Oct 31, 2011

The Light in a Dark Harbor

(NYTimes) The mid-autumn dusk cloaked Boston’s island-studded harbor as the revolving beacon atop Boston Light began to glow. The beams radiating from the lighthouse’s bold white pillar sparkled in the enfeebled eyes of the men huddled aboard the steamer the State of Maine, making its way slowly toward the military prison at Fort Warren, an island garrison near the harbor’s outer edge.
... The War Department had instructed Dimick, who had only taken command of Fort Warren days before, to prepare for the transfer of some 100 political prisoners — including former Kentucky governor Charles Morehead, Baltimore Mayor George Brown, and George Kane, marshal of Baltimore police during the Pratt Street Riot — from Fort Lafayette in New York Harbor. As the steamer crept closer to the island, however, he realized his charge was in fact much larger: in addition to the political prisoners, more than 600 Confederate soldiers captured at Hatteras Inlet, N.C., and previously held at Fort Columbus, on Governor’s Island near Fort Lafayette, were suddenly dumped upon the ill-prepared garrison, which was still under construction and barely provisioned for its Union volunteers. Continued

Photo: Arrest of Marshal Kane, at his house in Baltimore, at three o'clock A.M. on Thursday, June 27, by order of Major-General Banks on a charge of treason / from a sketch by our special artist accompanying General Banks' command. (Frank Leslie's illustrated newspaper)