War Clouds Become Heavier Every Hour

March 22, 1917

Hostilities Between This Government and Germany May Be Brought About Within 48 Hours

STATE MILITIA BEEN ORDERED OUT

President Wilson Summons Congress to Assemble in Extraordinary Session Monday, April 2nd–Declaration of Existence of State of War Expected to Follow the President’s Statement of Defenses Committed by Germany–Maryland Troops to Guard Railroad Bridges

Each hour brings the pending crisis of war nearer and nearer to the United States Government, and the probabilities are that, within the next forty-eight hours the citizens of this country will receive word that a state of war exists between Germany and the United States.

President Wilson met the constantly increasing probability of war with Germany by summoning Congress to assemble on Monday, April 2nd, two weeks earlier than the date he had formerly chosen, before the latest assaults upon American rights on the seas.

When the President addresses Congress he is expected to show how a state of war actually has existed for some time, due to the unlawful aggressions of German submarines. It is expected that Congress will then clothe the President with authority to use the arm forces of this country and back this up by voting a large sum for national defenses.

According to unconfirmed reports from Berlin, it is expected that a state of war with the United State Government will be an accomplished fact within the next forty-eight hours and American journalists in Berlin have been warned to this effect. Whether there are any truth in these reports, it is not at the present time known, but the indications that trouble is brewing are great.

Should war come it will be a defensive war, free from ambitions of spoils or territory, and shall be waged only to seek and preserve the rights of civilization and humanity. In such an event this country might even become an actual participant in the hostilities on the European continent, not as an alley of any of the Entente Powers, but simply to cast our weight in men, money and moral influences into battle against a common enemy.

In the meantime every preparation for putting the country in condition to meet the situation is going on.

Governor Harrington, in view of the serious situation and in order of protection, ordered out two companies of the State Militia to guard the Pennsylvania and Baltimore & Ohio Railroad bridges across the Susquehanna River at Havre de Grace. The two Companies , one from Elkton and the other from Belsir–Companies D and E, of the First Regiment–will guard the bridges against any attempt by spies or plotters to cut off communications between the Capitol and the seaboard. They are fully equipped with arms and ammunition.

This means that the Governor, through the military forces of the State, have shouldered a responsibility for the welfare of the nation in its crisis greater than any other State has as yet assumed, for no point exists more vital to the safety of the National Capitol than the two bridges across the Susquehanna.

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