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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:42 am 
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No problem Mark - you're on target anyway.

January 5, 1861 Saturday
The merchant vessel Star of the West left New York for Fort Sumter with supplies and 250 troops. The ship had been substituted for the naval vessel Brooklyn.

Senators from Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, and Florida held a caucus in Washington, advising their states to secede and form a Southern Confederacy.

Meanwhile, the fear of attack in Washington had lessened due to defensive measures taken. Fort Washington, below the capital on the Maryland side of the Potomac, was garrisoned by a small force, 40 Marines from Washington Navy Yard under Captain Algernon S. Taylor, USMC.

The South Carolina Convention adjourned subject to recall. The senate of Missouri resolved that the Committee on Federal Relations report a bill calling for a state convention.

Alabama moved again. This time troops took possession of Forts Morgan and Gaines at the entrance to Mobile Bay, vital points for the protection of Mobile.

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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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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:28 pm 
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January 6, 1861 Sunday
The Apalachicola, Fla. Arsenal was taken by Florida troops, was added to the list of seized Federal properties. Gov. Madison S. Perry of Fla. had learned on Jan. 4 that authorities in Washington had sent a telegram ordering Ordnance Sergeant Edwin Powell and his three man garrison at the Apalachicola Arsenal in Chattahoochee to destroy the more than 5,000 pounds of gunpowder stored there. He decided to launch an immediate move against the facility before such action could be taken. He summoned Col. William Gunn of the 7th Regiment, Florida Militia, to Tallahassee from his home in Quincy and hand-delivered written orders for what would become the first military encounter of the Civil War in Florida:

Sir: Reposing special confidence in your patriotism, discretion and integrity, I hereby authorize and empower you to raise a company of picked men and proceed to the Apalachicola River and seize and possess the arsenal, arms, ammunition, buildings and other property now in the possession of the General Government, and retain the same subject to my orders. You are requested to act with secrecy and discretion. You are further authorized to call out the Seventh Regiment Florida Militia for all aid in its power to render that you may deem necessary to retain occupation of said arsenal.

Gunn immediately returned to Quincy where, early in the evening of the 5th (150 years ago today), he ordered out the Quincy Young Guards, a local militia company:

...Whereupon the drum was beat soon after supper, & the Young Guard with Gunn, Lieut. Col. Porter Scott, Col. Stockton, Gillis (advocate), Robt. Booth (Surgeon), went off in hacks, carriages &c....

The Young Guards would soon become Company G, 1st Florida Infantry (C.S.), but their departure from Quincy on the night of the 5th was distinctly non-military. They were armed, but went off riding in a variety of horse-drawn conveyances.

Their objective, the Apalachicola Arsenal, had been built on high ground near the confluence of the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers on the Florida-Georgia line in 1834-1839. It took its name from the Apalachicola River, which is formed by the convergence of the Chattahoochee and Flint, not the city of Apalachicola which is located downstream at the river's mouth.

The complex consisted of an armory, barracks, workshops, storage buildings, guard house and officer's quarters that surrounded a four-square acre parade ground. These were connected and surrounded by a 9-foot high and 30-inch thick brick wall that was pierced by gates at the centers of its east and west sides. In addition, two gunpowder magazines had been built a short distance away from the main quadrangle. For safety reasons, they were slightly away from the primary arsenal grounds.

The entire arsenal had been built using locally-manufactured bricks and was considered one of the finest pieces of construction in Florida. To protect the gunpowder, weapons and more than 173,000 prepared cartridges stored there, it was manned by an ordnance sergeant and three workmen.

Portions of the facility still survive today on the grounds of Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee. (hopefully continued tomorrow as this Florida Civil War blog posts its updates later)

A pro-Union mass meeting, like many on both sides, was held in Chicago. Mayor Fernando Wood of New York proposed that if the Union were dissolved New York should become a free city, trading with both North and South. Gov. Thomas H. Hicks of Maryland strongly opposed secession in a message to the people. Lincoln, in Springfield, was concerned about the possibility of having as a Cabinet member Simon Cameron, Pennsylvania politician with a somewhat unfavorable reputation in certain quarters.

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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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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:46 am 
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January 7, 1861 Monday
Fort Marion at St Augustine, taken by Florida troops, was added to the list of seized Federal properties. Most of these had been unmanned or, at best, occupied by an ordnance sergeant and/or caretaker. The Mississippi State Convention began deliberating at Jackson and the Alabama State Convention at Montgomery. It seemed only a matter of days before other “Gulf Squadron” states of the deep South would join South Carolina in secession. Gov. John Letcher of Virginia in a message to the legislature at Richmond criticized the action of South Carolina, but opposed allowing Federal troops to cross Virginia to coerce any Southern state. He called for a national convention. At Washington the House of Representatives passed a resolution approving Maj. Anderson’s shift from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter. A special session of the Tennessee legislature met to consider holding a secession convention.

