RE: Civil War 150th (Full Version)

All Forums >> [General] >> General Discussion


Capt. Harlock -> RE: Civil War 150th (4/8/2011 8:23:34 PM)

150 Years Ago Today:

The special messenger arrived in Charleston, and gave his missive to Governor Pickens. It read:

"I am directed by the President of the United States to notify you to expect an attempt will be made to supply Fort Sumter with provisions only, and that if such attempt be not resisted, no effort to throw in provisions, arms, or ammunition will be made without further notice, or in case of an attack upon the fort."

Pickens evidently recognized it as a game-changer, for he lost no time in passing the buck to President Davis in Montgomery. (Already the effect of the telegraph was being felt.) Now, if the Confederacy opened fire on the relief fleet, they would be considered in the all-important court of public opinion as the aggressors -- as having fired on "food for hungry men". But, if the relief supplies arrived, it would look like the South was prepared to tolerate the Union holding a fort in the middle of Charleston harbor indefinitely.

Davis was now the one on the horns of the dilemma. He scheduled a cabinet meeting for the very next day to make a decision.

Capt. Harlock -> RE: Civil War 150th (4/9/2011 4:20:28 PM)

Back on January 24th, The Charleston Mercury had editorialized:

Border southern States will never join us until we
have indicated our power to free ourselves—until we
have proven that a garrison of seventy men cannot
hold the portal of our commerce … The fate of the
Southern Confederacy hangs by the ensign halliards
of Fort Sumter.

And it had proven entirely true. The meeting of the Confederate cabinet on April 9 was marked by passionate arguments on both sides. Surprisingly, Secretary of State Robert Toombs argued against an attack on Fort Sumter. He had been a famous "fire-eater" (a speaker supporting slavery in strong words) during the troubled decade of the 1850's. But now he made an eloquent plea for peace:

"Mr. President, at this time it is
suicide, murder, and will lose us every friend at the North.
You will wantonly strike a hornet's nest which extends from mountain
to ocean, and legions now quiet will swarm out and sting us to
death. It is unnecessary; it puts us in the wrong; it is fatal."

But the other side carried the day. The Confederacy was not likely to thrive with only seven states, and there were strong rumors that some of them would accept Lincoln's policy of "voluntary reconstruction" and quietly merge back into the Union. A messenger boy was sent across the street to the telegraph office with Davis' orders: take Fort Sumter, preferably before the arrival of the relief fleet, which was due on April 12.

DTurtle -> RE: Civil War 150th (4/9/2011 5:38:11 PM)

Very nice work Capt Harlock.

There is a blog at the NY Times doing a similar thing: An entry for every day that started October 30 last year. Well worth a read as well.

Capt. Harlock -> RE: Civil War 150th (4/10/2011 6:48:13 PM)

150 Years Ago Today:

Roger Pryor, formerly a Congressman and still a prominent Virginian, had gotten disgusted with the Secession Convention's refusal to act. Now he had traveled to Charleston, and he gave an impromptu speech to the people, ending with a stirring call to action:

"...they whisper of reconstruction, and they say Virginia must abide in the Union, with the idea of reconstructing the Union which you have annihilated. I pray you,gentlemen,rob them of that idea. Proclaim to the world that upon no condition, and under no circumstance, will South Carolina ever again enter into political association with the Abolitionists of New England.
Do not distrust Virginia. As sure as to-morrow's sun will rise upon us, just so sure will Virginia be a member of this Southern Confederation. And I will tell you, gentlemen, what will put her in the Southern Confederation in less than an hour by Shrewsbury clock—STRIKE A BLOW ! The very moment that blood is shed, old Virginia will make common cause with her sisters of the, South. It is impossible she should do otherwise."

Capt. Harlock -> RE: Civil War 150th (4/11/2011 4:00:12 PM)

Charleston, S. C., April 11, 1861.

