Diorama of the Pratt Street Riot at the Baltimore Civil War History Museum on President Street


I had one of those frustrating days where you are on hold for 45 minutes to no avail after being tranferred multiple times, getting more teary with every subsequent operator. Hint: Verizon’s on strike, cancel, but give yourself a couple hours to do it.  Anyway, it was finally time for me to flee the house, so I tossed my National Parks Passport in my bike bag and flew down the hill to the Baltimore Civil War History Museum, because there’s nothing like a little popular history to take my mind off the Kafka-esque world of telephonery. Half of the museum is devoted to remembering the Pratt Street riots, which happened as the Union sent troops south through Baltimore at the very start of the war. The city was full of Confederate sympathizers, and they attacked the soldiers as they transferred trains, shedding the first blood of the war. I snapped this picture of their diorama of the events while standing under the sound umbrella-thingy with its gunshots and crowd noises. Then there was the display about the Underground Railroad (not really a railroad) and Henry “Box” Brown who shipped himself to freedom (get in this box and see how it might feel!–that part was creepy). It’s an odd nostalgia. Later, when I was reading about the 1968 uprisings in Baltimore at the bookstore, I wondered if we’ll ever have a museum to that, reenactments, nostalgia that at least reminds us of the ways the social, political, and economic choices made that led to the riots continue to shape our everyday. And then I rode over to the stadium to watch Ravens fans pour in for the preseason, the beat goes on, the beat goes on.

One thought on “Diorama of the Pratt Street Riot at the Baltimore Civil War History Museum on President Street

  1. “Kafka-esque world of telephonery.” Love that and how true. I hope they don’t keep charging you after you quit like they did to me. They kept putting it on my credit card for months and it took me about 45 minutes every month to get the credit card company to take it off. Watch your card my friend.

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