The secesh conspirators of Baltimore were literally caught napping. Allan Pinkerton had successfully put “the package” (Abraham Lincoln, derisory image shown) onto the train in Philadelphia without being noticed. (Background: “Pinkerton Delivers the Package”, Ersjdamoo’s Blog entry of June 24, 2014.) While Baltimore slept, Old Abe slipped right past the “fire eaters,” in the dead of night.
At 3:30 am, Pinkerton detective Kate Warne disembarked from the train in Baltimore. Remaining onboard in the sleeping car were Allan Pinkerton, Ward Lamon, and Mr. Lincoln, in disguise. The car in which they lay, in their berths, was uncoupled from the train and drawn by horses from the President Street Station to the Washington Station (also known as the Camden Street Station). There, it was coupled to the B&O train to Washington.
Abraham Lincoln, still in disguise, arrived safely in Washington at dawn. Waiting at the station at 6 am was Congressman Elihu B. Washburne. Washburne, a member of Lucius E. Chittenden’s “independent committee of safety,” did not know for sure that Lincoln would be arriving. Washburne was only there on the chance it might be so. Hours ago, in the early evening of February 22, 1861, the telegraph line between Philadelphia and Baltimore had been cut, as an extra Pinkerton precaution. That meant telegraphic communication between Philadelphia and Washington was down as well. And so, an uncertain Congressman Washburne watched the train pull into the station.
Washburne looked, but did not see Lincoln. He was about to leave when he suddenly noticed three persons emerge from the rear sleeping car. Even though the President-elect still wore the Kossuth hat, the muffler, and the bob-tailed overcoat, it dawned upon Washburne that it was in fact Abraham Lincoln. Old Abe had arrived safely in Washington. The Illinois rube had out-foxed the foxes!
Later that morning, the New York Times printed a startling report (excerpts only, emphasis added):
HIGHLY IMPORTANT NEWS
Secret Departure of the President Elect From Harrisburgh
Alleged Plot for His Assassination
UNEXPECTED ARRIVAL IN WASHINGTON
“Abraham Lincoln, the President Elect of the United States, is safe in the capital of the nation. A prolonged conversation [with Frederick Seward] elicited the fact that an organized body of men had determined that Mr. Lincoln should not be inaugurated, and that he should never leave the City of Baltimore alive, if, indeed, he ever entered it.
The list of the names of the conspirators presented a most astonishing array of persons high in Southern confidence, and some whose fame is not to this country alone.
Statesmen laid the plan, bankers endorsed it, and adventurers were to carry it into effect.
Mr. Lincoln did not want to yield [to Pinkerton’s counter-plan, but at last did and] left on a special train. He wore a Scotch plaid cap and a very long military cloak, so that he was entirely unrecognizable.”
(Source: Kline, Michael J. The Baltimore Plot. Yardley, PA: Westholme Publishing, LLC, 2008)
(The above first appeared at my Melchizedek Communique web site on May 25, 2011.)