SIR: The Government of the Confederate States has hitherto forborne from any hostile demonstration against Fort Sumter, in the hope that the Government of the United States, with a view to the amicable adjustment of all questions between the two Governments, and to avert the calamities of war, would voluntarily evacuate it.
There was reason at one time to believe that such would be the course pursued by the Government of the United States, and under that impression my Government has refrained from making any demand for the surrender of the fort. But the Confederate States can no longer delay assuming actual possession of a fortification commanding the entrance of one of their harbors, and necessary to its defense and security.
I am ordered by the Government of the Confederate States to demand the evacuation of Fort Sumter. My aides, Colonel Chesnut and Captain Lee, are authorized to make such demand of you. All proper facilities will be afforded for the removal of yourself and command, together with company arms and property, and all private property, to any post in the United States which you may select. The flag which you have upheld so long and with so much fortitude, under the most trying circumstances, may be saluted by you on taking it down. Colonel Chesnut and Captain Lee will for a reasonable time, await your answer.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Commanding at Fort Sumter, Charleston Harbor, S.C.

FORT SUMTER, S. C., April 11, 1861.

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication demanding the evacuation of this fort, and to say, in reply thereto, that it is a demand with which I regret that my sense of honor, and of my obligations to my Government, prevent my compliance. Thanking you for the fair, manly, and courteous terms proposed, and for the high compliment paid me,

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Major, First Artillery, Commanding.

Commanding Provisional Army.

Charleston, S.C., April 11, 1861.

SIR: In obedience to the orders of Brigadier-General Beauregard, we left headquarters at 2.20 p.m., charged with a communication from him to Major Anderson, at Fort Sumter, in which we were authorized to demand the evacuation of the fort. We arrived there at 3.45 p.m., under a white flag. Lieutenant Davis, the officer of the day, received us very politely, and on being informed that we had a message in writing for Major Anderson which we desired to deliver in person to the officer in command of the fort, conducted us into the presence of Major Anderson. We were welcomed by the major with great courtesy, who, after receiving and reading our communication, left us to consult with his officers. About 4.30 he again joined us, bringing his reply, the contents of which he stated to us, after which, and but a short time before departing, we held a short conversation with him, in the course of which he made the following remarks: “Gentlemen, if you do not batter the fort to pieces about us, we shall be starved out in few days.” These words, under the circumstances, seemed to have much significance, and to be of sufficient importance to induce us to report them particularly. We took leave of Major Anderson and the fort at 4.40 p.m., and reached the city at 5.10 p.m. We verbally reported immediately at headquarters the substance of what is written above.

All of which is respectfully submitted for the information of the brigadier-general commanding.

Captain C. S. Army, Aide-de-Camp.
Lieutenant-Colonel and Aide-de-Camp.

Charleston, S.C., April 11, 1861.

MAJOR: In consequence of the verbal observation made by you to my aides, Messrs. Chesnut and Lee, in relation to the condition of your supplies, and that you would in a few days be starved out if our guns did not batter you to pieces, or words to that effect, and desiring no useless effusion of blood, I communicated both the verbal observations and your written answer to my communications to my Government.
If you will state the time at which you will evacuate Fort Sumter, and agree that in the mean time you will not use your guns against us unless ours shall be employed against Fort Sumter, we will abstain from opening fire upon you. Colonel Chesnut and Captain Lee are authorized by me to enter into such an agreement with you. You are, therefore, requested to communicate to them an open answer.

I remain, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Commanding Fort Sumter, Charleston Harbor, S.C.

vonRocko -> RE: Civil War 150th (4/11/2011 6:28:49 PM)

Good stuff, thanks Capt.Harlock. I would love to be in Charleston tomorrow, to celebrate "independence" day![:)]

Capt. Harlock -> RE: Civil War 150th (4/12/2011 5:16:30 AM)

Fort SUMTER, S.C., April 12, 1861.

