Archive for the ‘Civil War’ Category
The land for Saint Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery was purchased for $3000.00 by the 2nd Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of Baltimore on October 25, 1854. The obscure location is west of the Jones Falls across from the neighborhood of Hampden. In 1860 the countryside surrounding the 4.5 acre cemetery was purchased by City Council under the guidance of Mayor Thomas Swann and turned into Druid Hill Park, the third oldest landscaped public park in America.
In 1868 the 2nd Evangelical Lutheran Church divided into three separate congregations: Saint Paul Evangelical Lutheran, Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran and Martini Lutheran Church. An agreement was reached to jointly maintain the burial ground thereafter. One stipulation of the agreement was that no lot owners could bury blatant blasphemers. During this transitional period the City of Baltimore bought 2.25 acres reducing the cemetery’s size by half.
The burial site was severely vandalized in 1986 leaving many of the markers tipped over and broken. A pile of stones remains at the base of an old growth tree. Today Saint Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery is solely owned and operated by Martini Lutheran Church with the Friends of Druid Hill Park adding assistance. The two groups have made vast improvements to the yard. A stone-worker is repairing neglected memorials and someone is keeping the grass trimmed.
The peculiar family plot of Gottlieb Taubert lies unmarked in Saint Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery. Lincoln conspirator George Atzerodt is supposedly buried with the Tauberts, secretly interred here by his mother and father sometime after 1869. Victoria and John Atzerodt went to Washington to retrieve their son’s remains when President Andrew Johnson pardoned those involved with the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. They brought their son to Baltimore.
Upon reviewing the cemetery’s burial records at the Maryland Historical Society Library I noticed that a Viktoria Asserat (Victoria Atzerodt) was placed to rest in the Taubert lot in 1886. It’s my belief, and others, that George Atzerodt is buried anomalously along with his mother in the Gottlieb Taubert family plot, Lot 90 near the center of Saint Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery in Druid Hill Park.
Originally owned by an unknown farmer, Clifton Park was acquired by wealthy merchant and War of 1812 veteran Capt. Henry Thompson in the late 1790s. The land passed to Johns Hopkins, one of America’s wealthiest businessmen, in 1841. Hopkins bought the estate as a summer retreat. He added countless exotic trees, a lake, an orangery and a garden with over 100 pieces of marble sculpture. When Hopkins died in 1873, his will stipulated that the estate would become the grounds of a University in his name. The University’s trustees chose a different location and the land fell into a period of temporary neglect.
Purchased by the city of Baltimore in 1895 under the mayorship of Ferdinand Claiborne Latrobe, east Baltimore’s Clifton Park was given to the citizens of Baltimore. The city turned the property into a park of recreation, installing Lake Clifton, an 18-hole golf course and twenty-seven tennis courts. The Olmsted Brothers were hired to design the park’s layout. The brothers incorporated the pasture’s existing features into their competent design, complete with meandering paths and splendid arbors. Today the park still maintains qualities from the 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries, its historic buildings and significant landscape architecture bridging the gap between America’s westward expansion period and modern times.
In the early 19th Century Capt. Henry Thompson made vast improvements to the estate’s existing farmhouse, turning the hilltop abode into a stately manor. When Johns Hopkins purchased the property in 1841 he enhanced the mansion house even further. Hopkins hired the architectural firm of Niersnee and Neilson to turn the house into an Italian villa, adding an observation tower and an extended veranda. Made of brick covered in plaster, Clifton Mansion rests on a foundation of stone and has walls nearly a foot thick. The historic building will soon be undergoing a full restoration.
In 1887 the Baltimore Water Board completed the Clifton Park Valve House. The Gothic Revival open-air structure was constructed over Lake Clifton’s valve system. The man-made lake was eventually filled and a high school was built at the location. The Valve House has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Gardener’s Cottage is tucked away in a wooded area off the 16th-hole of Clifton’s public golf course. Designed in the rural Gothic tradition, the cottage was built by Johns Hopkins’ gardener in the late 1840s or the early 1850s. Its design was based upon an Andrew Jackson Downing sketch. Downing’s A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, Adapted to North America, a popular book at the time, contains a detailed drawing of a very similar cottage. The building appears to be structurally sound and stands ready for renovation.
Mothers’ Garden was dedicated by Mayor William Broening “to all the mothers of Baltimore” in 1926. At the northern tip of Clifton Park, the memorial garden features a stone gazebo and a wood and stone pergola. The gazebo’s eight-sided shape is seemingly inspired by the Valve House. The recently deceased William Donald Schaefer rededicated Mothers’ Garden in 1984.
Other historic buildings at Clifton include the bandstand, the superintendent’s house and the stable (now a maintenance garage). The collection of structures in the park display a wide variety of architectural styles and construction practices. They are presented in their original environment displaying their original intent. Wealth, luck and preservation have kept Clifton Park in a state of perpetual limbo that I can only hope continues for another 200 years.
