Conflict in Baltimore, Md.
Statement of George M. Gill.
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME 2 [S# 2] -- CHAPTER IX.
BALTIMORE, July 12, 1861.
Hon. GEO. WM. BROWN,
Mayor of the City of Baltimore:
In your communication to the city council of yesterday, which I did not see until after it was communicated to the council, you refer to the fact that I accompanied you on Friday, April 19, to the Camden station. There were some additional circumstances which I deem it proper to state. You desired me to accompany you, hoping that I might aid in preventing any violence on that day or interruption to the troops then about to pass through, in case any should be attempted. Your impression was that no such attempt would be made, but nevertheless you thought every precaution should be taken, in case of any such attempt, to resist it. For the sole purpose of doing this I accompanied you.
After we reached the Camden station there were manifestations of excitement among the crowd there assembled, and the police commissioners (excepting Mr. Hinks, then absent from the city) gave directions to Marshal Kane, in my presence, to use his whole force in keeping order and protecting the troops from being interrupted. The reply of Marshal Kane then made was, that if he and his whole force lost their lives the troops should be protected.
After the first of the troops reached Camden station a rush of people was made at the cars in which they then were, but the police interfered 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 from 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,
GEO. M. GILL.
Source: Official Records of the War of the Rebellion
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