Today in History:

21 Series I Volume II- Serial 2 - First Manassas

Page 21 Chapter IX. NORFOLK NAVY-YARD, VA.

and drove them off. A cry was then raised to tear up the track outside of the Camden station, and a rush was made to accomplish this purpose; but the police again interfered, and prevented this from being done.

I supposed for some time that all the troops would pass in safety, and such was my anxious wish, and to the extent of my ability I united in the effort to produce this result.

While I was at Camden station the events on Pratt street took place, none of which did I see, and therefore cannot speak of them further than I saw at a distance, and heard the firing of the troops as they passed up Pratt street.

My impression on that day was and still is that the events arose from a sudden impulse which seized upon some of our people, and that after the firing commenced and blood was shed many persons took part under an impression that the troops were killing our people, and without knowing the circumstances of provocation which induced the troops to fire. Matters reached their height after Mr. Davis was killed, and the intense excitement resulting rom this and other causes produced a state of feeling which for a time was beyond control on the part of the city authorities.

On Sunday, the 21st of April, whilst you were in Washington, where you had been summoned by the President, a regiment arrived from Pennsylvania, but were fortunately stopped at Cockeysville, about 14 miles off, by the disabled bridge at that point. Any rational man who witnessed the condition of things in Baltimore on that day can judge of the sad consequences which would have followed if the regiment had entered the city.

Yours, very respectfully,


APRIL 20, 1861. - Expedition to the Norfolk navy-yard, Va., and attempt to blow up the dry-dock.

Report of Captain H. G. Wright, U. S. Engineer Corps.

WASHINGTON, D. C., April 26, 1861.

COLONEL: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to the instructions [following] received from the headquarters of the Army on the 19th instant, I proceeded on the evening of the same day, on the United States steamer Pawnee, to Fort Monroe, where we arrived the next day at about 2 o'clock p. m., and communicated with commanding officer Colonel Dimick. The object of the expedition was to secure to the United States, if possible, the navy-yard and property at Norfolk, with the ships of war then in that harbor; and, in furtherance of that object, my instructions authorized me to call upon the commanding officer at Fort Monroe for such force, to the extent of one regiment, as he could spare form the garrison without jeopardizing the safety of the fort. He accordingly assigned to the expedition one of the two regiments which had that morning arrived. This regiment, about 370 strong, under Colonel Wardrop, was promptly marched on board, and late in the afternoon the steamer proceeded to Norfolk, where she arrived some tome after dark the same evening, the 20th instant.

On reaching the yard it was found that all the ships afloat except the Cumberland had been scuttled, by order of Commodore McCauley, the commandant of the yard, to prevent their seizure by the Virginia forces,

Page 21 Chapter IX. NORFOLK NAVY-YARD, VA.