“Burn the theatre,” was the first thing Edman Spangler heard following John Wilkes Booth’s infamous fatal shot on April 14, 1865. Edman Spangler, sometimes known as Ned or Edmund, was a carpenter at Ford’s Theatre and was an acquaintance of Booth’s, occasionally caring for the actor’s horse which was stabled behind the Washington D.C. playhouse. He claimed to have no knowledge of Booth’s escape route, but his story is contradicted by another stagehand working that night. Jake Rittersback claims Spangler told him to keep quiet when the two spoke after the assassination.
This and other damning testimony about his Confederate leanings and distaste for the president lead to his eventual arrest and sentencing of six years in jail. He traveled on the USS Florida to Fort Jefferson with Samuel Mudd, Samuel Arnold and Michael O’Laughlen, three other Booth co-conspirators.
On December 25, 1868 President Andrew Johnson pardoned the four convicts. Edman Spangler returned to Baltimore with Samuel Arnold and went to work as a carpenter at the Holliday Street Theatre for John T. Ford, his former boss and the previous owner of Ford’s Theatre. In 1873 the Holliday burned down and Spangler moved to Dr. Samuel Mudd’s farm in what is now Waldorf, MD where he lived out his final years. He is buried two miles from the Mudd residence in the St. Peter’s Church burial ground.
John Wilkes Booth was born in Harford County, MD and made his stage debut at Baltimore’s Charles Street Theatre. The Booth family gravesite is located in Baltimore’s Green Mount Cemetery where John Wilkes rests under an unmarked stone. Small and unassuming, the marker sits at the corner of the family plot, dwarfed by the memorial obelisk at it’s center.
Buried here in February of 1869, four years after his death, John’s body went through a series of circumstances before ending up in Green Mount. Originally inhumed at the Old Penitentiary on the Washington Arsenal grounds, the body was placed in an Army blanket and lowered into a hole that was subsequently covered with a stone slab. Two years later it was exhumed and placed in a wooden box in a locked storeroom at the prison. The government was finally persuaded to release the remains to the Booth family in 1869 where it was viewed in Washington and then Baltimore, before finally being placed in Dogwood Plot #9.
Location: Warren Avenue & Henry Street
Dedicated in 1933, the Our Fathers Saved Sundial was created in honor of union Civil War casualties. The inscription reads: “In memory of the Grand Army of the Republic by the Daughters of the Union Veterans of the Civil War 1861-1865.” Situated at the southern end of Federal Hill, near Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Monuments to war heroes Samuel Smith and George Armistead are placed in the park as well.
Saint Paul Street & E Monument Street (Street View)
GPS: 39° 17′ 51.29″ N 76° 36′ 50.95″ W
The Severn Teackle Wallis monument at Mount Vernon Place stands dignified as it looks east down Monument Street. Directly west is George Peabody with Washington and the rest of his monumental friends looming behind the two. Wallis (1816-1894) stands with his right hand on a pedestal covered with some of his papers, and is depicted with his trademark mustache and long sideburns.
One of the premiere lawyers of his generation, Severn Teackle was elected to the Maryland Legislature in 1861, where he proceeded to lead a faction of politicians opposed to the Civil War. The Federal Government, under the direction of Lincoln, swooped in on a September evening that year and imprisoned Mr. Wallis for his apparent transgressions. He was thrown in jail for fourteen months at various Union fortresses, yet he was never informed of the crime he committed. Upon his release he wrote a lengthy correspondence to Senator John Sherman explaining his displeasure with the situation, continuing his crusade for civil liberties.
Wallis was also a writer, penning literature throughout his long and storied life. His Glimpses of Spain and Discourse on the Life and Character of George Peabody are his most famous works and are still in print today. He wrote poetry as well and is highly regarded for his careful use of language and positive sentiment. Two of his most well-known poems are The Last of Hours and The Blessed Hand. Wallis was also an avid collector of literature and owned one of the first editions of Don Quixote in the United States. In 1877, he donated the volume to the Peabody Library. Severn Teackle Wallis is buried in Green Mount Cemetery.
On the fourth floor of the Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. Courthouse is another memorial to Mr. Wallis. The memorial consists of a bronze bust, a copy of William Rinehart’s work, atop a marble structure with a young woman reaching upwards with a laurel branch. The pair of Wallis monuments, along with various streets and locations bearing his name, create an important historical reference to one of Maryland’s great men. The Mount Vernon Place monument, dedicated in 1906, is by artist Laurent Honore Marqueste.
- George Peabody Statue
- Washington Monument
- Roger B. Taney Monument
- John Eager Howard
- Marquis de Lafayette
- Sea Urchin in Mount Vernon
- Military Courage Statue
N Charles Street & University Parkway (Street View)
GPS: 39° 19′ 59.71″ N 76° 37′ 6.07″ W
Donated by the State of Maryland, this monument is by J. Maxwell Miller, the artist behind the Star-Spangled Banner Centennial Monument. The memorial depicts two stoic women, one of whom is standing looking off into the distance, while the other kneels down clutching the body of a fallen soldier who has dropped his flag. The inscription reads, “In difficulty and danger, regardless of self, they fed the hungry, clothed the needy, nursed the wounded and comforted the dying.”