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt by Colonel Chesnut of your second communication of the 11th instant, and to state in reply that, cordially uniting with you in the desire to avoid the useless effusion of blood, I will, if provided with the proper and necessary means of transportation, evacuate Fort Sumter by noon on the 15th instant, and that I will not in the mean time open my fires upon your forces unless compelled to do so by some hostile act against this fort or the flag of my Government by the forces under your command, or by some portion of them, or by the perpetration of some act showing a hostile intention on your part against this fort or the flag it bears, should I not receive prior to that time controlling instructions from my Government or additional supplies.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major, First Artillery, Commanding.


FORT SUMTER, S.C., April 12, 1861--3.20 a. m.

SIR: By authority of Brigadier-General Beauregard, commanding the Provisional Forces of the Confederate States, we have the honor to notify you that he will open the fire of his batteries on Fort Sumter in one hour from this time.

We have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servants,
Captain, C. S. Army, Aide-de-Camp.

U. S. Army, Commanding Fort Sumter.

About 4 A.M. on the 12th I was awakened by someone groping about my room in the dark and calling out my name. It proved to be Anderson, who came to announce to me that he had just received a dispatch from Beauregard, dated 3:20 A.M., to the effect that he should open fire upon us in an hour. Finding it was determined not to return the fire until after breakfast, I remained in bed.
--Abner Doubleday, Reminiscences of Forts Sumter and Moultrie

April 12, 1861. I do not pretend to go to sleep. How can I? If Anderson does not accept terms at four, the orders are he shall be fired upon. I count four, St. Michael's bells chime out, and I begin to hope. At half past four the heavy booming of a cannon. I sprang out of bed, and on my knees prostrate I prayed as I never prayed before.
–Mary Boykin Chesnut, A Diary From Dixie


Capt. Harlock -> RE: Civil War 150th (4/13/2011 8:26:26 PM)

On the morning of the 13th, we took our breakfast
or, rather, our pork and water at the usual hour,
and marched the men to the guns when the meal
was over.

About 8 A.M. the officers' quarters were ignited by
one of Ripley's incendiary shells, or by shot heated
in the furnaces at Fort Moultrie. The fire was put out;
but at 10 A.M. a mortar shell passed through the roof,
and lodged in the flooring of the second story, where
it burst, and started the flames afresh. This, too, was
extinguished; but the hot shot soon followed each
other so rapidly that it was impossible for us to con-
tend with them any longer.
[ . . . ]
By 11 A.M. the conflagration was terrible and
disastrous. One-fifth of the fort was on fire, and the
wind drove the smoke in dense masses into the angle
where we had all taken refuge.
[ . . . ]
The scene at this time was really terrific. The
roaring and crackling of the flames, the dense mass
es of whirling smoke, the bursting of the enemy's
shells, and our own which were exploding in the
burning rooms, the crashing of the shot, and the
sound of masonry falling in every direction, made
the fort a pandemonium. When at last nothing was
left of the building but the blackened walls and
smoldering embers, it became painfully evident that
an immense amount of damage had been done.

--Abner Doubleday, Reminiscences of Forts Sumter and Moultrie

April 13, 1861--20 min. past 2 o'clock.

GENERAL: I thank you for your kindness in having sent your aide to me with an offer of assistance upon your having observed that our flag was down--it being down a few moments, and merely long enough to enable us to replace it on another staff. Your aides will inform you of the circumstance of the visit to my fort by General Wigfall, who said that he came with a message from yourself.
In the peculiar circumstances in which I am now placed in consequence of that message, and of my reply thereto, I will now state that I am willing to evacuate this fort upon the terms and conditions offered by yourself on the 11th instant, at any hour you may name to-morrow, or as soon as we can arrange means of transportation. I will not replace my flag until the return of your messenger.

I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major, First Artillery, Commanding.

Brig. Gen. G. T. BEAUREGARD,
Charleston, S.C.

April 13, 1861--5 min. to 6 o'clock p.m.

