Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ellsworth funeral; Merryman arrested

  • In Washington, the body of 24 year old US Colonel Elmer Ellsworth lies in state in the East Room of the White House where his funeral service is held today. Ellsworth was a personal friend of the Lincolns, and his dramatic death, the first Union officer killed – shot to death while tearing down a Confederate flag from an Alexandria, Virginia, hotel, all factor into making him the first martyr of the Union cause. The Lincoln Administration uses his death to great patriotic advantage./1861
  • In order to prevent easy access to Washington for Confederate armies, Union troops destroy 7 bridges and 5 miles of railroad between Alexandria and Leesburg, Virginia./1861
  • John Merryman, a Baltimore, Maryland, politician and first lieutenant of the Baltimore County Horse Guards, is arrested by military authorities at his home in Cockeysville, Maryland, for recruiting for the Confederate army, charged with treason, and sent to prison in Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Maryland, without benefit of a writ of habeas corpus. Merryman will petition for a writ of habeas corpus, which will be granted by Chief Justice Taney, but the writ will be disobeyed by General George Cadwalader, the arresting officer, under orders from President Lincoln, even though Taney will cite Cadwalader for contempt. Taney will declare Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus unconstitutional./1861
  • Virginia troops under the command of Lieutenant Colonel William J. Willey, half brother of  Waitman T. Willey, burn railroad trestles of the Baltimore & Ohio line between Mannington and Farmington, western Virginia./1861

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