Today in History:

19 Series I Volume II- Serial 2 - First Manassas

Page 19 Chapter IX. RIOT IN BALTIMORE, MD.

number of efficient weapons to arm the entire police force in case of an emergency. There were not enough in the city hall for that purpose. An allegation has been made that some of the arms and ammunition belonged to the Massachusetts troops; but I am informed that this is not the case, except as to two muskets which were taken by the police from the hands of the mob. The ammunition at that hall, which was purchased for the defense of the city, was more than was entirely safe. Of this I was well aware, and should have ordered it to be removed if the city had any proper place of deposit; but I apprehended that any attempt at removal at this time would only lead to a seizure on the part of the officers of the General Government and to unfounded rumors and suspicions; for all the rest of the arms and ammunition belonging to the city, and all the arms left with the city authorities for safe-keeping, which were placed in depositories procured expressly for the purpose and in no way concealed, had been previously seized by the authorities of the United States under circumstances very mortifying to the pride of the people. That some of the arms and ammunition were concealed about the building is sufficient explained by the fact that the officers in charge desired to secure them from seizure, but such concealment was made without my knowledge.

The proclamation charges the existence of unlawful combinations of men organized for the resistance to the laws, for accumulating hidden deposits of arms, and encouraging contraband trade.

Although I am only ex officio member of the board, and by reason of other engagements not able to be present at all their meetings, yet, from the free and full interchange of views among us, and the custom edge of all their proceedings, I feel that I have a right to say, of my own personal knowledge, that the board had no notice or information of any such combination, if any such existed, which I have no reason to suspect.

Indeed, my experience of the fidelity of the board to its legal obligations during my whole official connection with it, and the common understanding between myself and my colleagues as to our course of duty since the present troubles began, justify me in saying that if any organization in this city for resistance to the laws could have been discovered by proper vigilance they would have been found out and suppressed to the extent of the powers conferred on the board by law.

After the board of police had been superseded, and its members arrested by the order of General Banks, I proposed, in order to relieve the serious complications which had arisen, to proceed, as the only member left free to act, to exercise the power of the board as far as an individual member could do so. Marshal Kane, while he objected to the propriety of this course, was prepared to place his resignation in my hands whenever I should request it; and the majority of the board interposed no objection to my pursuing such course at I might deem it right and proper to adopt in view of the existing circumstances, and upon my own responsibility, until the board should be enabled to resume the exercise of its functions.

If this arrangement could have been effected it would have continued in the exercise of their duties the police force, which is lawfully enrolled, and which has won the confidence and applause of all good citizens by its fidelity and impartiality at all times and under all circumstances. But the arrangement was not satisfactory to the Federal authorities.

As the men of the police force, through no fault of theirs, are now

Page 19 Chapter IX. RIOT IN BALTIMORE, MD.