The venerable John J. Crittenden spoke for his Compromise in the U.S. Senate. He saw wrong on both sides and strongly opposed secession. “I am for the Union; but, my friends, I must be also for the equal rights of my State under this great Constitution and in this great Union.” He proclaimed that residents of his state of Kentucky had as much right to take slaves into the territories as those who were opposed had a right to go without them.

Georgia Senator Robert Toombs gave his farewell speech to the U.S. Senate. In it, he warned that if northern states refused to grant southern states their constitutional rights, "We shall then ask you ’Let us depart in peace.’ Refuse that, and you present us war. We accept it; and inscribing upon our banners the glorious words, ’Liberty and Equality,’ we will trust in the blood of the brave and the God of Battles for security and tranquility."

Read the rest of the story on the seizure of the Apalachicola Arsenal at Chattahochee, Fla. at this excellent blog written by historian Dale Cox.
http://civilwarflorida.blogspot.com/201 ... icola.html

Union forces temporarily abandon Fort Fauntleroy, New Mexico Territory with Navajo Indian action nearby. 1st Lt W H Lewis led Company G 5th Infantry and Company A 10th Infantry into action with 4 Indians killed, 17 Indians captured. (Just for information purposes, there was a Capt. Nicodemus operating in the New Mexico Territory during this time period but there was no report of how scaly he was).

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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:26 pm 
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January 8, 1861 Tuesday
Sec. of the Interior Jacob Thompson of Mississippi, last Southerner in the Cabinet, resigned because of Buchanan’s policies. He felt, also, that he had been kept in the dark as to Fort Sumter plans. But Thompson and others, learning of the sailing of Star of the West, telegraphed Charleston she was coming. Chief Clerk Moses Kelly filled out the term as Acting Secretary of the Interior.

President Buchanan sent a depressing special message to Congress. He felt the present situation was beyond Executive control and he commended the question to Congress, saying, “let us pause at this momentous point and afford the people, both North and South, an opportunity for reflection….Let the question be transferred from the political assemblies to the ballot box,” before the crisis ended in war. He called for prompt action by Congress. He advocated the Compromise of Crittenden, dividing the territories along the old Missouri Compromise Line.

Alabama Convention receives Commissioner from South Carolina. North Carolina Senate Bill arming the State passes the North Carolina House: yeas 73, neas 26. Virginia Legislature passes anti-coercion resolution.

Governor Madison Starke Perry of Fla. ordered the occupation of Fort Clinch (Amelia Island) by Florida troops. He also authorized Colonel William Chase to seize the Federal forts at Pensacola if he can. At Pensacola, Fla., Federal troops fired during the night upon about twenty men who had approached Fort Barrancas. The party fled. In the Secession Convention, the Ordinance of Secession was introduced for debate. The efforts of George T. Ward of Leon County and Jackson Morton of Santa Rosa County to defer secession until Georgia and Alabama have seceded were defeated.

The story continues from the Florida Civil War blog with the seizure of Fort Marion, Fla. on the 7th:

The Apalachicola Arsenal having been successfully taken on the morning of the 6th, Florida's military forces wasted no time in moving against other military facilities in the state. The next facilities to fall were St. Francis Barracks and Fort Marion in St. Augustine.

Fort Marion was the name applied during the 19th and early 20th centuries to the Castillo de San Marcos, a massive Spanish fortification that is now a national monument on the waterfront of St. Augustine. Begun in 1670, the fortress is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. Although it was nearly 200 years old in 1861, it was still a U.S. Army installation.

The seizure took place on the morning of January 7, 1861, when a company of state militia appeared at the St. Francis Barracks, now the headquarters of the Florida National Guard, and took Ordnance Sergeant Henry Douglas into temporary custody. They demanded from him the keys to the fort and magazine:

I demanded them to show me their authority. An aide-de-camp of the governor showed me his letter of instructions authorizing him to seize the property, and directing him to use what force might be necessary.
Ordnance Sergeant Henry Douglas
January 7, 1861

Perhaps the most surprising part of the move by state forces to seize the Castillo is that the U.S. Army had knowledge of the plan at least four days earlier, but took no action either to prevent or even to alert Douglas to the possibility.

