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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:37 pm 
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December 22, 1860 Saturday
Lincoln's opposition to a section of the Crittenden Compromise becomes public, ending the proposal's potential as a possible solution to the crisis.

Secessionist and Union meetings continued in the wake of the rupture of the nation. The South Carolina Convention named three commissioners to deal with the United States in regard to Federal property. The convention also passed a resolution that Forts Moultrie and Sumter, Castle Pinckney, and the Charleston Arsenal should now “be subject to the authority and control” of the state, and “that the possession of said forts and arsenal should be restored to the State of South Carolina.”

Abraham Lincoln replies to a letter from Georgia Congressman Alexander H. Stephens that he wished to assure him that the Republican administration would not interfere with slavery in the South either directly or indirectly: “The South would be in no more danger in this respect, than it was in the days of Washington. I suppose, however, this does not meet the case. You think slavery is right and ought to be extended; while we think it is wrong and ought to be restricted. That I suppose is the rub.”

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Gen Ned Simms
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Blood 'n Guts hisself, a land lovin' pirate. Show me some arty tubes and we'll charge 'em.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:48 am 
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December 23, 1860 Sunday
President Buchanan, tipped to upcoming problems for Secretary of War John Floyd, requests his resignation.

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Blood 'n Guts hisself, a land lovin' pirate. Show me some arty tubes and we'll charge 'em.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:46 pm 
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December 24, 1860 Monday
It is Christmas Eve and trouble is brewing strong across the United States (and the sovereign state of South Carolina). Santa Claus is not quite as jovial as normal while he makes his rounds in a sleigh pulled by 8 flying reindeer, because he knows what is in store for the homes and children that he visits this night.

The South Carolina Convention at Charleston passed a Declaration of Immediate Causes of secession, stating that the Union was declared in the Constitution to be an equal Union of the states and that each state had separate control over its institutions, including the right of slavery. “We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States.” They claimed the non-slaveholding states had “assumed the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; …” In an address to the people of the slaveholding states, the convention reported its reasons for dissolving South Carolina’s connection with the Union and contended that the Northern states had overthrown the Constitution and “It is no longer a free Government, but a despotism.” They would have preferred to remain in the old Union but “we, of the South, are at last driven together by the stern destiny which controls the existence of nations.” The address called for a Confederacy of slaveholding states in order to maintain independence and to work out their own destinies.

Governor Pickens of South Carolina issued a proclamation declaring the state separate, independent, free, and sovereign. Alabama citizens elected delegates to a state convention and the governor ordered the legislature convened Jan. 14.

In the House of Representatives the letter of resignation of the South Carolina representatives was laid on the table with the names retained on the roll. Thus the secession of the state was not recognized. In the Senate William H. Seward of New York proposed an amendment to the Constitution that Congress should never interfere with slaves in the states; that jury trial be given fugitive slaves and that state constitutions having personal liberty laws in opposition to the Federal Constitution be revised. The United States Senate's Committee of Thirteen rejects the Crittenden Compromise.

Two notables arrive in Springfield, Ill. Lincoln's old friend E. D. Baker and David Wilmot of Pennsylvania. Lincoln calls on Wilmot at his hotel and spends most of the day.

Lincoln writes to Trumbull. Lincoln has heard that South Carolina forts are to be surrendered. If true, he intends to announce publicly that they are to be retaken, to give Union men "a rallying cry." He thanks Isaac N. Morris, Quincy, for introducing Union resolution in Congress, and asks Hamlin to find New Englander of Democratic antecedents for cabinet. "Or shall I decide for myself?"

Lincoln buys yard goods for his wife, and 11 handkerchiefs for Christmas presents.

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Blood 'n Guts hisself, a land lovin' pirate. Show me some arty tubes and we'll charge 'em.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 10:29 pm 
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December 25, 1860 Tuesday
Major Robert Anderson, commander of the Federal garrison at Fort Moultrie in Charleston, South Carolina, decides in the evening to withdraw his troops to Fort Sumter in the middle of Charleston Harbor, but rain and heavy fog delays the actual departure until December 26.

