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Monument Street

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In 1861, the name"Monument Street Girl" was a given to a group of ladies, who were from the high social class in Baltimore, that socialized at the cross streets of Monument and Charles Streets in the Mt. Vernon neighborhood. The name Monument Street was derived also from the several war memorial statues that stood that around intersection including one to Gen. Washington. Like many citizens in Baltimore during that time, the ladies who gathered on Monument Street were very pro States Rights and wanted Maryland to secede from the Union and join the Confederacy. Tensions rose high until it reached a boiling point in the city. On April 19, 1861, Federal troops and pro South citizens fired at each other. The melee soon turned into what is now known as the Baltimore Riot of ’61. Soon after the riot, Federal troops were sent in to occupy

Maryland, My Maryland!

the state of Maryland and secure the railroad lines that connected Washington D.C. to the Northern States. Baltimore was key to safeguarding the US Capital.  Gen. Benjamin Butler and troops soon occupied Baltimore. The city was placed under martial law. The pro South ladies from Monument Street were openly defiant to the Federal Troops occupying city.  The ladies were so voistrous that Union Gen. Benjamin Butler had his troops threaten to bomb Monument Street should they not cease with their taunts and aggitation of the citizenry. One of those ladies, Miss Hetty Cary, was known not only for her beauty but was a target for her staunch support of the Southern Cause. Miss Cary and a few other ladies penned the pro Southern poem, Maryland My Maryland by James Ryder Randall, to music.  The poem turned to song became an overnight sensation in Maryland and all States in the Confederacy. The Monument Street ladies secretly made Confederate flags and braving the possibility of being arrested, they snuck them out of the state to the Maryland troops serving in the Confederate Army in Virginia.  Many of the ladies also procured supplies and medical wares which they smuggled across the Potomac to the Confederate Army.  Even more daring, some of the Monument Street Girls acted as spies and relayed intelligence of Federal Army movements.

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Baltimore suffered dearly under martial law. When Gen. John A. Dix assumed command of the Department of Baltimore, he established draconian laws upon the Citizens in the city. Freedoms were revoked. Federal Troops had the authority to kick down doors and arrest men, women, and children alike just under mere suspicion of being Confederate sympathizers.  Gen. Dix even went as far as outlaw the colors Red and White (both secession colors in Maryland). Several of the “Monument Street Girls” were forced to escape south across the Potomac as exiles for the duration of the war or chance arrest and imprisonment.

We felt it important to remember the bravery and sacrifices of the women in Maryland during the war.  We could not think of a better name and impression to create that exemplifies the very spirit character of the pro South Maryland women than that of the Monument Street Girls! Our modern day group is part of the “Independent Greys” organization.  The Greys is dedicated to research and teaching the truest possible history regarding Maryland, her troops, and her citizens during the War Between the States.

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The Real

Monument Street Girls

HETTY CARY

HETTY CARY

JENNIE CARY

ACHSAH CARROL WIN

The Brown Veil Club (also known as the Monument Street Girls), ca.1860-1865. The Brown Veil Club sewed uniforms during the Civil War for local men who fled the city to join the Confederate Army. Standing left to right; Henrietta Penniman Carrington, Rebecca Lloyd Nicholson; Seated; Sophia Sargeant, Alice Wright, Rebecca Gordon, and Ida Winn.

THE WAR OF 1812 MONUMENT IN BALTIMORE

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