« PreviousContinue »
didates for the convention. The Southern Marsellaise was sung, as the banner of the Southern Confederacy was raised, amid reiterated and prolonged cheers for South Carolina and Louisiana.
December 26. A resolution offered in the South Carolina convention, that the Governor be requested to communicate to the convention in secret session,"
any information he possesses in reference to the condition of Forts Moultrie and Sumter, and Castle Pinckney,--the number of guns in each, the number of workmen and kind of labor employed, the number of soldiers in each, and what additions, if any, have been made since the 20th inst.; also, if any assurance has been given that the forts will not be reinforced, and if so, to what extent; also, what police or other regulations have been made, if any, in reference to the defences of the harbor of Charleston, the coast and State.
Major Anderson transferred the United States garrison at Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter, leaving only a small guard in Fort Moultrie.
Only one short week had passed since the signing of the “ secession ordinance," and the joyous excitement conseqent thereupon had scarcely begun to subside, when the city was startled with the intelligence of the evacuation of Fort Moultrie.
The wildest excitement seized the people, and in the fire of their indignation they denounced Major Anderson in the most bitter terms, and their rage knew no bounds at this, what they deemed, overt act on the part of the gallant commander. The military were ordered out, and the convention went into “ secret session.” Troops were tendered to the Governor from different portions of Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi.
December 28. The “ Palmetto flag” was raised over the Custom House and Post-office at Charleston, S. C.
At five o'clock in the evening the “ Palmetto flag
was raised at Castle Pinckney, and a military force went over and took possession of Fort Moultrie.
Castle Pinckney and Fort Moultrie were held by about twelve men, who peaceably surrendered to the State troops.
The “ Federal flag” was saluted with thirty-two guns as it descended, and the “Palmetto flag” with one gun as it was run up.
A large and enthusiastic secession meeting was held at Richmond, Va.
One hundred guns were fired in Wilmington, N. C., on the twenty-eighth, over the secession of South Carolina, and we are informed that, in less than twenty minutes after the firing commenced, every vessel in port, with the exception of one, run up the “stars and stripes.”
In a Troy, N. Y., paper we find a letter, dated December 28, from General Wool, stating that the “Waterveliet Arsenal” was exclusively under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of War, and that on the ninth of that month (December) ten thousand muskets were sold, by order of Secretary Floyd, to S. B. Lamar, of Savannah, Georgia, and were shipped from the arsenal on the fourteenth inst. The price was two dollars and a half for each musket.
An immense Union meeting was held at Memphis, Tenn. It was addressed by Hon. Neil S. Brown, and others.
Governor Hicks again refused to convene the legislature of Maryland.
In reply to a friendly letter from Capt. John Contee, of Prince George's County, urging him to call an extra session of the legislature, he says:
“I have no party attachments or prejudices that conflict with my love for the Union, or that can influence me in the endeavor to discharge my duty faithfully to my native State. I have long since decided to put aside party feelings and prejudices, and do everything in my power to preserve and perpetuate the Union of the States and the happiness of millions depending upon it.
“ We cannot shut our eyes to the fearful peril of the hour. We know that a dark cloud overshadows the land, threatening the destruction of the institutions we have been taught to revere, and under which we have grown to be a great nation. We know that reckless and designing men are endeavoring to precipitate a dissolution of the Union before the people shall have time for the reflection so imperatively demanded by the vast interests involved in the threatened separation, whether that separation shall be peaceful or bloody. There must be time to weigh well all the consequences before we proceed to destroy the government bequeathed to us by our fathers; and we should wait to see if there is not still enough wisdom, virtue, and patriotism in Congress and the country, to give the people time for the sober second thought.
“ It seems to me, from the hot haste with which some of the Southern States are pressing a dissolution, that their leading men appear to act deliberately, believing that the people would not sustain them in their reckless course if they had time to weigh the consequences, nor act without one more appeal to the people of the North. Does it not seem strange that we have only now realized the great wrong done the Southern States by the personal liberty bills enacted by the North? We know that these laws have been upon the statute-books of many of these States for years, and that until now they have never been considered a sufficient cause to justify the South in dissolving the Union.”
After expressing the wish that these personal liberty laws might be repealed at once, and the rights of the South, guaranteed by the Constitution, respected and enforced, he closes by saying
66 The time has indeed come when we must all look the
danger full in the face; when patriotism, the memories of the past, and the hopes of the future, imperatively demand that we should use every exertion compatible with honor to prevent the United States of America from disappearing from among the nations of the world.
“I shall be the last one to object to a withdrawal of our State from a confederacy that denies to us the enjoyment of our undoubted rights; but believing that neither her honor or her interests will suffer by a proper and just delay, I cannot assist in placing her in a position from which we may hereafter wish to recede. But I assure you that whenever, in my judgment, the necessity for assembling that body in extra session shall arise, I shall not shrink from the responsibility. “ I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
“ THOMAS W. HICKS."
Not a protest I heeded, nor Cass's note,
As my country to ruin I hurried;
O’er the grave where the Union I buried.
DECEMBER 29. Secretary Floyd resigned.
December 30. Sunday. South Carolina troops took possession of the arsenal at Charleston ; military preparations were actively progressing; volunteers were offering their services from other States, among whom were many army and navy officers. Colonel Walter Gwynn, a graduate of West Point, and an old United States army officer, accepted the command of a military company in Columbia, S. C.
Shipment of arms to the South.
The steamship Montgomery, which arrived at Savannah on the 26th of November, had on board 180 boxes of Sharp's patent carbines, 1,800 in all, and 40,000 conical ball cartridges, for the State of Georgia.
The Baton Rouge (La.) Gazette states that a telegram was received at the arsenal there, from the war department at Washington, on the 22d of December, ordering the sale of two thousand five hundred guns, for $2.50 each, to Governor Pettus, of Mississippi.
On the twenty-eighth of December we find there were sent, by order of Secretary Floyd, from the Alleghany Arsenal to Ship Island, near the Balize, mouth of Mississippi,
21 ten-inch columbiads, 128 pounders. 21 eight-inch
4 iron guns,