Baltimore, Maryland, General Benjamin Franklin Butler

The Civil War Musuem Of Baltimore – The Pratt Street Riot

The Civil War Musuem of Baltimore is a landmark within Presidents Street Station that is within the proximity to a major riot that occurred at the beginning of the Civil War. Historical markers on the streets around the musuem, are one of several Maryland Civil War era trails statewide, that have been deemed as the “Baltimore Riot Trail”.

On April 18, 1861, a regiment of troops of Pennslyvania were pelted with rocks while traveling to the City of Baltimore by train. Then on April 19, 1861, William R. Clark, from North Carolina, was the first Confederate soldier to be killed in Baltimore during the civil war; due to the Pratt Street Riot, also known as the Baltimore Riot, that occurred against four companies of the 6th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Militia that were traveling in the City of Baltimore by train.

William Clark had served as a firefighter and was killed a mere few days after his enlistment. The riot ended when the union soldiers were greeted with 130 police officers, under Marshal George P. Kane, at the Camden Station.

A total of 16 individuals were killed from the disturbance, twelve of whom were civilians.

General Benjamin Franklin Butler

On May 13, 1861 General Benjamin Franklin Butler sent union troops into Federal Hill in Baltimore to instill federal control after the riot.

Union Troops On Federal Hill, Maryland.

Soon after, President Lincoln relieved General Franklin Butler of his control of Baltimore and sent him to command troops protecting Washington D.C. in the event that Maryland were to secede to the Confederacy. A martial law declaration was made after the riot, which resulted in the arrest of the Mayor of Baltimore and the police commissioner on the suspicion of them working for the Confederacy.