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Blood 'n Guts hisself, a land lovin' pirate. Show me some arty tubes and we'll charge 'em.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 9:21 pm 
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December 26, 1860 Wednesday
By 8 P.M., Major Robert Anderson, concerned about the defensibility of his position at Fort Moultrie, removed his garrison to Fort Sumter on his own initiative. Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island was intended to protect Charleston from hostile action from the sea. Its guns pointed towards that direction and the post was vulnerable to attack by land. Sumter, located in the harbor itself, was safer. Anderson's force consisted of approximately ten officers, seventy-six enlisted men, forty-five women and children, and an ever diminishing group of laborers who would eventually number about fifty-five. The women and children would be evacuated from the fort on the morning of February l, 1861. The move was justified by Anderson in that he felt he had tangible evidence that Fort Moultrie would be forcibly taken by South Carolinians: “The step which I have taken was, in my opinion, necessary to prevent the effusion of blood …” He spiked the guns and destroyed the carriages and later said, “I was certain that if attacked my men must have been sacrificed, and the command of the harbor lost.” South Carolina and other Southern areas were outraged; overt action had, in their minds, been taken by the United States in violation of promises of the President that no change in position would be made. Sec. of War Floyd opposed the shift as against orders, but Anderson had interpreted his instructions differently, and under them had merely transferred his force. The move had been made with skill and secrecy, confounding the Secessionists. Anderson immediately began to mount guns and strengthen Fort Sumter. He still faced the question of a small garrison, short supplies, and the danger of attack. In Washington the commissioners from South Carolina arrived to discuss the forts and relations with the United States.

(The following commentary was obtained from the Tulane University web site under Dilemmas of Compromise. While it gets ahead of us, it is a good prep for understanding now through the subsequent months in regards to Fort Sumter.)

Commentary: The "Truce" at Fort Sumter

When Anderson moved to Fort Sumter, he disrupted one of a series of fragile agreements, sometimes called "truces," established between the Buchanan administration and South Carolina. On December 10, before Anderson's move and before South Carolina seceded, a group of South Carolina congressmen called upon the President for a "pledge" that he would not reinforce or in any way change the military situation at Charleston pending anticipated negotiations between the state and the federal government. In return, South Carolina would not attack the forts. Buchanan refused to sign such a statement, but he offered verbal assurances that he did not intend to reinforce the forts under present circumstances. The congressmen understood Buchanan also to say that they would be informed if the President changed his policy.

This "truce" was subject to different interpretations. The South Carolinians considered Buchanan pledged as a gentleman not to change the status of the forts, including a move by Anderson from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter, and to inform them of any change in policy. The President, however, did not think he had made a firm commitment with a group who had no authority to enter into reciprocal agreements. Instead, he considered that they had arrived at something like a mutual understanding of present intentions. Whatever the ambiguity, two things are clear. Buchanan, who had initially considered reinforcing Anderson, had changed his mind. He adopted, at least for the moment, a policy of maintaining the status quo. In addition, Buchanan refused to consider abandoning Sumter or other forts still under government control.

After South Carolina seceded (December 20, 1861) and Anderson moved to Fort Sumter, Buchanan was pressured to order Anderson to return to Fort Moultrie as well as to remove federal forces from all its forts in South Carolina. But encouraged by pro-Union cabinet members, especially fellow Pennsylvanian, Secretary of State Jeremiah S. Black, and irritated by the badgering of pro-secessionist southerners, the President refused to do either. As for the "truce," Buchanan explained that Anderson had acted on his own responsibility, that his move was not aggressive, and that South Carolina's subsequent takeover of the forts abandoned by Anderson made his return impossible. Most significantly, Buchanan announced his determination to maintain Sumter and to defend it against attack. On December 31, the President had sufficiently stiffened his resolve to hold Sumter and he initiated measures to reinforce it. On January 5, 1861, the Star of the West sailed from New York with troops and supplies to relieve the fort.

The failure of this expedition led to another arrangement, or "truce," at Fort Sumter. Following the Star of the West incident, Anderson and Governor Francis W. Pickens of South Carolina agreed that neither side would resort to arms until the issue of Sumter's possession was resolved by new negotiations in Washington. While these negotiations, undertaken by an agent of the governor, dragged on through January, President Buchanan refused to consider another relief expedition. Aid would be sent to Sumter only if Anderson requested additional supplies or reinforcements for his safety or defense. The administration, therefore, placed the responsibility for relief on Anderson, making clear to the commander that it wanted to avoid a conflict. Anderson, who shared Buchanan's hopes, did not request relief.

