Civil War in Maryland: Southern Sympathizers

Maryland State Archives
350 Rowe Boulevard,
Annapolis, MD 21401

Phone: (410) 260-6400
Internet: www.mdsa.net
e-mail: archives@mdsa.net


Introduction

The outbreak of the Civil War created a difficult situation, especially in the border slave states like Maryland. Officially, Maryland stayed in the Union and offered its support to the Federal government, but many citizens had strong sympathies to the southern states. These feelings got even stronger after Lincoln’s Proclamation in 1861. While Maryland regiments were included in the Union army, many Marylanders joined the Confederacy and created several Infantry and Cavalry regiments, under the leadership of men like William H. Murray or Colonel Edward Rutland Dorsey. 

Ordinary citizens expressed their southern sympathies in songs as “Maryland, My Maryland!” by James Ryder Randall or “I’m Good Old Rebel.” Baltimore women, who sympathized with the South used the Confederate flag for their dresses. The mostly peaceful southern sympathizers turned violent on April 19th, 1861, when the 6th Massachusetts regiment was passing through Baltimore on its way to Washington, D.C. A riot on President Street broke out and resulted in the first blood of the Civil War. In response, the Maryland Governor Thomas H. Hicks and Baltimore Mayor George. W. Brown requested that the President not to send any more troops through the city and the City Council agreed to raise $500,000 to be used to build city defenses. 

The suspension of the civil rights in Maryland by the President followed and many significant Maryland officials were arrested and imprisoned in Fort McHenry, including the Mayor Brown, the Marshal of Police G. P. Kane, several state delegates, as well as attorney Francis Key Howard, the grandson of Francis Scott Key. 

National History Standards

Materials compiled in this document can be used by educators to fulfill the following National History Standards for Grades 5-12:

Era 5: Civil War and Reconstruction (1850 – 1877)

STANDARD 2: The course and character of the Civil War and its effects on the American people.

Standard 2B: The student understands the social experience of the war on the battlefield and homefront

7-12: Compare the motives for fighting and the daily life experiences of Confederate with those of white and African American Union soldiers. [Evidence historical perspectives]
9-12: Analyze the reasons for the northern draft riots. [Analyse multiple causation]
9-12: Evaluate the Union's reasons for curbing wartime civil liberties. [Consider multiple perspectives]
5-12: Compare women's homefront and battlefront roles in the Union and the Confederacy. [Compare and contrast differing sets of ideas]
5-12: Compare the human and material costs of the war in the North and South and assess the degree to which the war reunited the nation. [Examine historical perspectives]

Primary Resources

  1. DESCRIPTION:  The Maryland Line in the Confederate Army, 1861 - 1865
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: compiled by W. W. Goldsborough in 1869 and revised and updated in 1900 (Baltimore: Guggenheimer, Weil, & Co., 1900).
    NOTE: The document narrates the brief history of several Maryland companies that served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. The author also explains in the preface the sentiment of Marylanders after Lincoln’s Proclamation in 1861 (page 2, especially last two paragraphs on the page), the attack on Union troops in Baltimore (page 3), and the occupation of Baltimore and suspension of civil rights (page 4). The document, compiled shortly after the War, provides an interesting view on the events that let to the Civil War and the situation in Maryland.
    SOURCE: Archives of Maryland Online, volume 371.
    REPOSITORY:  Maryland State Archives

  2. DESCRIPTION:  Photograph, William H. Murray
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: ca. 1861 – 1865.
    REPRODUCTIONSImage reproduction and permission
    SOURCE:  Maryland Memory Projects: The Digital Library of the Maryland Historical Society (Z24.1670)
    REPOSITORY:  Maryland Historical Society

  3. DESCRIPTION:  Photograph, Colonel Edward Rutland Dorsey
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: ca. 1861 - 1865
    REPRODUCTIONSImage reproduction and permission
    SOURCE:  Maryland Memory Projects: The Digital Library of the Maryland Historical Society  (Z24.1671)
    REPOSITORY:  Maryland Historical Society