On January 3, 1861, when the George militia moved to seize Fort Pulaski at Savannah, Captain W.H.C. Whiting, then at Fort Clinch in Fernandina and commanding the forts along the Georgia and Florida Atlantic Coast, learned that a move was also afoot to seize the fort at St. Augustine:

On Saturday, 3d instant, the regular mail-boat from Fernandina to this place (i.e. Savannah), by which I intended to travel, was taken off line by the governor of Florida and ordered, as I was informed, to St. Augustine, with a force to seize the ordnance mounted in the water battery of Fort Marion for the purpose of arming Fort Clinch.
Captain W.H.C. Whiting, U.S. Engineers
January 7, 1861

Whiting, who would later become a Confederate general, did not write a report describing the situation until the 7th, the same day that the state troops appeared in St. Augustine. While state authorities had taken control of the telegraph lines and he could not send a wire through to Washington, he made no effort to warn the ordnance sergeant commanding in St. Augustine that something was afoot.

As a result, Douglas was taken by complete surprise. Faced with an overwhelming force, he could only submit:

Upon reflection I decided that the only alternative for me was to deliver the keys, under protect, and demand a receipt for the property. One thing certain, with the exception of the guns composing the armament of the water battery, the property seized is of no great value. The gentleman acting under the governor’s instructions has promised to receipt to me for the stores.
Ordnance Sergeant Henry Douglas
January 7, 1861

The Florida troops quickly took possession of the fort and, despite Whiting's claim to the contrary, seized an impressive quantity of military ordnance and supplies in the process. Included were four 8-inch guns in the water battery, sixteen older 32-pounders, six field batteries made up of twenty-four 6-pounders and two 12-pounders, more than 300 muskets, rifles and carbines, 931 pounds of gunpowder, 15,000 percussion caps and 147,720 fixed cartridges for small arms.

Later that day the Florida Secession Convention reconvened in Tallahassee and, after considerable debate, passed the following resolution by an overwhelming margin:

WHEREAS, All hope in the preservation of the Federal Union upon terms consistent with the safety and honor of the slaveholding States, has been finally dissipated by the recent indications of the strength of the anti-slavery sentiment of the free States; therefore, be it Resolved, By the People of the State of Florida in convention assembled, that as it is the undoubted right of the several States of the Federal Union, known as the United States of America, to withdraw from the said Union, at such time and for such cause or causes as in the opinion of the people of each State, acting in their sovereign capacity, may be just and proper, in the opinion of this Convention, the causes are such as to compel the State of Florida to proceed to exercise that right.

The state would secede from the Union three days later.

As President Buchanan reaches the final turning point of his Presidency and the upcoming American Civil War, it is worthwhile to take a look at who he was and how he got there. This is from Wikipedia:

James Buchanan, Jr. (April 23, 1791 – June 1, 1868) was the 15th President of the United States, from 1857 to 1861, and the last president to be born in the 18th century. He is the only president from Pennsylvania and the only president who was a life-long bachelor.

Buchanan was a popular and experienced state politician and a very successful attorney before his presidency. He represented Pennsylvania in the U.S. House of Representatives and later the Senate, and served as Minister to Russia under President Andrew Jackson. He also was Secretary of State under President James K. Polk. After turning down an offer for an appointment to the Supreme Court, he served as Minister to the United Kingdom under President Franklin Pierce, in which capacity he helped draft the controversial Ostend Manifesto.

After unsuccessfully seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 1844, 1848, and 1852, "Old Buck" was nominated in the election of 1856. Throughout most of Franklin Pierce's term he was stationed in London as a Minister to England and therefore was not caught up in the crossfire of sectional politics that dominated the country. Buchanan was viewed by many as a compromise between the two sides of the slavery question. His subsequent election victory took place in a three-man race with Fremont and Fillmore. As President, he was often called a "doughface", a Northerner with Southern sympathies, who battled with Stephen A. Douglas for the control of the Democratic Party. Buchanan's efforts to maintain peace between the North and the South alienated both sides, and the Southern states declared their secession in the prologue to the American Civil War. Buchanan's view of record was that secession was illegal, but that going to war to stop it was also illegal. Buchanan, first and foremost an attorney, was noted for his mantra, "I acknowledge no master but the law.”