On February 6, 1861, Buchanan finally brought the negotiations with South Carolina to a conclusion by rejecting South Carolina's demand that he relinquish Sumter. He thereby ended the "truce" established by Anderson and the governor at Charleston. For the remainder of his term, however, the President preserved the status quo. Although he agreed to have another Sumter relief expedition readied in New York, he refused to send it unless Anderson requested aid. With compromise efforts underway in both Congress and at the Peace Convention in Washington, and with the new Confederate government sending commissioners to negotiate with the federal government, Sumter appeared temporarily secure. Anderson was instructed to act on the defensive and avoid conflict.

By the end of Buchanan's presidency, therefore, no specific agreement or "truce" remained in effect in Charleston. Despite his vacillation on other matters, Buchanan held firm to the position that he would not abandon or sell Sumter. Both South Carolina and the Confederate government claimed the fort and insisted it be relinquished. But since both the Buchanan administration and the Confederacy were willing, for different reasons, to avoid an immediate confrontation at Sumter, the appearance of an understanding existed. In the words of Lincoln's biographers, Nicolay and Hay, "while Mr. Buchanan refused a truce in theory, he granted one in fact."

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Blood 'n Guts hisself, a land lovin' pirate. Show me some arty tubes and we'll charge 'em.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:19 am 
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December 27, 1860 Thursday
Maj. Anderson raised his flag on Fort Sumter and South Carolina troops occupied Castle Pinckney and Fort Moultrie at Charleston. The U.S. Revenue Cutter William Aiken surrendered to state forces. Georgia and Alabama offered troops to South Carolina if needed. In a conference with President Buchanan, a group of Southern representatives protested the shift of troops to Fort Sumter. According to one report, the President said it had been against his orders and policy. But he delayed taking any action on the request to return the garrison to Fort Moultrie. The Cabinet met frequently these last few days of December. Sec. of War Floyd strongly advocated removing the entire Federal garrison from Charleston Harbor, on grounds that Anderson had violated pledges of the government. Thompson (Sec. of Interior) sided with Floyd, while Holt (Postmaster General), Black (Sec. of State), and Stanton (Attorney General) opposed Floyd’s plan. Buchanan had been surprised by Maj. Anderson’s transfer and regretted it. He felt it would move other states to join South Carolina before compromise measures could be brought out of the Senate. Buchanan had been hopeful of confining secession to South Carolina.

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Blood 'n Guts hisself, a land lovin' pirate. Show me some arty tubes and we'll charge 'em.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:04 pm 
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December 28, 1860 Friday
President Buchanan received the commissioners of the state of South Carolina for the only time, and as “private gentlemen”. He could not recognize them as commissioners of a sovereign power. The commissioners declared they must have redress for the moving of Anderson’s force before entering upon negotiations. They insisted also upon withdrawal of all troops from Charleston. The commissioners pressed the President for a decision but he insisted upon time. Gen. Winfield Scott wrote the Sec. of War opposing evacuation of Fort Sumter and favoring sending reinforcements and supplies, along with armed vessels, to support the fort. President Buchanan was beginning to stiffen in his position. Cabinet meetings continued. Stanton and Floyd almost came to blows over Fort Sumter. Meanwhile, public meetings and the press were clamorous on all sides of the issues facing the nation.

From the Richmond Times Dispatch:

Guns for Southern forts — unnecessary excitement at Pittsburg, Pa.
Some of the citizens of Pittsburg were thrown into a great furors on Monday last, on hearing that the Secretary of War had ordered a certain number of guns to be sent from the U. S. Arsenal, near that city, to a couple of forts at the South. The Pittsburg Post says:

‘ As far as words were concerned, there was a most rebellious spirit manifested by the people on the streets, and there was plain talk of open resistance to the removal of any of the arms or ammunitions from the United States arsenal near this city, until it should be known what object was contemplated in this removal. The feeling of resistance to the movement was continued until late at night, and some of the Republicans actually seemed to think war, horrid war, was about to bristle in our midst.

’ The real facts of the case we took pains to ascertain. It seems that the United States has for some time past been constructing a couple of forts--one at Ship Island, below New Orleans, on the east side of the Mississippi, and the other at Galveston, Texas. These forts are now ready for the reception of the ordnance. Secretary Floyd has ordered a number of eight and two inch Columbiads, and some eighteen and twenty-four pounders to be transported from our Arsenal for the purpose of arming these forts. Thus we are informed by Major Smyington, who is commandant at the Arsenal, and Major Butler, the paymaster. The circumstance was not so unusual as to attract any particular attention with the military men of our city, but just now many of our citizens, even those with cool heads and calm judgment, look upon this order as inopportune at the present time, to say the least. The excitement which exists in regard to political matters seems to have been greatly increased by the news of this order.--Many persons talk loudly of preventing the removal of the ordnance, should it be attempted.