  4. DESCRIPTION:  Photograph, MD National Guard, 2nd Maryland Cavalry, camp scenes
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1865, Alexandria, VA.
    REPRODUCTIONSImage reproduction and permission
    SOURCE:  Maryland Memory Projects: The Digital Library of the Maryland Historical Society  (Z24.1414)
    REPOSITORY:  Maryland Historical Society

  5. DESCRIPTION:  Photograph, MD National Guard, 2nd Maryland Cavalry, camp scenes
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1865, Alexandria, VA.
    REPRODUCTIONSImage reproduction and permission
    SOURCE:  Maryland Memory Projects: The Digital Library of the Maryland Historical Society  (Z24.1416)
    REPOSITORY:  Maryland Historical Society

  6. DESCRIPTION:  Photograph, MD National Guard, 2nd Maryland Cavalry, camp scenes
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  1865, Alexandria, VA.
    REPRODUCTIONSImage reproduction and permission
    SOURCE:  Maryland Memory Projects: The Digital Library of the Maryland Historical Society  (Z24.1418)
    REPOSITORY:  Maryland Historical Society

  7. DESCRIPTION:  Photograph, MD National Guard, 2nd Maryland Cavalry, camp scenes
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  1865, Alexandria, VA.
    REPRODUCTIONSImage reproduction and permission
    SOURCE:  Maryland Memory Projects: The Digital Library of the Maryland Historical Society  (Z24.1415)
    REPOSITORY:  Maryland Historical Society

  8. DESCRIPTION:  Photograph, MD National Guard, 2nd Maryland Cavalry, camp scenes
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  1865, Alexandria, VA.
    REPRODUCTIONSImage reproduction and permission
    SOURCE:  Maryland Memory Projects: The Digital Library of the Maryland Historical Society  (Z24.1417)
    REPOSITORY:  Maryland Historical Society 

  9. DESCRIPTION: "First Blood -- The Sixth Massachusetts Regiment Fighting Their Way Through Baltimore, April 19, 1861"
    CREATED/PUBLISHED: In Harper's Pictorial History of the Civil War, 1866
    SOURCE: George William Brown, Baltimore and the 19th of April, 1861

  10. DESCRIPTION:  Invasion of Maryland
    NOTE: civil war drawings; citizens of Baltimore barricading the streets, June 29, 1863.
    REPRODUCTIONSImage reproduction and permission
    SOURCE:  Maryland Memory Projects: The Digital Library of the Maryland Historical Society  (Z24.1472)
    REPOSITORY:  Maryland Historical Society  

  11. DESCRIPTION:  Rebel Prisoners Leave Baltimore for Fortress Monroe
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: ca. 1861-1865
    REPRODUCTIONSImage reproduction and permission
    SOURCE:  Maryland Memory Projects: The Digital Library of the Maryland Historical Society  (Z24.1855)
    REPOSITORY:  Maryland Historical Society   

  12. DESCRIPTION:  Female Rebel in Baltimore 
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: September 7, 1861
    REPRODUCTIONSImage reproduction and permission
    SOURCE:  Maryland Memory Projects: The Digital Library of the Maryland Historical Society  (Z24.651)
    REPOSITORY:  Maryland Historical Society  

  13. DESCRIPTION:  Sheet music, "Oh I’m a Good Rebel"
    AUDIO RECORDING: Performed by Ben Pitts and Leonard W. Jones. Available in California Gold: Northern California Folk Music from the Thirties in American Memory.
    REPRODUCTIONSImage reproduction and permission
    SOURCE:  Maryland Memory Projects: The Digital Library of the Maryland Historical Society  (Z24.909)
    REPOSITORY:  Maryland Historical Society  

  14. DESCRIPTION:  Maryland! my Maryland! A Patriotic Song
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: Augusta; New Orleans, Georgia; Louisiana, Blackmar & Bro.; Blackmar & Co., 1862
    REPRODUCTIONS: How to Order Reproductions
    COPYRIGHT: Copyright and other restrictions
    SOURCE: Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920
    REPOSITORY: Duke University 

  15. DESCRIPTION:  Maryland, my Maryland, and Other Poems
    AUTHOR: James Ryder Randall
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: Baltimore, Md., New York, J. Murphy Company, ca. 1908 
    SOURCE: Making of America
    REPOSITORY: Cornell University