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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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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day
PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:46 pm 
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January 9, 1861 Wednesday
Star of the West Fails To Relieve Fort Sumter
Mississippi Becomes Second State To Secede

At Jackson, Miss., the State Convention voted 84 to 15 to secede. Several opponents changed their votes when the overwhelming majority sentiment was expressed. A measure offered by a Whig anti-secessionist to attempt to settle things within the Union had been previously rejected 78 to 21. As the vote to secede passed, “A great wave of excitement swept the audience, and grave and dignified men, swayed by a common impulse, joined in the deafening applause. In an instant the hall was a scene of wild tumult” and outside a shout went up. An immense blue silk banner with a single white star was carried through the crowd. This flag was said to have inspired the patriotic song of the South, “Bonnie Blue Flag.” Comedian Harry Macarthy composed the verses. A second state had joined South Carolina.

At Charleston the scene was different. About midnight of Jan. 8 Star of the West arrived off Charleston Harbor with men and supplies for Fort Sumter. At daylight the vessel under Capt. John McGowan crossed the bar and steamed up the main channel toward the fort. A steamer ahead of them fired rockets and signal lights. About a mile and three fourths from Forts Sumter and Moultrie a masked battery on the north end of Morris Island opened upon the Federal vessel. Most of the shots missed, but a ricochet struck in the fore-chains. Lieut. Charles R. Woods, commanding the troops on Star of the West, said that, being unable to get to the fort, they had to turn about before they were cut off. The vessel pulled out of the harbor undamaged, and headed back for New York.

The first shots had been fired in Charleston Harbor and many considered them the first serious shots of the war, though there was actually no war yet. The flag on Star of the West was answered by running up the garrison flag at Fort Sumter. The men manned the parapets, ready for action. Some officers at the fort were incensed that Maj. Anderson did not let them fire; there was chagrin that the relief ship had turned away so readily. But the officers varied in their opinions. Anderson did protest to Gov. Pickens the firing of two batteries, Morris Island and Fort Moultrie, upon an unarmed vessel bearing the U.S. flag. Pickens replied that the sending of reinforcements would be considered a hostile act as South Carolina was independent now, and that attack must be repelled. Anderson immediately sent messages north. Charleston itself was in an uproar; it seemed for a moment that real war had come and many people welcomed it. But when it was over Fort Sumter was still in Federal hands and the problem remained much as it had been, only more agitated.

Thirty Marines from Washington Navy Yard under First Lieutenant Andrew J. Hays, USMC, garrisoned Fort McHenry, Baltimore, until U.S. Army troops could relieve them.

Virginia Legislature passes a resolution asking that the status quo be maintained.

Federal troops in Pensacola make ready to defend Federal forts against confiscation by Florida troops. In Tallahassee, the final debate on the Ordinance of Secession concludes in late afternoon. Delegates agree to postpone a final vote until tomorrow.

An Alabama statewide convention was secretly in session and voted to go open session with their proceedings.

Fort Johnson, N.C. was seized by citizens of Smithville.

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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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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:00 am 
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January 10, 1861 Thursday
Florida Is Third State To Secede

At Tallahassee the Florida State Convention passed an ordinance of secession 62 to 7. The convention had been called by the governor and legislature shortly after Lincoln's election in November. Voters went to the polls on December 22, and elected a large majority of immediate secessionists. However, those opposed to immediate secession, called cooperationists, constituted roughly between 36 percent and 43 percent of the voters, and accounted for twenty-seven delegates as compared to forty-two immediate secessionists. The convention assembled in Tallahassee in early January 1861, and on January 10, adopted the ordinance of secession by an overwhelming vote when the bulk of the cooperationists went over to the secessionists. Two Federal forts had already been seized and passage was expected; Florida was the third of the United States to depart. This same day the Federal garrison was transferred from Barrancas Barracks at Pensacola to Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island in the harbor. Lieut. A.G. Slemmer had been expecting attack at Barrancas, where prowlers had been about. He immediately began to put Fort Pickens in defensive shape, anticipating assault even there.

Maj. Anderson at Fort Sumter was told by Washington to act strictly on the defensive but to defend his position, as preparations of a military nature and great agitation continued at Charleston in wake of the Star of the West incident.

In Louisiana state troops seized the U.S. Arsenal and Barracks at Baton Rouge and Forts Jackson and St. Philip, strategically located on the Mississippi River below New Orleans near the river mouths as well as Fort Pike on Lake Ponchartrain. The Arsenal contained 50,000 small arms, 4 howitzers, 20 heavy pieces of ordinance, 2 batteries, and 300 barrels of gun powder.

Citizens of Wilmington, N.C., occupied Fort Caswell, a move repudiated a few days later by authorities as was the seizure of Fort Johnston yesterday by citizens of Smithville.