The steamer Silver Wave has been contracted with to carry the guns to their point of destination. The excitement on Monday evening on this subject was so great that telegraphic messages were sent to Washington by some of our leading citizens, Democrats as well as Republicans, making inquiries regarding this matter, and a public meeting in regard thereto was talked of.

The following are the numbers and weight of the guns ordered to be sent.
For the Fort on Ship Island:
24 10-inch Columbiads 15,200 lbs. Each 319,200 lbs.
24 8-inch Columbiads 9,210 lbs. Each 194,040 lbs.
4 32-pounder iron guns 7,250 lbs. Each 29,000 lbs.
Total 542,240 lbs.
For the Fort in Galveston harbor, Texas:
23 10-inch Columbiads 15,200 lbs. each 349,600 lbs.
48 8-inch Columbiads 9,240 lbs. each 443,520 lbs.
7 32-pounder iron guns 7,250 lbs. each 50,750 lbs.
Total 843,870 lbs.
Making a total of 1,386.110 lbs. or 693 tons in all.

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Blood 'n Guts hisself, a land lovin' pirate. Show me some arty tubes and we'll charge 'em.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:31 am 
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December 29, 1860 Saturday
Secretary of War Floyd Resigns
For some time it had been clear that Sec. of War John B. Floyd, former governor of Virginia, would have to leave the Cabinet. He had caused difficulty with his strong pro-Southern viewpoint in the South Carolina crisis and at the same time there had turned up as apparent defalcation of $870,000 of Indian-trust bonds in the Interior Department. For the bonds Floyd had substituted acceptances to various army contractors. There was a charge of attempting to ship heavy guns from Pittsburgh to the South and seeing to it that small arms reached the Southern arsenals. The facts and Floyd’s guilt, or lack of it, were then and still are debated. Historians long placed full blame on Floyd, partly because of his own later attitude, but other authorities then and now felt Floyd had simply been imprudent in the bond matter and had exaggerated his own role in allegedly helping the South obtain arms. At any rate, there was no longer any chance of is staying in the Cabinet. Buchanan had requested his resignation Dec. 23. Floyd’s proposal to remove Federal troops from Charleston had been about the last straw. He based his resignation letter on the refusal of the Administration to correct Anderson’s shifting of forts. As to the shipping of heavy guns from Pittsburgh, there seems some substantiation of Floyd’s guilt, but the plan was prevented after his resignation.

As the year ended, President-elect Lincoln was working on his Cabinet appointments, still greeting and talking with visitors, and denying any idea of compromise.

This is a letter that Maj. Anderson wrote on this day from Fort Sumter to 7 recipients in Charleston, including Gen. Beauregard:

My dear Sir :

No one will regret more deeply than I shall, should it prove true that the movement I have made has complicated rather than disembarrassed affairs. There is an unaccountable mystery in reference to this affair. I was asked by a gentleman within a day or two, if I had been notified by your Government that I would not be molested at Fort Moultrie, and when I replied that I had not been so notified, he remarked that he was glad to hear it, as it convinced him that I had acted in good faith, having just told him that I had not received such an intimation from my own Government. Now if there was such an understanding, I certainly ought to have been informed of it.

But why, if your Government thought that I knew of this agreement, was everything done which indicated an intention to attack ? Why were armed steamers kept constantly on the watch for my movements ? The papers say that I was under a panic. That is a mistake ; the moment I inspected my position I saw that the work was not defensible with my small command, and recommended, weeks ago, that we ought to be withdrawn. I remained, then, as long as I could under the fearful responsibility I felt for the safety of my command, and finally decided on Christmas morning that I would remove the command that day; and it would have been attempted that day if the weather had not proved inauspicious. Not a person of my command knew of my determination until that morning, and only on that day. The captains of the lighters are, I am sorry to see^ threatened by the Charlestonians for what they did. I do hope that they will not disgrace themselves by wreaking their wrath upon these men. They were employed to take the women and children, and food for them, to Port Johnson, and were as innocent in the matter as any one. Another lighter was filled with commissary stores for the workingmen here, and her captain certainly is not blamable for bringing them. Not a soldier came in either of these vessels except the married men with their wives for Fort Johnson, and there was not an arm of any kind permitted to be taken on board those boats. Only one person on board those boats knew that Fort Johnson was not their final destination, until the signal was given that the command was in Fort Sumter. My men were transferred in our own boats, and were all, with the exception of those attached to the hospital, in the fort before 8 o'clock. So much in exoneration of the captains

