Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

Fine grouping of ten A.L.S.'s, 84pp. 8vo., Baltimore, Apr. 29, 1861 to Jan. 13, 1865 in which Clara Epes writes to cousins in Salem, Mass. describing war-time Baltimore. The grouping opens with a recount of the Baltimore Riots, aimed at preventing Union volunteers from reaching Washington. In small part: "...it is not the people, but the Politicians and Newspapers who have brought us into the present state...resistance alone can save us...So sudden and unexpected was it [the riot] that it appalled us. The mischief had been 'brewing', but our city authorities thought there would be no trouble, and that a few policemen would be sufficient...some of the papers here have though best to keep 'mum'...They have not, it is true, blamed the Northern troops for the course they pursued, but they should have come out boldly and denounced the mob...Sunday the 21st was an awful day...a report was circulated that the troops from Penna. were about eight miles of us and were determined to pass through the city. This at once caused a panic....the troops...did not attempt to come through. In fact, the poor fellows were almost starved...Wed. last when we elected members of our Legislature to meet for the good of our State. They were supposed to be 'Secessionists'...many of our good Northern men were threatened and left the city and many more left through fear of bombardment...we are under martial law now....We are good 'Union' people here now...and have no idea of seceding...it is more to be a Union citizen here than it is in Manhattan...We do not hear much about Secesh now...the Rebels have sense enough to hold their tongues...Gen. Butler encamped his soldiers...there is a strong fort there now, and they can 'shell us out' in short order whenever we refuse to behave ourselves...I felt so anxious for the fate of Donalson, where desperate fighting was expected...the 22nd was a regular holiday here - street crowded with people, carrying flags and waving them at the passing soldiers...we had two flags out, but neither of them large...Mrs. Streeter had eleven, one for each rebellious state...she cuts her secessions friends without any ceremony...The Zouaves...have been encamped at Federal Hill a long time...I have often thought of the inexperience of these young surgeons. I expect many poor fellows die through their want of skill...You hurried up the Bull Run fight, so that we lost it. The Rebels are not all dead yet!...have had considerable excitement here in consequence of the defeat of our 'first Md. Reg. - and it resulted in a few of the scamps being knocked down, &c...but few pistols were used...I have never supposed for a moment that our Army would be driven back again to Maryland and there must have been some great blundering...I can hardly believe that they...will undertake to enter Baltimore - though it will not surprise me if they do. Should they attempt it the doom of our city is sealed, and 'Jeff' will take nothing but ruins...we as a state have nobly in regard to emancipation...we have since formed an association here for the education of the blacks...many of the poor creatures do not know how to take care of themselves. Some of our citizens...are opposed...[because] it may place them upon an equality with the whites. So much for prejudice which it will take some time to wear off". Much more fine content in the same vein, also mentioning raising large sums through Sanitary Fairs, caring for families visiting wounded soldiers, war news, patriotic content, etc. Following the attack on Fort Sumter on April 9th, anti-Union sentiment escalated in Baltimore which was largely a Southern-aligned city. One of the first regiments to respond to Lincoln's call for troops arrived in Baltimore by train on April 29, en route to the capital. Because the rail line did not pass through the city, horse drawn cars had to take the Massachusetts infantrymen from one end of Baltimore to the other. An angry crowd of secessionists intervened, blocking the transports, breaking windows, and, finally, forcing the soldiers to get out and march through the streets. The throng followed in close pursuit. What had now become a mob surrounded and jeered the regiment, then started throwing bricks and stones. Panicking, several soldiers fired randomly into the crowd, and mayhem ensued as the regiment scrambled to the railroad station. Four soldiers and twelve civilians were killed, and scores were injured. Maryland officials demanded that no more Federal troops be sent through the state, while Baltimore's mayor and police chief authorized the destruction of key rail bridges to prevent Union troops from entering the city. Secessionist groups, meanwhile, tore down telegraph wires to Washington, temporarily cutting the capital off from the rest of the nation. On May 13, Federal troops, including members of the Massachusetts regiment attacked in the previous month's riot, occupied the city remained there for the balance of the war.

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March 30, 2011 11:00 AM EDT

Stamford, CT, US

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