William H. Seward accepted the post of Secretary of State in the Cabinet being formed; it had long been expected he would be a major figure in the Lincoln Administration.

Warning that the nation was being carried into war, Sen. Jefferson Davis of Mississippi called upon the Senate to act. “Senators, we are rapidly drifting into a position in which this is to become a Government of the Army and Navy in which the authority of the United States is to be maintained, not by law, not by constitutional agreement between the States, but by physical force; and you will stand still and see this policy consummated?” If secession was necessary, it was a quarrel not of the South’s making and if allowed to separate peacefully, there need be no difficulty.

Mrs. Lincoln, accompanied by brother-in-law, Clark M. Smith, and former Cong. Tuck (N.H.), leaves for New York to make purchases for White House.

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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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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:49 pm 
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January 11, 1861 Friday
Alabama Secedes From The Union

A fourth state departed from the United States. By vote of 61 to 39 the Alabama State Convention in Montgomery adopted an ordinance of secession, joining South Carolina, Mississippi, and Florida. The vote against secession was considerably larger than in previous votes of other states, but many of those who felt bound in principle to oppose secession stated that now that the issue had been decided they would support their state. There had been considerable debate in the convention, especially over a proposed referendum. Northern Alabama, particularly, had strong pockets of anti-secession sentiment. But again, as elsewhere, that night in Montgomery the streets were crowded, rockets blazed, firecrackers popped, and people shouted. The Southern Cross and the Lone Star were the emblems of the time, displayed in illuminated transparencies.

South Carolina again demanded the surrender of Fort Sumter and was summarily refused by Maj. Anderson. Louisiana troops took possession of the U.S. Marine Hospital two miles below New Orleans. In the North the legislature of New York adopted strong pro-Union resolutions. Staunch unionist John A. Dix of New York was appointed Secretary of the Treasury to succeed Philip F. Thomas.

To Republican Congressman James T. Hale of Pennsylvania, President-elect Lincoln wrote that the had won an election and “Now we are told in advance, the government shall be broken up, unless we surrender to those we have beaten, before we take the offices.” He added, “if we surrender, it is the end of us, and of the government.”

Mass meetings continued North and South. Former Sec. of War Floyd in Richmond urged opposition to coercion, while a Federal judge in Mobile announced from the windows of his courtroom that the U.S. Court for the South District of Alabama was “adjourned forever.”

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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:55 pm 
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January 12, 1861 Saturday
Mississippi representatives in Congress withdrew from the House, while back home artillery was ordered to Vicksburg to help control shipping on the Mississippi. Star of the West arrived in New York after its failure at Charleston. Florida state troops took over the Barrancas Barracks, Fort Barrancas, Fort McRae, and the Pensacola Navy Yard, commanded by Captain James Armstrong, USN. Union troops escaped across the Bay to Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island, a position which remained in Union hands throughout the war. At the same time the Florida state troops demanded the surrender of Fort Pickens, which was refused. Tennessee passes a Convention Bill to consider secession.

Senator Seward of New York in an important address in the Senate said, “The alarm is appalling; for the Union is not more the body than liberty is the soul of the nation…. A continuance of the debate on the constitutional power of Congress over the subject of slavery in the Territories will not save the Union. The Union cannot be saved by proving that secession is illegal or unconstitutional.” He dreaded civil war and added, “I do not know what the Union would be worth if saved by the use of the sword.” He proposed that slavery be left alone where it existed and under control of the states, but opposed slavery in the territories. The Ohio legislature pledged its support to the Union. An abolitionist meeting in Rochester, N.Y., was broken up by pro-Union sympathizers.

In letter to Sen. Seward (N.Y.) Lincoln reveals that he is trying to get at least one Southerner in cabinet; also informs him that there is "scarcely any objection" to him as secretary of state, but that there will be trouble over "every other Northern cabinet appointment."

And free enterprise continued to thrive as the following article appeared in the Arkansas Gazette:

Attention Militia!!
Patronise Home Manufacture. The undersigned is now manufacturing Military Drums, Bass and Tenor, of the very best quality and fine finish at Rockport, Arkansas. Orders for Drums will be filled as quick as possible. Prices reasonable.
H.C. Ward
Rockport, Ark., Jan. 12, 1861

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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:55 pm 
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January 13, 1861 Sunday
Gov. Pickens of South Carolina asked Washington for $3000 due him as former Minister to Russia; the Treasury sent him a draft on the Charleston Subtreasury, already taken over by the state.

