Baltimore in Blue and Gray

The first shots of the Civil War were fired at Ft. Sumter, SC, but the first blood was spilled in downtown Baltimore. A few days after the bombardment at Ft. Sumter, Union soldiers tried to march through the city to board south-bound trains. A crowd of angry civilians blocked their way. The “Pratt Street Riot” left 16 people, both military and civilian, dead. A strategically important, Southern-sympathizing, Union-occupied city in a border state, Baltimore experienced the Civil War with an intensity unknown elsewhere. Martial law prevailed; travelers and troops, supplies and spies passed through the port and train stations. Families worried about their sons and fathers in the armies – sometimes on both sides.