The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘Avenge the Patriotic Gore That Flecked the Streets of Baltimore’

Posted on | July 29, 2019 | Comments Off on ‘Avenge the Patriotic Gore That Flecked the Streets of Baltimore’

During the Civil War, the Lincoln administration suppressed civil liberties in Maryland, where anti-war “Copperhead” Democrats were a majority. Both freedom of the press and the right of habeas corpus were denied to Lincoln’s opponents in Maryland and in April 1861, less than a week after the surrender of Fort Sumter, there was a riot in the streets of Baltimore. Hundreds of anti-war Democrats confronted the 6th Massachusetts regiment, which marched through the city to transfer between railroad lines on their way to Washington, D.C. Attacked by the mob — throwing bricks and firing pistols — the troops opened fire.

Four soldiers and 12 civilians were killed. Among the wounded was a recent Georgetown graduate, Francis X. Ward, whose friend and former classmate James Ryder Randall, a Baltimore native, was inspired to write a poem urging Marylanders to resist the “despot” Lincoln:

The despot’s heel is on thy shore,
His torch is at thy temple door,
Avenge the patriotic gore
That flecked the streets of Baltimore,
And be the battle queen of yore,
Maryland! My Maryland!

Set to the same tune as “O, Christmas Tree,” Randall’s poem eventually became the Maryland state song. A lot has changed about Baltimore in the intervening decades, but the city is still run by Democrats who have an especial hatred for Republican presidents. John Hoge reminds us that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s father Tom D’Alessandro was mayor of Baltimore from 1947 to 1959. In 1948, Mayor D’Alessandro dedicated a memorial to Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson in Baltimore: “Today . . . we can look for inspiration to the lives of Lee and Jackson to remind us to be resolute and determined in preserving our sacred institutions.”

Well, a Republican president has some thoughts about Baltimore:

Noting that Rep. Elijah Cummings, a top House Democrat and leader of the impeachment caucus, represents the crime-ridden mess that is Baltimore, President Trump launched an attack that is being called “racist” by Democrats, but which is the first time in my memory a top Republican has called attention to how Democrat-run cities are a nightmare. The war of words over Baltimore is not one that Trump can lose, simply because the facts are indisputable.



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