Further Particulars Of The Depot Fire

This article from the July 21, 1877 issue of the Baltimore Sun gives an account of the fire started by rioters at Camden Station in Baltimore.

page image


The firing at the Lee street portion of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad depot was caused by the mob attempting to stop the firemen in the discharge of their duty. The mob cut the hose and put out the fire of engine No. 2. The station at that spot was guarded by the police force of the southern district, under Captain Delanty, with Sergeants Blackstone, Collins and Sunstrom. The mob attempted to stop the firemen, and cut the hose of engine No. 2 and fired on the guards. The policemen returned the fire and drove the mob back. The firing was with intent to intimidate, and a few persons were injured, though a rumor prevailed that one man was fatally shot through the stomach.

John W. Burton, living at No. 48 Hanover street, was shot in the left arm, above the wrist, the ball lodging under the skin

Robert Ryan, living on Goodman alley, was shot in the left side, between the ninth and tenth ribs. They were both taken to the Maryland University Hospital, and attended by Dr. Ashby, the resident physician. Neither of them are regarded as being severely injured.

William Sudsberg, who was injured at the time the attack was made on the Fifth Regiment on Camden street, is also under treatment at the infirmary. He is a son of Captain Sudsberg, No. 50 Hillman street.

The extent of the damage by the fire was the burning of a passenger car, injury to an engine as stated, the destruction of the dispatcher's office and considerable damage to the roof of the shed of the depot. As soon as the mob was dispersed the fire was extinguished by the department. The alarm subsequently sounded was on account of the burning of several watchman's boxes on the line of the railroad from the depot to the foot of Eutaw street. Nearly all of the policemen were struck by stones, but none seriously injured.

At 1 o'clock A. M. most of the police force had been taken from the depot, and it was guarded by the troops which remained bivouacked within. Sixteen arrests were made in the southern police district for disorderly conduct and throwing stones during the disturbances. The police state that but few railroad men were observed among the rioters.


The track at various points between Camden Station and the blue bridge crossing Gwynn's falls was disturbed at several places. At some of the switches the track had been removed out of position. In the earlier part of the night crowds of persons had assembled at various points, and it is estimated that several thousand people congregated at the bridge with a view of obstructing any military movements.


During the fire Gov. Carroll sent a dispatch to President Hayes, stating that the depot had been fired by a mob which was beyond control of his forces, and asking that assistance might be afforded the United States authorities.

About this Document

  • Source: Baltimore Sun
  • Date: July 21, 1877