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Baltimore Riot


BALTIMORE RIOT (19 April 1861). An attack by pro-Southern Baltimoreans on Pennsylvania and Massachusetts militia en route to Washington. Since the railroad was not continuous through Baltimore, horses were normally required to draw the cars from one terminal to the other. With the arrival of Union forces, protesters blocked the connecting tracks with anchors and other obstacles, forcing later Union contingents to march on foot. The crowd pursued the Union men with stones, bricks, and a few pistol shots, forcing the militia to return fire and break into a run. Baltimore's mayor appealed for calm, and finally, near the Washington terminal, the police succeeded in holding the people back until the troops entrained. Four militiamen and twelve civilians were killed and an unknown number wounded. To quell any further defiance, President Abraham Lincoln sent federal troops to Maryland and suspended the writ of habeas corpus.


Ellenberg, Matthew. "Whigs in the Streets?" Maryland Historical Magazine 86, no. 1 (spring 1991): 23–38.

Towers, Frank. "'A Vociferous Army of Howling Wolves': Baltimore's Civil War Riot of April 19, 1861." Maryland Historian 23, no. 2 (fall/winter 1992): 1–27.

George FrederickAshworth/a. r.

See alsoArrest, Arbitrary, during the Civil War ; Habeas Corpus, Writ of .

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