Lincoln’s Secret Passage through Baltimore

On Wednesday, Baltimore began commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with a unique recreation event. Warned of a possible assassination plot, President-elect Abraham Lincoln secretly traveled through Baltimore in the very early morning hours of Feb. 23, 1861, en route to Washington, D.C. for his inauguration. 

The famous journey was recreated as Lincoln arrived at the Camden Street train station by carriage. Lincoln then addressed the media to discuss the need for his clandestine passage through Baltimore, a city heavily divided in 1861.

The city of Baltimore is steeped in Civil War history as the war’s first blood was shed during the Pratt Street Riot. The city’s cultural and historical partners have organized a robust calendar of special events and exhibitions to bring an important part of U.S. history alive for locals and visitors of all ages. 

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On the weekend of April 15-17, 2011, Baltimore will commemorate the Pratt Street Riot, with events that will reflect on the turbulent and critical years in which the city was occupied and the state became a battleground.

The weekend will include a procession on Pratt Street, the grand re-opening of President Street Station, living history theatrical presentations throughout the city, a Civil War Trails Expo, a symposium at the Maryland Historical Society, and Civil War living history encampments and candlelight tours at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine.

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Beyond the weekend events in April, the city will also host exhibitions throughout the year to educate visitors on the importance Baltimore has had during the country’s history including:

Riots, Railroads and the Coming of Mr. Lincoln

February 23, 2011 – December 2011

The Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards, housed in the former Camden train station, marks the 150th anniversary by exploring stories of Abraham Lincoln’s travels through Baltimore, from his journey to his inauguration under the cover of darkness to his final passage home aboard his funeral train.

The War Came By Train

Opens April 15, 2011

The B&O Railroad Museum will exhibit the largest assemblage of Civil War railroad equipment in the world, featuring locomotives and rail cars as well as military and personal artifacts (some never before seen on public display). A narrated, roundtrip train ride will be available to the original site of Camp Carroll, the largest Union encampment in Baltimore.

Divided Voices, Maryland in the Civil War

Opens April 16, 2011

The Maryland Historical Society shares stories of a state caught between North and South. A Civil War Expo will bring the 1860s to life with a time tunnel, live performances, music and other exciting features.

Personal Accounts of the Civil War Experience

Opens April 29, 2011

You can join the Mount Clare Museum House and experience Camp Carroll, a Civil War camp in what is now known as Carroll Park. A special exhibition will explore the personal side of war, both North and South, through objects and stories of people who personally witnessed and participated in the war.

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The commemoration will continue in 2013 as the city honors Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad and the Emancipation Proclamation, and in 2014 with the Jubilee 1864.

It was announced by Visit Baltimore – the official sales and marketing organization for Baltimore that generates economic benefits for stakeholders through the attraction of convention, group and leisure visitors.

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Rakesh Raman