April 19, 1861 (part II)

Eight railroad cars bearing seven companies of the Sixth Regiment made it to Camden Station, but four companies in four cars remained behind. The four captains commanding those companies decided to march through the city. Captain Follansbee of Company C took the lead. The troops had to overcome a number of obstructions along their route and eventually stones were thrown at them and shots rang out.

Men from the upper floors of a building just passed by the companies fired into the trailing unit, killing two of its men. At the front of the column, with their path blocked by the mob, the soldiers leveled their guns and fired, killing many in the crowd. More shots and two more of the soldiers were killed and several wounded. They pressed on, however, and soon were reunited with their comrades.

The men of the Sixth all mounted their train and had to point their guns out the window to get the menacing crowd to back off. The regiment reached Washington at about 1 pm and was quartered in the Capitol.

Back in Lowell with communications not quite so instantaneous as they are today, readers of the Daily Courier found the following in their April 19th paper:

“The first military demonstration in New York since the attack on Fort Sumter was made by the Massachusetts regiment yesterday. The soldiers were received with great enthusiasm and loudly cheered at every point. . . . At 11 o’clock the military marched down Broadway amidst an ovation more demonstrative than ever before greeted any Massachusetts soldiers.”