William Rollinson Whittingham letter, July 4, 1863
William Rollinson Whittingham
The sixth regiment of the Massachusetts volunteers firing into the people in Pratt Street, while attempting to pass through Baltimore en route for Washington, April 19, 1861
Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
- Archives of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland (Baltimore, Md.)
- William Rollinson Whittingham (1805-1879) was the fourth Episcopal bishop of Maryland. He was a leading Unionist in a diocese where many were sympathetic to the Confederate cause.
- A good deal of Bishop Whittingham's correspondence deals with his orders (1861) to pray for President Lincoln and to give thanks for Union victories (1862-1863), both strongly resisted by many among the clergy and laity. Some recalcitrant rectors were brought to trial before the diocesan Standing Committee for breaking their vows of obedience to the bishop and records of those events are also held by the repository. Also of interest is a letter (July 4, 1863) from Whittingham to his children describing the situation in Baltimore during the Gettysburg campaign:
- "It was just bedtime when the bells rang out. We had hardly time to observe that it was not a fire alarm, when the noise of a rush in the street called us to the windows just in order to see a regiment that had passed up, in its arrival in the afternoon, running at the double quick towards the barricade below us, near Eutaw and Madison (for we have, you must know, the comfort of being outside the barricades, just at reasonable rifle shot distance). Their promptitude of order were admirable, as within ten minutes from the first stroke they ran down full armed in marching order, with as true a step and files as straight as if they were marking time upon parade. But what gave us spectators an undesirable sensation such as I have never before experienced, was to see under such circumstances (the hour of night, the alarm bells ringing, the barricades at hand, the rushing gallop of the men, the bright gleam and clatter of their arms) the six stretchers (borne each ny two men, with two others running at the side) following the Regiment at the same all-or-nothing pace, and closing the procession. It gave a most vivid impression of the reality of the thing, and its terrible nature."
- Note: Forms part of the Archives' William Rollinson Whittingham papers, 1808-1879.
(See the NUCMC catalog record)