I regret that the Governor has deemed proper to treat us as enemies, by cutting off our communication with the city, permitting me only to send for the mails. Now this is annoying, and I regret it. We can do without going to the city, as I have supplies of provisions, of all kinds, to last my command about five months, but it would add to our comfort to be enabled to make purchases of fresh meats and so on, and to shop in the city. The Governor does not know how entirely the commerce and intercourse of Charleston by sea are in my power. I could, if so disposed, annoy and embarrass the Charlestonians much more than they can me. With my guns I can close the harbor completely to the access of all large vessels, and I might even cut off the lights, so as to seal the approach entirely by night. I do hope that nothing will occur to add to the excitement and bad feeling which exists in the city. No one has a right to be angry with me for my action. No one can tell what they would have done unless they were placed in the same tight place. . . . I write this note hurriedly, as I wish to acknowledge the receipt of your kind note, and to assure you that I am firmly convinced that, had you been in my place, and known no more of the political bearing of things than I did, you would have acted as I did.

I know that if my action was properly explained to the people of Charleston, they would not feel any excitement against me or my command.

Praying that the time may soon come, etc.,

Robert Anderson.

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Blood 'n Guts hisself, a land lovin' pirate. Show me some arty tubes and we'll charge 'em.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:46 pm 
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December 30, 1860 Sunday
South Carolina troops seized the Federal Arsenal, Post Office, and Custom House at Charleston, completing their occupation of all Federal property in the area except Fort Sumter. The Arsenal contained 70,000+ stand of arms, and other stores. This news further shocked Buchanan, who was threatened with even more Cabinet resignations unless he took additional pro-Union steps. He and his advisers were discussing the reply to the South Carolina commissioners. Sec. of State Black and Att. Gen. Stanton drafted a document of advice to the President. They pointed out that the President had denied the right of secession and therefore could not recognize the commissioners; negotiation over the Federal forts at Charleston was impossible and they could not be given up; the President had the right to defend those forts; there was no violation of orders by Anderson in moving his garrison; warships should be sent to Charleston. Gen. Scott again wrote the President asking permission to send 250 troops and arms and stores to Fort Sumter.

Simon Cameron, cabinet candidate from Pennsylvania, arrives in Springfield. He proceeds to Lincoln's residence, where he is received with Lincoln's "customary artless Western heartiness." Later they talk at Cameron's hotel, and are accidentally joined by Edward Bates.

“No human power can save the union, all the cotton states will go,” wrote Jefferson Davis.

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Blood 'n Guts hisself, a land lovin' pirate. Show me some arty tubes and we'll charge 'em.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:16 pm 
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December 31, 1860 Monday
President James Buchanan replied to the commissioners from South Carolina. He said it was his duty to have Congress define the relations between the Federal government and South Carolina. He denied any pledge to preserve the status of the forts, and, after all, the authorities of South Carolina had seized Fort Moultrie after Anderson left. He could not and would not withdraw troops from Charleston. The troops were merely defending what was left of Federal property. Postmaster General Joseph Holt was named acting Secretary of War to replace Floyd. Orders were issued by the President to the War and Navy departments that ships, troops, and stores were to sail for Fort Sumter.

The Senate Committee of Thirteen reported that they had not been able to reach any agreement on a general plan of adjustment or compromise. All the plans, the Crittenden Compromise, Seward’s proposal, and the many others, had been defeated in the committee. In fact, only the Crittenden plan had received serious study.

Sen. Judah P. Benjamin of Louisiana said of the compromise, “You do not propose to enter into our States, you say, and what do we complain of? You do not pretend to enter into our States to kill or destroy our institutions by force. Oh, no … You propose simply to close us in an embrace that will suffocate us … The day for atonement has passed … We desire, we beseech you, let this parting be in peace … you can never subjugate us; you can never convert the free sons of the soil into vassals, paying tribute to your power; and you never, never can degrade them to the level of an inferior and servile race. Never! Never ---“ Confusion in the galleries and loud applause.