  16. DESCRIPTION:  Proceedings of the Senate, April Special Session, 1861
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: April 27, 1861
    NOTE: The decision not to secede from the Union, 3rd paragraph from the bottom 
    SOURCE:  Archives of Maryland Online, volume 429
    REPOSITORY:  Maryland State Archives

  17. DESCRIPTION:  Proceedings of the Senate, April Special Session, 1861
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: April 27, 1861, evening session.
    NOTE: The decision of the City Council to appropriate money for the city defense. 
    SOURCE:  Archives of Maryland Online, volume 429
    REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives 

  18. DESCRIPTION:  Proceeding of the Senate, April Special Session, 1861
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: June 22, 1861
    NOTE: Note of and reaction to the arrest of Ross Wivans, a member of the Legislature, and other Maryland citizens for their sympathies with the South.
    SOURCE:  Archives of Maryland Online, volume 429, pages 268 – 269
    REPOSITORY:  Maryland State Archives

  19. DESCRIPTION:  Marriot Boswell to William H. Seward, a telegram regarding arrests in Baltimore; transcription of the telegram.
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: July 1, 1861
    REPRODUCTIONSHow to Order Reproductions
    COPYRIGHTCopyright and Other Restrictions
    SOURCE:  The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress. Series 1. General Correspondence. 1833-1916.
    REPOSITORY:  Library of Congress, Washington, DC

  20. DESCRIPTION:  Thomas Donaldson to Montgomery Blair, a letter regarding the release of political prisoners in Baltimore; transcription of the letter.
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: November 10, 1862
    REPRODUCTIONSHow to Order Reproductions
    COPYRIGHTCopyright and Other Restrictions
    SOURCE:  The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress. Series 1. General Correspondence. 1833-1916.
    RESPOSITORY:  Library of Congress
    , Washington, DC

See also: 

Additional Media Resource

Remember the Ladies

Additional Instructional Resources 

Resources on Incorporating Primary Sources and Historic Sites in Classroom Instruction

The Valley of the Shadow

NARA: Digital Classroom: Letters, Telegrams, and Photographs Illustrating Factors that Affected the Civil War and The Civil War as Photographed by Mathew Brady

Maryland with Pride: Maryland in the Civil War

Secondary Resources 

The Baltimore Civil War Museum: A Visitor’s Guide. Wilson, Courtney B. and Shawn

Berry, Stephen William. All That Makes a Man: Love and Ambition in the Civil War South (Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2003).

Massey, Mary Elizabeth. Women in the Civil War (University of Nebraska Press, 1994).

Rable, George C. Civil War: Women and the Crisis of Southern Nationalism (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1989).

Roberts, Giselle. The Confederate Belle (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2003).

Sheads, Scott S. Baltimore During the Civil War (Linthicum, MD: Toomey Press, 1997).

Williams, David. Johnny Reb's War: Battlefield and Homefront (Abilene, Tex.: McWhiney Foundation Press, 2000).

Password Access to Journal Articles

Some journal articles linked to this site require password access due to copyright and other restrictions. Teachers participating in the Teaching American History in Maryland program with a valid University of Maryland (UMBC) Library card can access these materials through ResearchPort.

Associated Heritage and Preservation Organizations

Baltimore Civil War Museum - President Street Station
601 President Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 385-5188
Email: museum@civilwarinbaltimore.org
Fort McHenry, National Monument & Historical Shrine
End of East Fort Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21230–5393
Phone: (410) 962-4290
Email: FOMC_Superintendent@nps.gov

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Credits

Teaching American History in Maryland is a collaborative partnership of the Maryland State Archives and the Center for History Education (CHE), University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), and the following sponsoring school systems: Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Baltimore City Public School System, Baltimore County Public Schools, and Howard County Public Schools.

Other program partners include the Martha Ross Center for Oral History, Maryland Historical Society, State Library Resource Center/Enoch Pratt Free Library, with assistance from the National Archives and Records Administration and the Library of Congress. The program is funded through grants from the U.S. Department of Education.

This document packet was researched and developed by Lucie Kyrova.

An Archives of Maryland Online Publication
© Copyright, Maryland State Archives, June 25, 2004