SIR: On being informed that you were in distress, caused by a conflagration in Fort Sumter, I immediately dispatched my aides, Colonels Miles and Pryor, and Captain Lee, to offer you any assistance in my power to give.
Learning a few moments afterwards that a white flag was waving on your ramparts, I sent two others of my aides, Colonel Allston and Major Jones, to offer you the following terms of evacuation: All proper facilities for the removal of yourself and command, together with company arms and private property, to any point within the United States you may select.
Apprised that you desire the privilege of saluting your flag on retiring, I cheerfully concede it, in consideration of the gallantry with which you have defended the place under your charge.
The Catawba steamer will be at the landing of Sumter to-morrow morning at any hour you may designate for the purpose of transporting you whither you may desire.

I remain, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.

First Artillery, Commanding Fort Sumter, S.C.

ilovestrategy -> RE: Civil War 150th (4/14/2011 7:01:53 AM)

Fort Sumter was a  conflict between true gentlemen in a gentleman's style. [&o]

Capt. Harlock -> RE: Civil War 150th (4/14/2011 8:23:28 PM)

150 Years Ago Today:

The Confederates had fired over 3,000 shells at Fort Sumter, doing heavy damage, and the fort had replied with 1,000 shells, doing nothing in particular. Amazingly, no one on either side had been killed. But when Major Anderson ordered a 100-gun salute fired before lowering his flag, something went very wrong. A stray spark ignited nearby powder, and the explosion killed Private Daniel Hough, and mortally wounded Private Edward Gallway.

The war that was to claim the lives of more Americans than any other began with accidental deaths.

parusski -> RE: Civil War 150th (4/14/2011 9:11:46 PM)

More, this is like reading a thriller.

Keep it up.

Capt. Harlock -> RE: Civil War 150th (4/15/2011 8:30:42 PM)

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

the laws of the United States have been for some time past and now are opposed, and the execution thereof obstructed, in the States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings or by the powers vested in the marshals by law:
Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, in virtue of the power in me vested by the Constitution and the laws, have thought fit to call forth, and hereby do call forth, the militia of the several States of the Union to the aggregate number of 75,000 in order to suppress said combinations and to cause the laws to be duly executed.
The details for this object will be immediately communicated to the State authorities through the War Department.
I appeal to all loyal citizens to favor, facilitate, and aid this effort to maintain the honor, the integrity, and the existence of our National Union and the perpetuity of popular government and to redress wrongs already long enough endured.
I deem it proper to say that the first service assigned to the forces hereby called forth will probably be to repossess the forts, places, and property which have been seized from the Union; and in every event the utmost care will be observed, consistently with the objects aforesaid, to avoid any devastation, any destruction of or interference with property, or any disturbance of peaceful citizens in any part of the country.
And I hereby command the persons composing the combinations aforesaid to disperse and retire peaceably to their respective abodes within twenty days from this date.
Deeming that the present condition of public affairs presents an extraordinary occasion, I do hereby, in virtue of the power in me vested by the Constitution, convene both Houses of Congress. Senators and Representatives are therefore summoned to assemble at their respective chambers at 12 o'clock noon on Thursday, the 4th day of July next, then and there to consider and determine such measures as, in their wisdom, the public safety and interest may seem to demand.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this 15th day of April, A.D. 1861, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-fifth.


By the President:

WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

ilovestrategy -> RE: Civil War 150th (4/16/2011 6:36:53 AM)

This is better than any page turner. I hope you don't stop doing this.

Capt. Harlock -> RE: Civil War 150th (4/16/2011 3:52:09 PM)

150 Years Ago Today:

Lincoln's call for troops produced very different results in the North and South. Men in Massachusetts, the foremost abolitionist state, flocked to the recruiting offices. The New York legislature, usually known for its inefficiency, passed an "Act to Authorize the Embodying and Equipment of a Volunteer Militia and to Provide for the Public Defense.” The bill called for mobilizing 11 regiments and 7,334 Officers and men as a first increment -- nearly a tenth of what Lincoln had called for from a single state.

