On Sunday night some seventy-five slaves, belonging in the neighborhood of South river, Anne Arundel county, and Queen Anne’s, Prince George’s county, Md., stampeded, taking with them a wagon and cart, with horses, and bringing with them a portion of their effects. The party left about 11 o’clock at night, and travelled all night, at various points on the road being reinforced, until the number reached about seventy-five.

            Yesterday morning they were stopped near  “Long Old Fields” by a number of men styling themselves “patrol,” armed, but the party of slaves massed themselves and pushed on, the patrollers attempting to stop their progress and to drive them from the teams, and when about one mile from Fort Meigs they fired into the fugitives, when it is said one of the slaves returned the fire, and several other shots were fired. The party of fugitives separated and fled, and the patrolers also made off.

Among the fugitives there were two men and one woman killed and five wounded, as far as known. The wounded persons were taken in charge and brought to the city, and the company in different bands arrived here yesterday afternoon and during the night— fifty having reported at the contraband camp up to this morning. Some of the wounded are not expected to live. One man received four balls—in his head, face shoulder, and hip.

The facts were reported to the authorities at once, and a detachment of Scott’s 900 yesterday afternoon arrested John L. Gray on suspicion of being one of the attacking party, and he was brought to this city, and committed to the Old Capitol by the Provost Marshal. His neighbors, however, assert that, although he was near the party at the time of the attack, he had no hand in it. Calvary are yet in pursuit of the “patrollers.”

As one of the gangs were passing up the avenue to the Provost Marshal’s office, Mr. W. D. Steward, of Anne Arundel county, recognized among them ten of his slaves, and immediately procured a writ for their arrest under the provisions of the fugitive slave law, from commissioner Walter S. Cox, and placed it in the hands of officers, who went with him to Capt. Todd’s office, where the fugitives were, and showed the writ; but Capt. T. refused to give them up.

The shooting affair will be investigated immediately.

On inquiry, we find that the most of them are from Anne Arundel, near Annapolis Junction, and that the stampede commenced about a week ago, when many left that neighborhood and made their way down to the lower part of the county and came up bu the road from T.B., doubtless thinking that the direct roads leading to the city would be watched by their owners. – Washington Star.


"Extensive Stampede of Slaves," Philadelphia (PA) North American and United States Gazette, June 18, 1863, p. 1.

Related Escape / Stampede
Location of Stampede
Coverage Type
Contains Stampede Term