In Springfield, Ill., Cameron's visit brings results, for President-elect Lincoln writes: "I think fit to notify you now, that by your permission, I shall, at the proper time, nominate you to the U.S. Senate, for confirmation as Secretary of the Treasury, or as Secretary of War—which of the two, I have not yet definitely decided." Lincoln also writes a note to Chase of Ohio, asking him to come to Springfield at once.

The year was ended, but the crisis remained, stark, apparently inevitable, and completely unsolved.

_________________
Gen Ned Simms
1/1/XIV Corps/AotC
Blood 'n Guts hisself, a land lovin' pirate. Show me some arty tubes and we'll charge 'em.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:43 pm 
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As the new year of 1861 begins
“The year begins with feelings of enmity & apprehensions,” wrote an Episcopal minister. At least the question that there would be serious trouble had been answered. South Carolina had seceded; the Federal government was opposing it, though hard put to determine what form that opposition would take. It was more than probable that other deep South states, at least, would follow South Carolina. Compromise was still looked for by many, but Congress had thus far failed; the President-elect opposed compromise. Neither side appeared willing to accept any real settlement. The basic issue of the crisis at this point had changed from a political one of the rights of the Southern states versus the greater power of the Northern states, and from such issues as expansion of slavery, to one of secession itself. While a few talked of armed conflict and there was a building up of state forces in Charleston Harbor, war did not yet appear inevitable, necessary, or even probable to most observers. It seemed unlikely that one state, or even a few, could oppose the might of the Federal government for long.

Several issues had been solved as the new year began, but their solution only made things darker. At Charleston Maj. Anderson was safe for the moment with his garrison at Fort Sumter, but time would run out unless he were reinforced or resupplied. In the harbor the state forces worked with great energy and none too great skill at building fortifications and readying Fort Moultrie for possible action. South Carolina was setting up a government as a sovereign power, complete with a Cabinet. Other states of the deep South were meeting, contemplating secession. Talk of a new Southern Confederacy was growing daily. In Washington Buchanan’s reorganized Cabinet was strengthening the President’s stand against secession, and troops and supplies were ordered to sail for Fort Sumter. Congress still debated possible compromises with little success. In Springfield, Ill., the President-elect was busy with Cabinet choices and the politics of organizing a new administration. At the same time, Mr. Lincoln, violently opposed to secession, was publicly silent, but privately writing that there should be no compromise over slavery expansion. South Carolina had broken the dam of events; now the waters would begin to rush.

January 1, 1861 Tuesday
New Year’s Day and gloomy in Washington. At the White House there was the usual reception, colorful and gay on the surface, but on the surface only. Southerners attending wondered if this was their farewell. Charles P. Stone was named Colonel of Staff and Inspector General of the District of Columbia. At Charleston preparations for war continued with organization of troops, night patrols, guarding of wharfs and vessels, and general mobilization.

On New Year's Day Georgians go to the polls to elect either a pro-Union or pro-Secession slate of delegates to a state convention to be held in Milledgeville. According to Gov. Brown the results are overwhelmingly pro-secession, however, later research by the Georgia Historical Society indicates that the returns were overstated in favor of the secessionists.

A pro-Union meeting in Parkersburg (now West Virginia) resolves that "secession is revolution."

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Blood 'n Guts hisself, a land lovin' pirate. Show me some arty tubes and we'll charge 'em.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:49 pm 
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January 2, 1861 Wednesday
The commissioners of South Carolina sent the President an arrogant letter replying to Buchanan’s rejection of their demands. “You have resolved to hold by force what you have obtained through our misplaced confidence, and by refusing to disavow the action of Major Anderson, have converted his violation of orders into a legitimate act of your executive authority.” They added. “If you choose to force this issue upon us, the State of South Carolina will accept it …” They said their mission was for peace and negotiation, but it had been rejected. The President read the letter at an important Cabinet meeting but declined to receive it officially due to its nature. Incensed, the almost entirely reorganized Cabinet agreed with the President that reinforcements should be sent to Fort Sumter. However, Gen. Scott preferred sending a fast merchant steamer with troops and supplies rather than a warship, as this would ensure secrecy and might be more successful. Buchanan reluctantly agreed. The U.S.S. Brooklyn had been ordered to be ready at Norfolk.

