|Henry R. Haven, ca.1910|
Shortly after the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, eight southern states seceded during the next five months—South Carolina on December 20, 1860, Mississippi on January 9, 1861, Florida on January 10, Alabama on January 11, Georgia on January 19, Louisiana on January 26, Texas on February 1, and Virginia on April 17.
Virginia’s secession following the bombardment of Federal soldiers at Fort Sumter by Confederates on April 12 and the president's call for troops on April 15, only served to heighten the divided loyalties of Maryland which had business, cultural, and social ties to both North and South.
With the call for troops, Haven enlisted as a private in Company G of the Sixth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers. On April 17, the regiment assembled at Boston and boarded trains for Washington, D.C., by way of New York, Trenton, Philadelphia and Baltimore. Arriving at Baltimore’s President Street station on April 19, the troops marched in formation along Pratt Street toward the Camden Street station where they were to again board trains and continue on to the capitol.