Two envoys arrived in Washington. One, Lieut. J. Norman Hall, carried messages from Maj. Anderson regarding the demand for the surrender of Fort Sumter and Anderson’s refusal. The other, J.W. Hayne, Attorney General of South Carolina, represented the governor and demanded surrender of the fort. Thus there seemed to be a sort of temporary truce set up between Anderson and Gov. Pickens, until Anderson could get further instructions. This truce embarrassed Buchanan, but he later claimed this arrangement ended Feb. 5 with Washington informing the South Carolina commissioner that Fort Sumter would not be surrendered under any circumstances. Each side appeared to misunderstand the other in this matter.

At Pensacola, Fla., shots from the Federal garrison in Fort Pickens forced a Confederate reconnaissance detachment to abandon their effort to reconnoiter the area around the fort.

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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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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:46 pm 
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January 14, 1861 Monday
The House of Representatives Committee of Thirty-three, like the Senate Committee of Thirteen, was unable to agree on any compromise proposals. In fact, they were unwilling to act for or against. Finally Chairman Thomas Corwin of Ohio was authorized to report the main proposals to the House. On Jan. 14 Corwin submitted a proposed constitutional amendment which would protect slavery where it existed, and rule out any other amendment concerning slavery except by approval of the slaveholding states. Also he proposed repeal of the personal liberty laws, and execution of the fugitive slave laws, but urged admitting fugitive slaves to jury trials. Others of the committee opposed this report. Little came of it except that the amendment protecting slavery was passed by Congress but never ratified by the states.

Louisiana state troops seized Fort Pike, La., near New Orleans.

South Carolina Legislature declares that any attempt to reinforce Fort Sumter would be considered an open act of hostility and a declaration of war. The Legislature also approves the Governor's action in firing on the Star of the West.

Virginia Assembly approves a convention to consider secession.

Federal troops garrisoned Fort Taylor at Key West, Fla., in a move that perhaps prevented seizure, and provided the Union with a vital base for supplying and coaling blockaders and other vessels throughout the war. Without such bases on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, the blockade and many military operations would have been impossible.

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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 1:02 am 
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January 15, 1861 Tuesday
Demands that Fort Pickens be surrendered to Florida were refused by the Federal commander once more. Talk was increasing throughout the South of a new confederation of Southern states and plans were being laid for a convention.

Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston, 2nd US Cavalry, Brevet Brigadier General , USA, assumes command of the Department of the Pacific

"When Mrs. Lincoln was on her way home from New York, attended by her son Robert, she found herself at Buffalo, without a pass over the State Line Railroad; no provisions had been made for that part of her trip from New York City to Springfield. After Mrs. Lincoln had taken her seat at Buffalo Bob entered the office of R. N. Brown, esq., the superintendent of the State Line Railroad, and said: 'My name is Bob Lincoln; I'm a son of Old Abe—the old woman is in the cars raising h-ll about her passes—I wish you would go and attend to her.' Mr. Brown allowed Mrs. Lincoln and Bob to ride over his railroad free of charge."

Missouri Senate passes Convention Bill: yeas 31, neas 2. The Missouri House also passed the Convention Bill.

The Story of the Occupation of Fort Taylor in Key West, Fla. by Union Forces:

As news of the secession of Florida and the seizures of forts and other facilities by state troops drifted into the island city of Key West, concern grew among the military officers there that an attempt might be made by secessionist forces on Fort Taylor.

Started in 1845 as a defense for the harbor at Key West, Fort Taylor was designed to mount three tiers of artillery and the original structure towered over the harbor. Still under construction by 1861, it was nearing completion. The engineer in charge of the project, Captain E.B. Hunt, had assembled a force of 60 workmen who were loyal to the Union and pledged to defend the fort, as well as 20 artillerymen who had come into the work to drill on artillery.

On January 12th, however, Hunt requested Captain J.M. Brannan of the First U.S. Artillery who was stationed at the nearby Key West Barracks to take military command of the fort in order to prepare for its defense. Brannan moved his small force of men into the fort on January 14, 1861, 150 years ago today:

In consequence of the secession of this State and the seizure of the forts and arsenals in other Southern States, I have moved my command to fort Taylor, and shall defend it to the last moment against any force attempting to capture it. I have four months’ provisions and 70,000 gallons water, but we cannot stand a siege against any organized army, and therefore should be re-enforced immediately. - Captain J.M. Brannan, U.S. Army, January 15, 1865.

