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Baltimore, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Baltimore Riot Trail

“Keep back ... or I Shoot”

 
 
Baltimore Riot Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Busta-Peck, March 12, 2008
1. Baltimore Riot Trail Marker
Inscription. Baltimore - A House Divided
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. To learn more about the Baltimore Riot, the city's role in the Civil War, and railroad history, please visit the Baltimore Civil War Museum - President Street Station, at the corner of President and Fleet Streets. Open daily 10 a.m - 5 p.m.

A stone-throwing secessionist mob attacked Capt. Albert S. Follansbee's four companies of the 6th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment here as they marched to Camden Station to change trains for Washington on April 19, 1861. Just to the east, the harassed troops finally opened fire. Here, the violence reached a crescendo. Massachusetts Corp Sumner H. Needham was struck in the head, fell to the pavement, and died. Earlier, he told a comrade, "We shall have trouble today, and I shall never get out alive. Promise me, if I fall, that my body will be sent home." Pvt. Luther C. Ladd was shot and killed, proclaiming "All Hail to the Stars & Stripes" as he collapsed. The mob shot Addison Whitney dead and beat Charles Taylor to death. The rest of the soldiers marched at the double-quick down Pratt Street, dragging their muskets between their legs and reloading as
"Keep back ... or I shoot!" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 3, 2006
2. "Keep back ... or I shoot!" Marker
Fifth Marker of the Baltimore Riot Trail. Sans the graffiti marks.
they ran.

Baltimore Mayor George W. Brown learned of the riot and hastened first to Camden Station, where all was calm. Then he heard shots coming from Pratt Street. He met Follansbee at the head of the marching column near here and told him, "You must defend yourselves." Brown picked up a dropped musked and brandished it, threatening the mob. Police Marshall George P. Kane and a company of policemen soon arrived to hold the crowd at bay as Kane shouted, "Keep back, men, or I shoot!"
 
Erected by Maryland Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Maryland Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 39° 17.178′ N, 76° 36.803′ W. Marker is in Baltimore, Maryland. Marker is at the intersection of Light Street (Maryland Route 2) and East Pratt Street, on the left when traveling south on Light Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Baltimore MD 21202, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Mob Scene (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); USS Constellation (about 700 feet away); The Port of Baltimore (about 700 feet away); Adventure Begins at the Bay's Front Door
Baltimore Riot Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Busta-Peck, March 12, 2008
3. Baltimore Riot Trail Marker
(about 800 feet away); Wendel Bollman (approx. 0.2 miles away); Baltimore Turns the Tide (approx. 0.2 miles away); Top of the World Observation Level World Trade Center (approx. 0.2 miles away); An Active Port for 300 Years (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Baltimore.
 
More about this marker. The marker features two photographs and two illustrations. The photographs are of Mayor George W. Brown and Police Marshall of George W. Kane.

One illustration has the following caption:
"Lexington of 1861" The title reflects the efforts of secessionists to identify their cause with that of their Revolutionary forebears.

The other illustration is labeled as follows:
The First Union Dead, Ellsworth was killed in Alexandria, Va., on May 24, after the deaths here of Whitney, Needham, and Ladd.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Take a tour of the Baltimore Riot Trail.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Marker location image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Busta-Peck, March 12, 2008
4. Marker location
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 12, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. This page has been viewed 2,644 times since then and 85 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on March 12, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.   2. submitted on March 14, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   3, 4. submitted on March 12, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.
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