Today in History:

13 Series I Volume II- Serial 2 - First Manassas


At about 12 o'clock p. m. the Honorable E. Louis Lowe and Marshall George P. Kane called at my house, where Governor Hicks was passing the night, and Marshal Kane informed me tht a telegram had been received that other troops were to come to Baltimore over the Northern Central Railroad. There was also a report that troops were on their way who, it was though, might even then be at Perryville, on their way to Baltimore. Mr. Lowe, Marshal Kane, my brother, John Cumming Brown, and myself went immediately to the chamber of Governor Hicks and laid the matter before him. The point was pressed that if troops were suddenly to come to Baltimore with a determination to pass through, a terrible collision and bloodshed would take place, and that the only was to avert the calamity was to destroy the bridges. To this the governor replied, "It seems to be necessary," or words to that effect.

He was then asked my men whether he gave his consent to the destruction of the bridges, and he distinctly, although apparently with great reluctance, replied in the affirmative. I do not assert that I have given the precise language used by Governor Hicks, but I am very clear that I have stated it with substantial correctness, and tht his assent was unequivocal, and in answer to a question by me which elicited a distinct affirmative reply.

After this, but before the interview was over, two gentlemen came into the room, both to them strangers to me, but one was introduced as the brother of Governor Hicks, and I am confident that the assent of the governor to the burning of the bridges was repeated in the presence of those gentlemen.

I went immediately from the chamber of the governor to the office to the marshal of police, where Charles Howard, esq., the president of the board of police, was waiting, and reported to him the assent of the governor to the destruction of the bridges.

Mr. Howard, or some one else, made a further inquiry as to what had been said by the governor, whereupon Mr. Lowe, Marshal Kane, and my brother, John C. Brown, all declared that they were present at the interview and heard Governor Hicks give his assent.

The order to destroy the bridges was accordingly given, and carried out in the manner already reported to your honorable body.

I refer to the accompanying statements of Colonel Kane and Mr. J. C. Brown in confirmation of the correctness of my recollection of what occurred at the interview with Governor Hicks.

With great respect, your obedient servant,

GEO. WM. BROWN, Mayor.



Baltimore, May 9, 1861.

Near the hour of 12 p. m. of Friday, the 19th April, the day on which the collision with the Massachusetts troops occurred, I received intelligence that the president of the Pennsylvania Central Railroad Company had sent a dispatch to a gentleman here that additional troops would pass through Baltimore on their was to the capital.

I immediately sent to the president of the police board the intelligence referred to, and called at the residence of his honor Mayor Brown, to whom I also communicated the information which I had received.

The major immediately had an enterview with the governor, who was then staying at his (mayor's) house, and afterwards invited me to accompany him to the chamber of his excellency, to whom I communicated the information of the purposed coming of the troops.