But the Southern response was just as strongly against. Men across the region denounced the call as tyrannical and unconstitutional. In the all-important state of Virginia, Governor John Letcher replied to Washington:

In reply to this communication, I have only to say that the militia of Virginia will not be furnished to the powers at Washington for any such use or purpose as they have in view. Your object is to subjugate the Southern States, and a requisition made upon me for such an object - an object, in my judgment, not within the purview of the Constitution or the act of 1795 - will not be complied with. You have chosen to inaugurate civil war, and, having done so, we will meet it in a spirit as determined as the administration has exhibited toward the South.

Ex-governor Hiram Wise went even further. He met with the officers of the state militia to set their regiments in motion towards the two most important Federal installations in the state: the rifle works at Harper's Ferry (scene of John Brown's famous raid in 1859), and the Gosport navy yard at Norfolk.

Capt. Harlock -> RE: Civil War 150th (4/17/2011 3:32:49 PM)

150 Years Ago Today:

The Virginia Convention on Secession met for its final debate. Ex-Governor Hiram Wise delivered a fiery speech, and announced that the state militia were at that moment seizing the Harper's Ferry armory and Gosport navy yard. (He was actually a day or two premature.) By a vote of 88 to 55, the convention approved secession:


To Repeal the ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America, by the State of Virginia, and to resume all the rights and powers granted under said Constitution:

The people of Virginia, in their ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America, adopted by them in Convention, on the 25th day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eight-eight, having declared that the powers granted them under the said Constitution were derived from the people of the United States, and might be resumed whensoever the same should be perverted to their injury and oppression, and the Federal Government having perverted said powers, not only to the injury of the people of Virginia, but to the oppression of the Southern slaveholding States.

Now, therefore, we, the people of Virginia, do declare and ordain that the Ordinance adopted by the people of this State in Convention, on the twenty-fifth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-eight, whereby the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified, and all acts of the General Assembly of this State, ratifying or adopting amendments to said Constitution, are hereby repealed and abrogated; that the union between the State of Virginia and the other States under the Constitution aforesaid, is hereby dissolved, and that the State of Virginia is in the full possession and exercise of all the rights of sovereignty which belong to a free and independent State. And they do further declare that the said Constitution of the United State of America is no longer binding on any of the citizens of this State.

This Ordinance shall take effect and be an act of this day when ratified by a majority of the votes of the people of this State, cast at a poll to be taken thereon on the fourth Thursday in May next, in pursuance of a schedule hereafter to be enacted.

Done in Convention, in the city of Richmond, on the seventeenth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and in the eighty-fifth year of the Commonwealth of Virginia

Sec'y of Convention.

Officially, secession would not take place until the popular referendum on May 23, but for all practical purposes, Virginia was now in the Confederacy.

There were doings elsewhere. Missouri was largely divided between pro-Unionists and pro-Southerners. But Governor Claiborne Jackson was wholly pro-slavery; he had once led Missouri "border ruffians" into Kansas during the years of violence there. Now he returned one of the strongest refusals to Lincoln's call for troops:

Sir: Your dispatch of the 15th instant, making a call on Missouri for four regiments of men for immediate service, as been received. There can be, I apprehend, no doubt that the men are intended to form a part of the President's army to make war upon the people of the seceded states. Your requisition, in my judgment, is illegal, unconstitutional, and revolutionary in its object, inhuman, and diabolical and cannot be complied with. Not one man will the State of Missouri furnish to carry on any unholy crusade.

And Jackson didn't stop there. The same day, he quietly wrote to Jefferson Davis asking for artillery to assist in capturing the St. Louis arsenal. This was the largest arsenal in the slave states, with 60,000 muskets.

Capt. Harlock -> RE: Civil War 150th (4/18/2011 4:52:56 AM)

April 18, 1861:

Robert E. Lee had been an aide to Winfield Scott during the Mexican-American war, and impressed Scott greatly. Now that Scott was the head of the U.S. Army, he persuaded President Lincoln to offer Lee field command of all Union forces. (Scott himself was, to be blunt, too fat by this time to mount a horse.) Although this involved a promotion to Major General and Lee had only been made a Colonel in March, Lincoln agreed.