The move by Brannan came before state troops could move to occupy Fort Taylor and assured that the fort would remain in Union hands for the duration of the war. Captain Hunt and his men had already mounted 60 guns in the fort before Brannan's company moved in and the fort had become impregnable for all practical purposes.

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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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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:18 pm 
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January 16, 1861 Wednesday
The Crittenden Compromise was effectually killed in the U.S. Senate. The Senate adopted a resolution that the Constitution “needs to be obeyed rather than amended.” Six Southern Senators who refused to vote and the votes of Republicans defeated Crittenden once more. Had these southern Democrats voted, there would have been a majority to take up the proposal. For most of the month the Senate had been debating compromise in general with many fine words, many ideas, and some heat, but no working conclusion had been reached.

The Arkansas legislature completed a bill calling for a referendum on secession.

Georgia’s secession convention assembled in Milledgeville.

L. J. Fleming, Superintendent of the Mobile & Ohio Railroad, has offered Gov. Pettus, of Mississippi, the free use of the entire line for the transportation of troops, arms, &c.

A crowd of about 4,000 met at National Hall in Philadelphia to demonstrate for a peaceful resolution to the secession crisis. The meeting passed resolutions that favored states" rights, the Crittenden Compromise, and other concessions to the South. The twelfth resolution, included below, was much more drastic.

Resolved, That in the deliberate judgement of the Democracy of Philadelphia, and, so far as we know it, of Pennsylvania, the dissolution of the Union by the separation of the whole South , a result we shall most sincerely lament, may release this Commonwealth from the bonds which now connect her with the Confederacy except so far as for temporary convenience she chooses to submit to them, and would authorize and require her citizens through a Convention to be assembled for that purpose, to determine with whom her lot should be cast, whether with the North and East, whose fanaticism has precipitated this misery upon us, or with her brethren of the South, whose wrongs we feel as our own, or whether Pennsylvania should stand by herself, as a distinct community ready when occasion offers to bind together the broken Union, and resume her place of loyalty and devotion.

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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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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:03 pm 
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January 17, 1861 Thursday
Lincoln announces selection of Judge Edward Bates of Missouri and Sen. Seward (N.Y.) for cabinet. No further selections will be made until he arrives in Washington.

Due to light news today, a couple of interesting tid bits are offered instead:

On this day, the flush toilet was patented by Mr. Thomas Crapper (didn’t make this up).


The Death of Countess Lola Montez

We lost perhaps the most notorious personage ever to grace the streets of San Francisco.
I speak, of course, of Countess Lola Montez . Yes, that’s the one — “whatever Lola wants, Lola gets”.

You already know Lola’s story, of course. You don’t? The breathtakingly gorgeous Irish peasant girl with the soul of a grifter and the heart of a despot? How she — with a few sexy dance steps, a fraudulent back story involving Spanish noble blood and the claim of Lord Byron as her father — turned Europe upside down and provoked a revolution in Bavaria?

Still doesn’t ring a bell, hmm? Well, Lola’s whole story is a little too large for this space. She’d already lived about three lifetimes’ worth of adventure — and burned through romances with personalities from King Ludwig the First to Sam Brannan — before conquering Gold Rush-era San Francisco with her scandalous “Spider Dance”.

After her European escapades, Lola found that freewheeling San Francisco suited her tempestuous eccentricity to a T. Brandishing the title of “Countess” — a Bavarian souvenir — she drank and caroused and became the absolute center of the young city’s attention.

It’s said that men would come pouring out of Barbary Coast saloons to gawk at the raven-haired vision sashaying through the mud with a pair of greyhounds at her heels, a white cockatoo perched on one shoulder, and a cigar cocked jauntily from her lips … and do I even need to mention her pet grizzly bears?

Though Lola possessed perhaps the biggest personality in a larger-than-life city, it may be that her greatest contribution to San Francisco culture came after she retired to a small cottage in the Sierra Nevada. It was there that she taught a tiny red-haired neighbor girl to dance. Little Lotta Crabtree would grow up to be the most acclaimed and beloved performer in San Francisco history, eventually becoming the darling of the entire country — a genuine Gilded Age superstar.

Meanwhile, Lola Montez unsurprisingly tired of the quiet mountain life, emerging from retirement and relocating to New York City. Lola spent the last years of her life back East, giving lectures, writing advice books, still dancing, and then at the very last moment finding religion.

On January 17, 1861, Lola Montez — born “Elizabeth Rosanna Gilbert” from County Sligo — died of pneumonia in a New York apartment. In her own words “always notorious, never famous”, the Countess had a pretty good run.

