Baltimore Riot Trail * * * Last Shots at Camden Station
On April 19, 1861,
Confederate sympathizers attacked the 6th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment
as it changed trains en route to Washington, which the secessionists
hoped to isolate. Part of the 6th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment
transferring to Camden Station to change trains from Washington reached
the terminal safely aboard horse-drawn cars on April 19, 1861.
Maj. Benjamin Watson’s Company K disembarked here at Howard Street,
however, because a secessionist mob had torn up the track, and marched
the final two blocks under a shower of bricks and bullets.
attacked the regiment's last four companies, as Capt. Albert S. Follansbee
marched them along Pratt Street, and killed several soldiers a few blocks
east. As the troops reached this point, the mob renewed its assault,
incited by a man waving a secessionist banner, and soldiers aboard the
waiting train opened fire to protect their comrades.
When the crowd closed
in, brandishing knives and guns, regimental commander Col. Edward Jones
ordered the cars' window blinds drawn to discourage further attacks. A
final shot came from the train as it departed at 1:30 p.m., killing
wealthy merchant Robert W. Davis on the Spring Garden side of Camden
Station. Five soldiers died, and more than thirty-six were wounded.
Among civilians, twelve were killed and many more wounded.
secessionists burned railroad bridges north of the city, and President
Abraham Lincoln quickly suspended troop movements, but the pro-Confederate
victory was short-lived. Within a month, Union Gen. Benjamin F. Butler had
occupied Federal Hill and promised to shell Baltimore if any more trouble
occurred. The city remained quiet for the rest of the war.