But Lee received news of the secession of Virginia on this day as well, and like many, he saw his duty to his state first, and the nation second. He regretfully told Scott that he must not only decline the offer, but resign from the Army. "Save in defense of my native state," he said, "I never desire again to draw my sword." Scott replied, "You have made the greatest mistake of your life, but I feared it would be so."

Back in Virginia, several companies of State militia closed in on Harper's Ferry. Since there were only 47 Union soldiers to defend the armory and rifle plant, they set fire to the place and fled. The Virginians managed to save most of the machinery, and it would soon be sent to Richmond.

The militia was slower to approach the Gosport Navy yard. The news reached Commodore Charles McCauley, who happily for the Virginians proved entirely unequal to the emergency. He refused to allow the ten ships stationed at the yard to escape, perhaps hoping that two warships carrying reinforcements from Washington would arrive in time.

Capt. Harlock -> RE: Civil War 150th (4/19/2011 8:24:27 PM)

150 Years Ago Today:

William Mahone and Walter Gwynn, two Virginia railroad men, orchestrated a ruse against the Gosport Navy yard. A single passenger train was run into a nearby station with much whistle-blowing and other noises, and then quietly run out again, over and over, creating the impression of large numbers of troops arriving.

Commodore McCauley lost his nerve and ordered the Navy yard evacuated. The twelve hundred cannon were spiked, the ships and buildings were set on fire, and the men withdrawn to Fort Monroe at Hampton Roads. The Confederates moved in, put out the fires, and eventually un-spiked nearly all of the guns. Most valuable of all, one of the modern steam warships only burned to the waterline, leaving her engines repairable. She would be rebuilt and inducted into the Confederate Navy as the CSS Virginia -- but would be known and famed by her original name: Merrimac.

But the additional men at Fort Monroe would allow it to be held by the Union for the entire war, and in five weeks that would also start a chain of major events in motion.

Elsewhere, bloodier events took place. Already, regiments were moving to Washington DC, but there was no direct rail connection through Baltimore. The city also happened to be a hotbed of Southern sympathizers, for Maryland was still a slave state. While the Sixth Massachusetts was being transferred from one rail station to another, the men were attacked by a pro-secessionist mob. The troops opened fire, possibly in response to pistol shots from the crowd. In the riot, four soldiers and twelve civilians were killed. They were the first combat deaths of the Civil War.

RyanCrierie -> RE: Civil War 150th (4/20/2011 7:54:18 PM)

A bit off but:


Capt. Harlock -> RE: Civil War 150th (4/20/2011 8:33:34 PM)

150 Years Ago Today:

In the aftermath of April 19 riot, Baltimore Mayor Brown and Maryland Governor Hicks asked President Lincoln to send no further troops through the state. But Maryland was in a crucial position: it surrounds Washington, DC on three sides, and the fourth side is the Potomac river, and across that, Virginia. Lincoln refused. Governor Hicks then authorized Mayor Brown to order the Maryland state militia to disable the railroad bridges into the city, which he would later deny. One of the militia captains was John Merryman, who would be arrested a month later, and held in defiance of a writ of habeas corpus.

Now another figure arrived on the scene. Massachusetts troops under General Benjamin Butler arrived by ship at Annapolis. Governor Hicks protested, but Butler (a well-connected politician) bullied him into allowing his men to land at the city and proceed to Washington by rail, via Annapolis Junction (halfway between Baltimore and Washington). The trouble was that Annapolis is the state capital. Butler had taken a step towards military control of the state -- and towards eventually becoming the South's most hated man.

martok -> RE: Civil War 150th (4/20/2011 11:24:25 PM)

Fascinating stuff, Harlock! I've been following this thread for a while now, and I'm amazed at all that I've learned that I didn't know before. For instance, I knew in a general way that Maryland was a potential problem for the Union, but I didn't realize just how far Hicks and Brown went in their efforts to defy Washington.