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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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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day
PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:39 pm 
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January 18, 1861 Friday
President Buchanan named Joseph Holt of Kentucky as Secretary of War to succeed John B. Floyd, who had resigned under fire. Holt, a strong supporter of the Union, had been Postmaster General and effective in bolstering the President’s position.

The U.S. Army garrisoned Fort Jefferson on Dry Tortugas, Fla., off Key West. Though not as useful as Key West, the fort became famous as a prison for political prisoners during the Civil War.

Florida again requested the surrender of Fort Pickens and again was turned down.

The legislature of Massachusetts offered the President aid in men and money in order to maintain the authority of the nation.

At Georgia’s secession convention, former state supreme court justice Eugenius Nisbet introduced a resolution calling for Georgia’s secession from the Union and cooperating with the other seceded states to form a "Southern Confederacy." Nisbet also moved that a committee be appointed to draft articles of secession. Former governor Herschel Johnson offered a substitution resolution calling on southern states to send delegates to a congress to be held Feb. 16, 1861 in Atlanta to decide on a joint course of action. According to the substitute resolution, essential elements for Georgia remaining in the Union included: Congress taking no action to abolish or prohibit slavery in the territories, return of fugitive slaves, prosecution of anyone rescuing slaves, protection of slave property in the territories, admission of states as free or slave as determined by the residents of the state, and no blacks being allowed to hold federal office. Johnson’s resolution failed, and that of Nisbet adopted (yeas 165, neas 130). Following the vote, Nisbet was named to chair the committee to draft a secession ordinance for Georgia.

Confederates (I assume Alabama state troops) seized U.S. lighthouse tender Alert at Mobile, Alabama.

Florida appoints delegates to Southern Congress at Montgomery, Alabama.

Virginia appropriates $1,000,000 for the defense of the State.

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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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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:26 pm 
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January 19, 1861 Saturday
Georgia Convention Passes Ordinance Of Secession

Georgia became the fifth state to depart from the Union as its State Convention in Milledgeville voted 208 to 89 in favor of an ordinance of secession. Prior to the election of Lincoln it appeared that a majority of Georgians favored the Union to some extent. But the election, the secession of South Carolina and other deep South states had swayed many. There still, however, was a strong moderate group led by Alexander H. Stephens, Herschel V. Johnson, and Benjamin H. Hill opposing secession. Such men as Howell Cobb, Thomas R. R. Cobb, and Francis S. Bartow led the secessionists. Again the great throng outside the hall, the thundering cannon, the illumination at night, and the cheers. Moves to postpone placing the ordinance into effect were defeated. But despite the celebration there were many, particularly from the uplands and interior, who doubted the wisdom of the step.


AN ORDINANCE

TO DISSOLVE THE UNION BETWEEN THE STATE OF GEORGIA AND OTHER STATES UNITED WITH HER UNDER A COMPACT OF GOVERNMENT ENTITLED "THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

We, the people of the State of Georgia, in Convention assembled, do declare and ordain, and it is hereby declared and ordained,

That the ordinance adopted by the people of the State of Georgia in Convention, on the second day of January, in the year of our Lord seventeen hundred and eighty-eight, whereby the Constitution of the United States of America was assented to, ratified and adopted; and also all acts and parts of acts of the General Assembly of this State ratifying and adopting amendments of the said Constitution, are hereby repealed, rescinded and abrogated.

We do further declare and ordain, That the Union now subsisting between the State of Georgia and other States, under the name of the "United States of America," is hereby dissolved, and that the State of Georgia is in the full possession and exercise of all those rights of sovereignty which belong and appertain to a free and independent State.

GEORGE W. CRAWFORD,
President.
Attest: A. R. LAMAR, Secretary.
Passed January 19, 1861.


While the Mississippi legislature called for a convention of representatives from the seceding states, the Virginia General Assembly passed a resolution inviting the states to send representatives to a peace convention in Washington Feb. 4, and Tennessee invited slaveholding states to another convention. The Virginia peace convention was intended to explore ways of averting war, and its chosen day of assembling was selected to coincide with the convening of the secessionist states at Montgomery, Alabama. Virginia Legislature also passes a resolution that if all efforts to reconcile the differences of the country fail, every consideration of honor and interest demands that Virginia shall unite her destinies with her sister slaveholding States. Also that no reconstruction of the Union can be permanent or satisfactory which would not secure to each section self-protecting power against any invasion of the Federal Union upon the reserved rights of either.

Tennessee votes to hold a secessionist election.

Mississippi state troops take Ft. Massachusetts and Ship Island.

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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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