South Carolina troops seized old Fort Johnson in Charleston Harbor, no longer an active military base. It was reported in the press that President-elect Lincoln had received letters threatening violence at the inauguration.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:37 am 
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January 3, 1861 Thursday
Sen. Crittenden proposed to the Senate that his compromise plan, which never got out of committee, be submitted to a public referendum. This unusual idea received some support but Republicans were opposed. Congressmen from fourteen border and mid-South states met and appointed a committee to consider compromise plans. The South Carolina commissioners left Washington for Charleston, their mission a failure. The War Department canceled the order to remove guns from Pittsburgh to Southern forts; the order had been issued by former Sec. of War Floyd. Meanwhile, rumors spread of armed bands being organized to capture Washington.

Elsewhere, the Delaware legislature rejected proposals that their state join the South, after hearing from a Mississippi representative. There had been little doubt that Delaware would remain with the North. Delaware was technically a slave state, but the institution was rare by 1861. There were 20,000 blacks living there, but only 1,800 of them were slaves--Delaware was industrializing, and most of the commercial ties were with Pennsylvania. In 1790, 15 percent of Delaware's population was enslaved, but by 1850 that figure had dropped to less than three percent. In the state's largest city, Wilmington, there were only four bondsmen. Most of the slaves were concentrated in Sussex, the southernmost of the state's three counties The State Convention of Florida assembled at Tallahassee. Georgia state troops under the command of Francis “Frank” Bartow seized Fort Pulaski near the mouth of the Savannah River. A strong fort planned for a large garrison, Pulaski was manned only by an ordnance sergeant and a civilian. The state had decided to take over this important post before there was any danger of Federal occupation.

_________________
Gen Ned Simms
1/1/XIV Corps/AotC
Blood 'n Guts hisself, a land lovin' pirate. Show me some arty tubes and we'll charge 'em.
VMI Class of '00


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:57 pm 
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Location: USA
January 4, 1861 Friday
It was becoming the practice, now, for the deep Southern states to seize Federal forts and arsenals. The U.S. Arsenal at Mount Vernon, Ala. near Mobile was seized by Alabama State troops, on orders from Alabama Governor A. B. Moore. The Arsenal contained 20,000 arms, 1,500 barrels of gun powder (150,000 lbs.), several cannons, and a large amount of munitions.

Some citizens observed a fast day proclaimed earlier by President Buchanan.

Salmon P. Chase, prominent Republican from Ohio, arrived in Springfield at the invitation of Mr. Lincoln; the main subject, of course, was a discussion of Cabinet appointments.

South Carolina Convention appoints T. J. Withers, L. M. Keitt, W. W. Boyce, J. Chesnut, Jr., R. B. Rhett, Jr., R. W. Barnwell, and C. G. Memminger, delegates to the Southern Convention.

Delegates to the Florida Secession Convention met in Tallahassee on January 3rd to take up the question of secession. Edmund Ruffin of Virginia arrived on the 3rd to confer with Governor Madison Starke Perry and members of the convention. Governor Perry and his advisors on January 4 made the decision to seize Federal properties in Florida.

The U.S. Sec. of War had received the following report regarding the number of Federal arms located within the state of Florida:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the reference to this office of a letter from the honorable Messrs. Yulee and Mallory, of the Senate, dated 2d instant, and, in compliance with their request, to report that there is only one arsenal in the State of Florida, and that is one of deposit only. It is called Apalachicola Arsenal, and is situated near the town of Chattahoochee, at the junction of the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers. The arms, ammunition, &c. now at that post, are one 6-pounder iron gun and carriage, with 326 shot and canisters for the same, 57 flintlock muskets, 5,122 pounds of powder, 173,476 cartridges for small-arms, and a small quantity of different kinds of accouterments.

The ordnance and ordnance stores at the other military posts in Florida are as follows:

At Fort Barrancas. – Forty-four sea-coast and garrison cannon and 43 carriages, viz: Thirteen 8-inch columbiads and howitzers; two 10-inch mortars, and eleven 32, ten 24, five 18, and thre 19-pounder guns; 3,152 projectiles for the same; 20,244 pounds of powder, and 2,966 cartridge bags.

At Barrancas Barracks. – A field battery, consisting of four 6-pounder guns and two 12-pounder howitzers, with carriages, and six caissons, about 300 projectiles and 270 cartridge bags for the same.

At Fort Pickens. – Two hundred and one sea-coast and garrison cannon, viz: Four 10-inch columbiads and four 10-inch mortars, fifty 8-inch and flanking howitzers, and two 42, sixty-two 32, fifty-nine 24, six 18, and fourteen 12 pounder guns, and 128 carriages for the same; also 4,974 projectiles of all kinds; 3,195 grape-shot, loose; 500 24-pounder stands canister shot; 12,712 pounds of powder, and 1,728 cartridge bags.