ORIGINAL: Capt. Harlock

Butler had taken a step towards military control of the state -- and towards eventually becoming the South's most hated man.

No offense meant at all here, but that last bit seems a little hard to believe. I know Butler was one of the South's least-favorite people (especially in Louisiana), but was he really hated more than Sherman?

milkweg -> RE: Civil War 150th (4/21/2011 2:53:22 AM)

I will watch my DVD of The Outlaw Josey Wales in honor of the fallen.

ezz -> RE: Civil War 150th (4/21/2011 12:53:39 PM)

Nice typo in The First Post today.

"what ifs" hang over the Civil War. Winston Churchill once wrote an amusing essay, If Lee Had Not Won the Battle of Gettysburg.

Churchill's essay is not very good though. Stretching 'what ifs' past any point of credulity.

Can read it here

Capt. Harlock -> RE: Civil War 150th (4/21/2011 8:45:11 PM)


No offense meant at all here, but that last bit seems a little hard to believe. I know Butler was one of the South's least-favorite people (especially in Louisiana), but was he really hated more than Sherman?

It does seem surprising, but from the histories I've read, yes, "Beast" Butler was even more hated than Sherman. He did two unpardonable things in Southern eyes: first, he was the commander at Fort Monroe (note hint in my April 19 post) who started the policy of refusing to return runaway slaves. (He called them "contraband of war", and from then on, they were called "contrabands".) Second, as you're probably aware, he was the military governor of New Orleans after its capture. He dealt somewhat harshly with certain acts of defiance on the part of the civilians there. Above all, he directed that New Orleans women showing disrespect to Union soldiers would be treated as "ladies of the town" (prostitutes). The chivalrous South went ballistic.

Capt. Harlock -> RE: Civil War 150th (4/23/2011 9:03:56 PM)

150 Years Ago Today:

Virginia was going to the Confederacy, but Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Maryland hung in the balance. The pro-Secession side in Tennessee received a mighty boost from John Bell, possibly the most distinguished politician in the state. He had been a compromise candidate for the Presidency in 1860 with the Constitutional Union Party. But now he announced his support for a "united South", citing the "unnecessary, aggressive, cruel, unjust wanton war which is being forced upon us".

In Missouri, the pro-Unionists were aware of Governor Jackson's intent to seize the St. Louis arsenal. (Pro-Southerners had already seized the state's other arsenal at Liberty, but it had held only about a thousand muskets.) The arsenal was commanded by Captain Nathaniel Lyon, as fierce an abolitionist as Jackson was pro-slavery. Lyon knew the most important contents of the arsenal were 21,000 modern muskets, and with the quiet support of Congressman Francis P. Blair (brother to Cabinet member Montgomery Blair), he began putting together a plan to transfer the muskets to Illinois and safety.

Capt. Harlock -> RE: Civil War 150th (4/24/2011 7:40:11 PM)

150 Years Ago Today:

Pro-Secession feelings in Tennessee continued to rise. The Nashville Patriot editorialized:

The well authenticated events of the past ten days are sufficient, we imagine, to convince every reasonable mind of the utter hopelessness of a peaceful solution of the intersectional troubles ... the identity of object and the community of interest existing in all the slaveholding States must and will unite them.

In Maryland, pro-Southerners had wrecked several railroad bridges, and even more, had torn down the telegraph lines leading to Washington. The apparently isolated city went into a state of near panic, with volunteer companies sandbagging public buildings, especially the Treasury. Lincoln visited the officers and men of the 6th Massachusetts wounded in the April 19th riot, and apparently gave way to depression. "I don't believe there is any North," he said. "The [New York] 7th regiment is a myth. Rhode Island is not known on our geography any longer. You are the only Northern realities."

