On Sunday, April 21, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln met with Maryland Governor Thomas Hicks and Baltimore Mayor George Brown. Hicks and Brown had been summoned to Washington to discuss "preserving the peace in Maryland."
Washington was cut off from the rest of the country. Surrounded by Virginia and Maryland, the former was gone from the Union and the latter was still in an uproar over the Baltimore riot two days earlier. The railroad bridges through Maryland to Washington had been burned; the telegraph lines were cut. While the two politicians protested about the dead civilians in Baltimore, Lincoln argued that Washington must have troops. He promised to keep them out of Baltimore as much as possible.