Today in History:

12 Series I Volume II- Serial 2 - First Manassas

Page 12 OPERATIONS IN MD., PA., VA., AND W. VA. Chapter IX.

No. 3. Report of Honorable George William Brown, Mayor of Baltimore.

[BALTIMORE, May 9(?), 1861.]

To the honorable the General Assembly of Maryland:

In the report recently made to your honorable body by the board of police commissioners of the city of Baltimore it is stated that, in the great emergency which existed in this city on the 19th ultimo, it was suggested that the most feasible, if not the only practicable, mode of stopping for a time the approach of troops to Baltimore was to obstruct the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore and the Northern Central Railroads by disabling some of the bridges on both roads; and it is added that "his honor the mayor stated to the board that his excellency the governor, with whom he had a few minutes before been in consultation, in the presence of several citizens, concurred in these views."

As this concurrence has since been explicitly denied by his Excellency Governor Hicks in an official communication addressed to the senate of Maryland on the 4th instant, which I have just seen, it is due to myself that I should lay before you the grounds on which the statement was seriously regret that so grave a misunderstanding exists between the governor and myself on so important a subject.

On the evening of the 19th ultimo, and after collision had taken place, I mentioned to Governor Hicks that I had begun to fear it might be necessary to burn the railroad bridges, but I did not then, in consequence of intelligence which had been received, think it would be; to which he replied that he had no authority to give such an order.

At about 11 o'clock p. m. of the same day, the Honorable H. Lenox Bond, George W. Dobbin and John C. Brown, esq., were requested by Governor Hicks and myself to go to Washington in a special train, which was provided for the purpose, to explain in person the condition of thinks in Baltimore, and to bear the following communications from Governor Hicks and myself, which were addressed to the President:

SIR: The will be presented to you by the Honorable H. Lennox Bond, George W. Dobbin and John C. Brown, esqrs., who will proceed to Washington by an express train at my request in order to explain fully the fearful condition of affairs in this city. The people are exasperated to the highest degree by the passage of troops, and the citizens are universally decided in the opinion that no more should ge ordered to come.

The authorities of the city did their best to-day to protect both strangers and citizens, and to prevent any collision, but in vain; and but for their great efforts a fearful slaughter would have occurred.

Under these circumstances it is my solemn duty to inform you that it is not possible for more soldiers to pass through Baltimore, unless the fight their way at every step.

I therefore hope and trust, and most earnestly request, that no more troops be permitted or ordered by the Government to pass through the city. If they should attempt it the responsibility for the blood shed will not rest upon me.

With great respect, you obedient servant,

GEO. WM. BROWN, Mayor.

The following, from Governor Hicks, was appended to my communication:


President of the United States:

I have been in Baltimore since Tuesday evening last, and co-operated with Mayor G. W. Brown in his untiring efforts to allay and prevent the excitement and suppress the fearful outbreak as indicated above, and I fully concur in all that is said by him in the above communication.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Governor of Maryland.

Page 12 OPERATIONS IN MD., PA., VA., AND W. VA. Chapter IX.