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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day
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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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day
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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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 Dec 29, 2010 5:40 pm 
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This is good stuff. Interesting to see what was going on behind the scenes.

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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day
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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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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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 5:29 am 
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Ned,

I am enjoying the day by day account of the American Civil War. Thank you for posting this historical record and your efforts and diligence are to be commended. This is a monumental task for sure. Is it your intention to keep it running until April 2015?

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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:48 am 
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Tim, I'm glad that you're enjoying it. I'm sure that there will be burps along the way, but yes I intend to keep this up until at least April 2015. Even if no one else gets anything out of it, this is an enjoyable and educational task for me. There are going to be days though where I'm sick or my day is too busy or I ask myself "Did I do an ACW post yesterday?" and I'll catch up those days when they happen. I've been here for 11 years now so April 2015 doesn't sound too daunting to me.

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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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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:05 pm 
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General Simms <salute>

Ned, I too am enjoying your posts. Just chiming in to say thanks and I'll keep reading as long as you keep posting.

Take care,

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Edward C. Walthall Division (2nd aka "Gator Alley")
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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:39 pm 
I'm enjoying it also.....Course I'm hoping the South wins this time.....


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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day
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.

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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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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:45 pm 
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Hank did we loose last time :?: - if we did it is news to me :shock: :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:22 pm 
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The Confederacy has been and always will be in denial!

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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day
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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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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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day
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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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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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day
PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 8:01 pm 
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It makes for good, but sad reading - the slow but steady decent to war. What would have happened if war had been stopped :?:

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 Post subject: Re: The American Civil War, Day by Day
PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:09 pm 
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If the Civil War had never occurred it is unlikely that a National consciousness would have developed and the "State" would have been the focal point of one's loyalty. Remember Lee went with the South because he was loyal to his state. After the Civil War, this type of thinking was replaced with a loyalty for the Country as a whole. Slavery would have disappeared, I think, eventually but the racial attitudes would have persisted more strongly. It is also possible that a civil war would have occurred later anyway.

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