At Fort Taylor. – Sixty sea-coast and garrison cannon, viz: Fifty 8-inch columbiads and ten 24-inch flanking howitzers, with caissons, and four 12-pounder field howitzers, mounted; 4,530 projectiles, suited to the guns; 34,459 pounds of powder; 2,826 cartridge bags; 962 priming tubes, and 759 cartridges for small arms.

At Fort McRee. – One hundred and twenty-five sea-coast and garrison cannon, including three 10-inch and twelve 8-inch columbiads; twenty-two 42, twenty-four 32 and sixty-four 24-pounder guns, with 64 gun carriages; 9,026 projectiles, and 1,258 stands of grape and canister, and 12,298 pounds of powder.

At Key West Barracks – Four 6-pounder field guns and carriages; 1,101 rounds of shot and other ammunition for the same; 171 pounds of powder; 158 cartridge bags; 538 priming tubes; 7 rifles, and 2,000 rifle cartridges.

At Fort Marion. – Six field batteries, of four 6-pounder guns and two 12-pounder howitzers, and twenty sea-coast and garrison cannon, viz: Four 8-inch howitzers and sixteen 32-pounder guns; also, six 6-pounder old iron guns, and 31 foreign guns of various calibers; 2,021 projectiles; 330 rounds of fixed ammunition; 873 priming tubes, and 931 pounds of powder. Also, 110 muskets, 103 rifles, 118 Hall’s carbines, 98 pistols, 147,720 cartridges for small-arms, and 15,000 percussion caps.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. MAYNADIER,
Captain of Ordnance.

_________________
Gen Ned Simms
1/1/XIV Corps/AotC
Blood 'n Guts hisself, a land lovin' pirate. Show me some arty tubes and we'll charge 'em.
VMI Class of '00


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:58 pm 
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Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Also on this date, 150 years ago....

....the report of the hiring of the vessel "Star of the West" to be used for a covert operation to supply men and arms to reinforce Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor:

"NEW YORK, January 4, 1861.

Lieutenant General WINFIELD SCOTT,
Washington, D. C.:

DEAR GENERAL: I had an interview with Mr. Schultz at 8 o'clock last evening, and found him to be, as you supposed, the commission, and together we visit Mr. M. O. Roberts. The latter looks exclusively to the dollars, whilst Mr. S. is acting for the good of his country. Mr. R. required $1,500 per day for tend days, besides the cost of 300 tons of coal, which I declined; but, after a long conversation, I became satisfied that the movement could be made with his vessel, the Star of the West, without exciting suspicion. I finally chartered her at $1,250 per day. She is running on the New Orleans route, and will clear for that port; but no notice will be put in the papers, and persons seeing the ship moving from the dock will suppose she is on her regular trip. Major Eaton, commissary of subsistence fully enters intro my views. He will see Mr. Roberts, hand him a list of the supplies with the places where they may be procured, and the purchases will be made on the ship's account. In this way no
public machinery will be used.

To-night I pass over to Governor's Island to do what is necessary, i.e., have 300 stand of arms and ammunition on the wharf, and 200 men ready to march on board Mr. Schultz's steam-tugs about nightfall to-morrow to go to the steamer, passing very slowly down the bay. I shall cut off all communication between the island and the cities until Tuesday morning, when I expect the steamer will be safely moored at Fort Sumter.

I have seen and conversed with Colonel Scott, and also saw your daughter at your house. After leaving you, I obtained the key of the outer door of the office, but could nowhere find the key of your door or of mine, so failed to get the chart. This is of little moment, as the captain of the steamer is perfectly familiar with the entrance of Charleston.

I telegraphed you this morning as follows:

Arrangements made as proposed; to leave to-morrow evening; send map.

I will now leave the office, where I am writing, to proceed to the island.

Very respectfully, General, your obedient servant,
L. THOMAS,
Assistant Adjutant-General."

Source: Official Records, Volume 1, pp 130-131

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1st Lt. Mark Gaff
Pennsylvania
Army of the Potomac
First Brigade/Second Division/I Corps


Webmaster of the Official Civil War Talk Radio website, Impediments of War; A Compendium of Civil War Talk Radio at http://www.impedimentsofwar.org/


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