North Mount Vernon Place (Street View)
GPS: 39° 17′ 52.60″ N 76° 36′ 56.62″ W
Roger Brooke Taney was the fifth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America, and is most historically noted for authoring the Dred Scott Decision (Dred Scott v. Sanford), which ruled that “…slaves could not win freedom by escaping to a free state and that no black person could be a U.S. citizen,” and which is considered an indirect cause of the Civil War.
Taney was, presumably, operating under a conceptual framework of dual federalism, in which individual states were seen as sovereign and separate from the federal government. Before being appointed to the Supreme Court under Andrew Jackson, Taney also served as Attorney General for his home state of Maryland and was the twelfth Attorney General of the United States.
He also notably kept a home in Frederick, MD where he practiced law with his partner Francis Scott Key, who authored the National Anthem. Taney died during the final months of the Civil War on the same day that Maryland abolished slavery. President Lincoln made no public statement regarding Taney’s death or career.
In 1865, controversy raged over the creation of a memorial bust of Taney to be displayed along with the four other chief justices who preceded him. Congress rejected the proposal and Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner proposed that a vacant spot be left in Taney’s space.
In 1873 when Taney’s successor, Salmon Chase, died, Congress finally appropriated funds for both busts to be displayed in the Capitol. A statue of Justice Taney resides outside the Maryland State House, and Baltimore’s exquisite monument to this complicated figure is a re-cast of that 1871 sculpture by William Henry Rinehart. It was donated to the city by the Walters family in 1887.
Taney is situated just north of the Washington Monument proper, in a sunny location. He faces south and to his left you can see the elegantly beautiful spire of Mount Vernon Place Methodist Church, a building “…named by the American Institute of Architects as the most significant in the city of Baltimore.”
- Washington Monument
- Marquis de Lafayette
- Severn Teackle Wallis
- John Eager Howard
- George Peabody
- Sea Urchin in Mount Vernon
- Military Courage Statue
Art Museum Drive & Wyman Park Drive (Street View)
GPS: 39° 19′ 27.48″ N 76° 37′ 11.65″ W
Dedicated on May 1st, 1948, this monument is by artist Laura Gardin Fraser and was paid for by the $100,000 left in J. Henry Ferguson’s will, who idolized the Confederate generals as a youth. Ferguson died in 1928, a design contest was held in 1935 and Fraser won the commission. Architect John Russell Pope created the base and the dedication took place on the anniversary of the eve of the Battle of Chancellorsville (1863).
On April 18th of 1861, as Civil War hostilities heated up, Lee turned down an offer to become a major general in the US Army, resigned two days later and took up leadership of the Virginia state forces on April 23. General Lee was appointed general-in-chief to the Confederate army on January 31st, 1865. He was quickly named one of the five full generals of the Confederate States of America, but refused to wear the insignia of general, instead wearing the stars of a confederate colonel, equivalent to his last rank in the US Army.
Lee is depicted in this double equestrian monument astride his famed horse, Traveller. Stonewall Jackson (depicted astride “Little Sorrel”) is considered by some to be “one of the most gifted tactical commanders in United States history.” Jackson was accidentally shot by Confederate pickets during the Battle of Chancellorsville. His left arm was amputated but he survived for eight days, at which point he died due to complications of pneumonia. Upon hearing the news, Lee is said to have pronounced, “He has lost his left arm, but I have lost my right.” Completion of this monument was held up by the onset of WWII, and there is a note inscribed on the base thanking the business partners for honoring pre-war contracts and pricing of materials.
This statue rests at a beautiful high-traffic geographic location within the Remington/Charles Village neighborhoods. The land slopes southward dramatically behind the figures down to the valley of Wyman Park. According to the sculptor, the geography itself mimics the conditions at Chancellorsville. The Baltimore Museum of Art is visible just up the street.
This monument is extremely well-kept and one may often find memorial wreaths and other artifacts laid around its base. Each year, Civil War reenactors meet to commemorate the birthdays of Lee and Jackson on January 19, 1807 and January 21, 1824 respectively. Until recently, the Clipper Room at Shriver Hall on Johns Hopkins campus was rented out for post-celebration festivities. But the annual rental has been disallowed by Hopkins’ new president. A writer for the Maryland Record has even called for this extraordinary historical statue to be razed on account of the Confederate ideals which it commemorates.
W 29th Street & N Charles Street (Street View)
GPS: 39° 19′ 25.64″ N 76° 37′ 4.17″ W
This work, by Adolph A. Weinman, was dedicated in 1909, and originally sat in Druid Hill Park (depicted in this postcard). It was moved to its current location in 1959 to make way for an expressway. The monument depicts a Union soldier striding forward with the Goddess Victory to his right and the Goddess Bellona (War) to his left. Behind Bellona rises a fig tree. Reliefs on the north and south sides of the base, respectively, depict a land battle and a naval battle. A third relief on the back of the monument’s pedestal shows an eagle perched on a shield between sword and anchor.
The Union Soldiers & Sailors Monument has the distinction of being the only public Civil War monument in the city to pay homage to the Northern/Union sacrifices made during that conflict. Diagonally north-east across Wyman Park on Art Museum Drive is the double-equestrian Lee and Jackson Memorial. Not far from that is the Confederate Women monument to the north across Hopkins campus.