Civil War Trail Professional Review and Guide
"Along this route, you will be following the path of a regiment of Massachusetts volunteers who answered President Abraham Lincoln’s call to defend Washington, D.C. Before the Baltimore and Potomac Tunnel was built in 1873, arriving passengers in Baltimore had to come through President Street Station and leave from Camden Station, 10 blocks across town to the west by horsecar. The trip from one to the other on April 19, 1861, saw an escalating skirmish as the Union soldiers fought civilians in the street, shocking the conscience of the nation in a way that the peaceful surrender at Fort Sumter, a week earlier, simply had not. Baltimore was the country’s third-largest city at the time; what happened here mattered a great deal to the country at large. This walk requires a bit of imagination, as very little of the landscape those participants saw in 1861 exists today, most of it wiped out by the Great Fire of 1904. But the streets and the city layout are the same, and so you can follow, more or less, the same path as the battle. The route today runs parallel to the Inner Harbor, and so there is much to see, different as it may be from 1861. Nevertheless, squint your eyes the right way and read the interpretative signs along the route and you can just as easily imagine the scene 150 years ago and the indelible mark it left on the city and the country."