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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1861, by JAMES D. TORREY, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York.


The production of a History of the Southern Rebellion and the War for the Union which shall cover the entire subject, in all its aspects and relations, is a work of magnitude, comprising three distinct histories, each of which might properly demand a specific record. The Political, Social and Military conditions of the Rebellion are so clearly defined as to offer strong claims for their separate consideration; still, each is but part of a single whole; and each are so interwoven as to be treated in unity.

In assuming the responsibility of producing the History in its comprehensive form, I felt, but too keenly, the requisition for the exercise of abilities which but few persons are permitted to call their own. Clearness of apprehension, correctness of judgment, impartiality, power of grouping and association, patience of research-all to be guided by a style of narrative at once clear, concise, and impressive,-surely I might well have shrunk from the ordeal. But, the earnest desire to see the much-needed work performed, to place the public in possession of the story of the Secession Revolution,overcame apprehension for the result, and induced me to assume the responsible trust. How that trust has been discharged, the public must judge.

From the outset I have had to contend against the quantity of data offered as material for my work. The historian generally seeks for multiplicity in his authorities, thus to be the more able to secure a correct version of his story; but, in the present instance at least, there has been only too much "authority” offered. What with interminable Tersions of the same affair in almost countless papers--with news dispatches from responsible and irresponsible sources—with letters written in a partisan spirit, in ignorance or in malice —with endless Convention reports, speeches, ordinances, resolutions, &c.— witho Legislative proceedings of many States—with the proceedings of two Congresses, and the documents of two cotemporary Executives—with the great ebb and flow of popular feeling in all sections, as represented by two thousand newspapers—I have been fairly oppressed with the weight and multitude of my witnesses. To reduce this chaos to order was a labor of many days, and if, in the reproduction of testimony offered, occasional errors have occurred, I feel that they were unavoidable, considering the circumstances under which this History has been produced-thirty-two octavo letter-press pages being demanded weekly. Still, I can but hope that errors of facts are few if they do occur, it is from no purpose to modify the record, nor to suppress the truth.

I acknowledge every obligation to the New York dailyt journals. Their extraordinary facilities of information, their vast net-work of correspondence, render them cotemporary chroniclers which no book-maker can slight in the composition of a history of the times. Their editorial views, or partisan bias, scarcely affect the statement of events, in which posterity will be chiefly concerned. Where a difference of statement has been made, having the several leading dailies at hand, and other collateral evidence, it is not necessary for the careful collaborateur of evidence to be led estray by the “writing up” or the “writing down" of editors and correspondents.


In reporting Congressional proceedings I have used, to a great extent, telegraphic abstracts or digests. Having before me, however, the Congressional Globe, I have been enabled to correct those errors incident to mere news dispatches; while, in the case of the great “representative” speeches of leading members of the two Houses, I have chiefly had recourse to the Official (Globe) reports. The pages of this work, therefore, become, cu necessitate rei, a repository of some of the finest specimens of eloquence and dialectics which now are a part of our oratorical treasures.

The State Papers and Documents reproduced are such as have true historical value and signifieance. I have used abstracts of such papers in but few instances, preferring that the public should be placed in possession of the originals. In the future, when this great struggle shall enlist, in its exposition, writers of various views, it will be the surest safe guard against misinterpretation or partizan zeal to be possessed of the official records. Having these, the intelligent readar need have no fears of being misled in his judgments.

The detail of State Legislature and State Convention's proceedings has, to a large extent, been omitted. I preferred not to encumber the narrative with the processes of legislation when the final results would convey all historically necessary information. A volume would be required for each State, if its doings were given in detail. Such a work it will remain for some citizen in each State to perform, who shall have access to all sources of local information and proceedings. I may here confess my many obligations to leading citizens throughout the country for the interest they have taken in my labors. For their valuable suggestions, for their generous remittances of Iportant documents and special information, for their publicly and privately expressed opinions regarding the work I was performing, I can but be grateful. In my future labors I trust their good offices will not be intermitted. I shall be ever happy to receive any information or sugges tions which can add to the value of this History.