Capt. Harlock -> RE: Civil War 150th (4/25/2011 4:56:00 AM)

April 25, 1861:

Abraham Lincoln was proved wrong about the 7th New York regiment. It arrived in Washington, having used Benjamin Butler's route and sailed around Baltimore. Lincoln could now relax, if only a little, about the situation in Maryland:

Washington, April 25, 1861.

Lieutenant-general Scott.

My Dear Sir:—The Maryland Legislature assembles to-morrow at Annapolis, and not improbably will take action to arm the people of that State against the United States. The question has been submitted to and considered by me whether it would not be justifiable, upon the ground of necessary defense, for you, as General in Chief of the United States Army, to arrest or disperse the members of that body. I think it would not be justifiable nor efficient for the desired object.

First. They have a clearly legal right to assemble, and we cannot know in advance that their action will not be lawful and peaceful, and if we wait until they shall have acted their arrest or dispersion will not lessen the effect of their action.

Secondly. We cannot permanently prevent their action. If we arrest them, we cannot long hold them as prisoners, and when liberated they will immediately reassemble and take their action; and precisely the same if we simply disperse them—they will immediately reassemble in some other place.

I therefore conclude that it is only left to the Commanding General to watch and await their action, which, if it shall be to arm their people against the United States, he is to adopt the most prompt and efficient means to counteract, even, if necessary, to the bombardment of their cities and, in the extremest necessity, the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus.

Your obedient servant,

Abraham Lincoln.

In Missouri, Nathaniel Lyon (now a brigadier general of volunteers thanks to Congressman Blair) put his plan in motion to sneak away the modern muskets from the St. Louis arsenal. But secrets were very hard to keep in the Civil War, especially in the border states where there were sympathizers for both sides. An angry mob showed up at the wharf. Lyon was up to the challenge, however. He sent a few boxes of older flintlock muskets to a docked steamboat, where the mob intercepted them and carried them away in triumph. Towards midnight the 21,000 modern muskets were carried across the Mississippi and out of the state on another steamboat.

Capt. Harlock -> RE: Civil War 150th (4/27/2011 8:31:32 PM)

150 Years Ago Today:

Both sides may have been a little premature. Virginia offered the city of Richmond to be the new capital of the Confederacy. The referendum which would make Virginia's secession formal was still nearly a month away, but everyone seems to have regarded it as a certainty. (In spite of local but strong opposition in the northwestern area of the state.)

Lincoln also viewed it as a fait accompli. He had already declared a blockade of the ports of the seven original Confederate states. Now he extended it to the ports of Virginia and North Carolina as well. (Although, by some measures, North Carolina would be the last state to leave the Union.) Many historians consider the two declarations to have been a legal mistake, for blockades are imposed against nations at war. Lincoln had inadvertently opened the door to recognition of the Confederacy as a sovereign nation, rather than a rebellious section of his own country. Pro-Southern sympathizers in Britain and elsewhere began to push for formal recognition.

ilovestrategy -> RE: Civil War 150th (4/28/2011 4:28:08 PM)

This is better than  any fiction. 

Capt. Harlock -> RE: Civil War 150th (4/29/2011 8:36:36 PM)

150 Years Ago Today:

Maryland Governor Thomas Hicks had called the state legislature into session to consider the question of leaving the Union. Since the capital, Annapolis, was essentially occupied by Union troops, the legislature met at the city of Frederick. (Which incidentally lies about 35 miles from the battlefields of Antietam and Gettysburg.) However, the city was, unlike Baltimore, in a pro-Union area of the state, and the legislature voted 53 to 13 against secession -- for the time being. But they also passed a resolution against allowing Union troops to cross the state. (Which Lincoln ignored.) They agreed to re-convene on September 17 in order to reevaluate the situation.

parusski -> RE: Civil War 150th (4/29/2011 11:24:56 PM)

Just letting you know I am still following. The next four years should be interesting, if you keep it up.

Page: <<   < prev  1 2 [3] 4 5   next >   >>

Valid CSS!

Forum Software © ASPPlayground.NET Advanced Edition 2.4.5 ANSI