Maryland was a border state with a culture and economy connected with the South during the American Civil War; many of its population - especially around Baltimore - were Southern sympathizers. Maryland would most likely have seceded successfully from the Union if it had not bordered Washington, D.C. Abraham Lincoln could not allow Maryland to follow Virginiaís example and leave the Union, so he worked in various ways to make sure that Maryland stayed in the Union. Some of his actions have been considered illegal, but he succeeded in keeping Maryland in the Union. Many Marylanders decided to leave Maryland and join the Confederate cause by creating Maryland regiments and the like in the Confederate army and navy.
Some Marylanders made major contributions to the war effort, either as Confederates or as Federals, but most of these stories are about Confederates, like the Marylanders who became Confederate admirals. Author Richard P. Cox tells of women who served as Confederate spies and of women who confronted the enemy and would not allow themselves to be moved. He also tells of certain places in Maryland that served as prisons or as military camp grounds. Cox also reveals the story of how the modern-day flag of Maryland came about and how it is a symbol of reconciliation.
Coxís anecdotes about Marylandís Civil War history are not overly academic but appeal to the general reader and to the scholar alike. He provides many black-and-white drawings and photos, some of which are modern-day images of places or buildings that were involved in Civil War history. Cox wrote this book fill a gap in publications concerning Marylandís role in the Civil War. He admits that more stories in the book are from the Confederate side, and while he is not a professional historian, he has tried to be as accurate as possible. He does provide endnotes and a bibliography.
This book can serve as an introduction to Marylandís Civil War history, and Cox brings it to life. The cover image from Harperís Weekly is of the Pratt Street Riot in Baltimore, Maryland, that occurred on April 19, 1861 when Union soldiers passing through Baltimore on their way to Washington were intercepted by Southern sympathizers, resulting in the deaths of some civilians and soldiers.
Richard P. Cox is an attorney in private practice and a freelance writer and amateur historian. He is a member of the Baltimore and Chesapeake Civil War Roundtables. This book is highly recommended to those interested in Marylandís role in the Civil War.