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CHAPTER I. The True Cause of the Rebellion 25 CHAPTER XIII.—Continued,
II, The Objects of Secession........ 29

Others. The Crittenden Com.

III. Spread of the Secession Sentiment 31

promise Resolutions. The Com-

IV. Action of Governors Legislatures,

mittee of Thirteen.



XIV. The South Carolina Convention.

V. The Financial Condition of the

The Ordinance of Secession.

Country. State of Feeling at

General Proceedings. The De-

the North.....


claration of Independence

VI. Progress of the Rebellion in South





XV. How the News was Received.

VII. Views of the Fathers of the Re-

State of Public Feeling in the

public on the Question of Union

North. Interest in Major An-

and Disunion.....


derson. The Forts of Charles-

VIII. XXXVI Congress, Second Session.

ton Harbor....


Meeting the Question of Dis-

XVI. The South Carolina Convention

union. The President's Mes.

Proceedings Continued. Ad

sage. Hostile Attitude of South-

dress to the Slaveholding States.

ern Members.....


Important Legislation..... 107

IX. Action of the Southern States, up

XVII. A Week of Exciting Events. The
to December 10th........


The Robbery of the Interior
X. Proceedings of Congress Contin-

Department. The Alleghany
ued. Second Week. Import-

Arsenal Affair. Alabama Elec-
ant Preliminary Proceedings.

tion. The South Carolina Com-
The Futility of Compromise

missioners' Arrival at Wash-


ington. Affairs in Virginia.

XI. Disruption of the Cabinet. The

List of Army and Navy Officers

President's Policy. The Condi.

from South Carolina. Senator

tion of the Charleston Forts.

Toombs' Telegraphic Address.

General Scott's Prophetic paper

Hopelessness of Compromise.. 113

and Propositions. Action of

XVIII. Proceedings of Congress Contin-
the Committee of Thirty-three. 78

ued. Fourth Week. The Pro-
XII. Several Phases of the Revolution. 83

ceedings of the Committees of

XIII. Proceedings of Congress Contin-

Thirty-three and Thirteen, up

ned. Third Week. Speeches

to December 29th..... 119

of Senators Wade, Johnson,

XI acidents and Results of the Evac.

and Others. The Resolutions

uation of Fort Moultrie....... 124

of Adrian, Lovejoy, Morris, and

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the Southern States. Position

of the Churches..


II. Examination of the Charges Pre-

ferred by the Secession Lead-

ers against the North, the Dom-

inant Party and the President-



III. The South Carolina Commission-

ers at Washington. Their Cor-

respondence with the President

on their Return to Charleston 143

IV. The Proceedings of Congress

Continued. Fifth Week. The

Speeches of Senators Benjamin,

Baker, Douglas, and others.

Important Resolutions....... 149

V. Attitude of the Northern and Bor-

der States in January. The

First Bugle Notes of Alarm... 161

VI. Progress of the Revolution in

South Carolina. Adjournment

of the Convention..... 166

VII. Affairs in Washington early in

January. State of Public Feel-

ing. Activity in the War De-

partment. The Border-State

Committee. Their Proposition.

The Action of the Committee of

Thirty-Three. The Forts-

Their Cost, etc. The Morale of

the Conspiracy.


VIII. Proceedings in Congress Con-

tinued. Sixth Week. Speeches

of Toombs, Hunter and Seward.

The President's Message. Res.

olutions Endorsing Major An-

derson and Sustaining the Presi.

dent ...

.... 176

IX. Progress of tbe Revolution.

The Secession of Mississippi,

Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and

Texas. The Ordinances. Con.

current Proceedings of the

Conventions. Seizures of Forts,

Arsenals, Revenue-Cutters, Cus-

tom-Houses, Mint, Etc. Etc.

Defection of Southern Officers

in the Army and Navy........ 193

ry Ist..

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