To the honorable Members of the [Baltimore] City Council:
On the 19th of April last an attack was made by a mob in the streets of Baltimore on several companies of a regiment of Massachusetts troops, who were on their way to the city of Washington in pursuance of a call for 75,000 men made by the President of the United States.
. . .On approaching Pratt-street bridge I saw several companies of Massachusetts troops, who had left the [railroad] cars, moving in column rapidly towards me. An attack on them had begun, and the noise and excitement were great. I ran at once to the head of the column, some persons in the crowd shouting, as I approached, "Here comes the mayor." I shook hands with the officer in command, saying, as I did so, "I am the mayor of Baltimore." I then placed myself by his side and marched with him as far as the head of Light-street wharf, doing what I could by my presence and personal efforts to allay the tumult. The mob grew bolder and the attack became more violent. Various persons were killed and wounded on both sides. The troops had some time previously begun to fire in self-defense, and the firing, as the attack increased in violence became more general.
At last, when I found that my presence was of no use, either in preventing the contest or saving life, I left the head of the column, but immediately after I did so Marshal Kane, with about fifty policemen, from the direction of the Camden station, rushed to the rear of the troops, forming a line across the street and with drawn revolvers checking and keeping off the mob. The movement, which I saw myself, was perfectly successful and gallantly performed.
. . . The wounded among the troops received the care and medical attention at the expense of the city, and the bodies of the killed were carefully and respectfully returned to their friends.
The facts which I witnessed myself, and all that I have since heard, satisfy me that the attack was the result of a sudden impulse, and not of a premeditated scheme. But the effect on our citizens was for a time uncontrollable. In the intense excitement which ensued, which lasted for many days, and which was shared by men of all parties, and by our volunteer soldiers as well as citizens it would have been impossible to convey more troops from the North through the city without a severe fight and bloodshed…
GEO. WM. BROWN, Mayor [of Baltimore]