readiness. The Virginia waters are now completely invested by Federal vessels, and Captain Prendergast, the officer in command of the fleet there, has given the necessary fifteen days' notice to all vessels to leave the ports of that State, either with or without cargoes. An extension of time has been asked in several cases, but invariably refused.


The contributions for the war have now reached the enormous amount of twenty-seven millions of dollars, being the free gift offerings of the patriotic people of the North, who are determined that the flag of our country shall never be brought down. These contributions, it must be borne in mind, are exclusive of sums that are less in amount than one thousand dollars, and also of private gifts to individuals in the shape of money, horses, swords, muskets, rifles, pistols, clothing, camp equipage, and other articles " contraband of war." A great many towns, too, have voted to pay the family expenses of soldiers during their absence, without appropriating any specified sum for that object.


The steamship Great Eastern arrived up at this port on Monday morning, and anchored in the stream opposite Hammond Street. It is understood that she is to be offered for sale to our Government, or will accept a charter as a transport.


The country will be glad to learn that Major Anderson has been promoted to a colonelcy, a reward justly due to his services and not less to his fidelity.

Colonel Mansfield, late Commandant at West Point, has been promoted to be a Brigadier-General, U. S. Army. It seems that Wigfal announces that there are one hundred thousand Southerners on their way to Washington, that Mr. Lincoln and his Cabinet will be captured unless they retreat before the middle of June, and that as for Wigfall he intends to winter in Philadelphia. There is a private in the Rhode Island regiment at Washington who is worth half a million of dollars. Our Washington correspondent states that he saw him mopping the floor of the barracks.

The formation of still another new Military Department has been rendered necessary by the exigencies of the times —that of Ohio; to consist of the States of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, and to be subdivided into various smaller departments—the whole under the command of General McClellan, of the Ohio Volunteers, with the head-quarters at Cincinnati.



THE quarrel between Garibaldi, Cavour, and Cialdini had been adjusted through the offices of the King. From Naples we have reports of further disturbances, and of the flight of large numbers of the people into the Papal territory to escape the conscription. The French troops at Rome were being relieved, and General Dumont, the successor of General Guyon, had been received cordially by his Holiness.


The Paris Temps says: "We learn from a reliable source that Turkey has proposed that 1000 French soldiers should be left at Beyrout until the reforms which have been decided upon by the European Commission have been completely carried out.'


Jefferson Davis Cartoon



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