Friday, December 31, 2010

150--Years--AGO: NORTHEREN REACTION TO FORT MOULTRIE EVACUATION

Richmond (Va.) Daily Dispatch
December 31, 1860

Fort Sumter Officers
(Fort Sumter, National Monument)
The evacuation of Fort Moultrie.

What is thought of it at the North.

The papers of the North, so far as the mails have brought them to us, since the announcement of Col. Anderson's coup de main, are generally commenting on that act, even on the part of conservative journals, in terms of approval. We make some extracts from these expressions of public opinion. The Philadelphia Ledger, a national and conservative journal, says:

In anticipation of the hostile assumptions by the State Convention, the United States officer in command of the fortresses in the harbor has placed himself in the best possible position to perform his duty to the General Government. He has removed his command from Fort Moultrie, where it was subject to attack, to Fort Sumpter, which commands the harbor, and is a work of great strength, and possibly able to resist any attempt to take it on the part of the misguided Secessionists, who are rapidly rushing on their fate. We infer from this movement that the Executive is determined to act according to the principles of action he laid down in his recent message; not to recognize any act of secession, and to defend the property of the General Government from attack and its laws from violation.--This is his duty, and this much the people of the country have a right to demand of him.

We hear persons deprecate this movement in Charleston harbor as a menace to South Carolina, and an act likely to lead to bloodshed. The responsibility of such a collision will not then rest with the Federal Government. South Carolina has been menacing the Government for some time. Its act of secession was a menace, for it openly repudiated the authority of the Government, and resolved to maintain its independence by force of arms if necessary. Every act since has been in the same direction, leading nearer to open hostility. This is lawless menace, which the Government has forborne to treat as rebellion till it comes to open resistance to the operation of the laws.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, also conservative, says:

There is so much wisdom, energy, and military forecast in this movement as to create the belief that it was mainly the work of the brave old Commander-in-Chief of our armies, General Scott. It would have been worse than folly to attempt to hold Fort Moultrie, weak and defenceless as it was, while Fort Sumter, the key to all the military works in the harbor of Charleston, was at the mercy of any mob that could charter a vessel and effect a landing on its wharf. As it is now, Major Anderson, with his little force, is "master of the position." This measure, though tardy, is in the right direction. A more thorough one might, and should have been, adopted by the Administration months ago, by placing full garrisons in all the forts, with arms, provisions and military stores equal to any probable exigency. This was General Jackson's policy in 1832, when its wisdom was fully vindicated. It placed a struggle for the possession of the forts out of the question, and, in consequence, was the most thorough preventive of collision and bloodshed that could have been adopted. We trust this present movement will have the same salutary result, and sincerely hope that now, when the Government has at last been aroused to its unmistakable duty in this matter, it will reinforce the garrisons at Charleston with every necessary adjunct in the shape of ships, men, arms and stores. "Better late than never."

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

150--Years-AGO -- MORE ON NEW ORLEANS SECESSION REACTION



(Illustration from Harper's Weekly, Janary 12, 1861)
 The Charleston Mercury
December 29, 1860

Our New Orleans Correspondent.
New Orleans, December 22
News of the Secession of South Carolina in New Orleans.--Tremendous Excitement and Enthusiasm. -- Hoisting of the Pelican Independent Flag of Louisiana -- Description of the Flag -- 
   The most intense excitement prevailed in our city yesterday, on the publication of the news by the morning papers of the secession of South Carolina. Our citizens were thoroughly aroused, and not since the reception of the news of our glorious victories in Mexico, have our people evinced more rejoicing and enthusiasm. It was arranged by the Southern Rights Association, that the Pelican Flag of Independent Louisiana should be unfurled to the breeze in front of their building on Camp street, at twelve o'clock, noon, precisely, and that a salute of one hundred guns, from each of the four districts of the city, should be fired at the same time in honor of South Carolina. A spontaneous meeting of our most influential citizens congregated on Camp street, which soon became an immense mass, completely blocking up the square. As the Pelican flag was raised it was greeted by the wildest, tumultuous cheers, a fine band at the same time playing the Marseillaise, while the booming of the cannon and ringing of bells added to the patriotic enthusiasm that prevailed.
Louisiana Pelican Secession Flag
    The flag represents a red star in the centre of a pure while field, and in the centre of the star is painted the coat of arms of Louisiana, a Pelican feeding its young--the motto of the State being "Union, Justice and Confidence." In front, on the gallery of the building, was placed a statue of John C. Calhoun, with a blue silk searf over the shoulder, and the Pelican cockade on the breast. Appropriate speechs were made by Gen. W.R. Miles, Hon. W.C.C. Claiborne, Mr. J.O. Nixon, of the, Crescent, and others, when after cheers for South Carolina and Louisiana, and the flags of the two. P's, the Palmetto and the Pelican, the assembly dispearsed.
   The Union croakers can hardly believe that South Carolina is out of the Union, and that no earthquake has taken place, no blood spilt, and not a shotted gun fired! They have looked upon disunion in the same light as an earthquake, and having found out that none of their bones are broken since the consumation ofthe dissolution of the Union, they are beginning to believe that it will not prove such a calamity to us after all.
South Carolin Palmetto Secession Flag

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

150--Year--Ago: FORT MOULTRIE EVACUATED

The Charleston Mercury
December 28, 1860

An Harper's Weekly sketch of the evaucation aftermath
at Fort Moultrie, Charleston, S.C. (Library of Congress)
   The Events of Yesterday.--Charleston was yesterday morning thrown into a state of wildest excitement, by the news that the United States troops had been transferred from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter. At first the flying rumors were so numerous and so contradictory that it was no easy matter to get at the truth; but in a short time the leading facts began to be pretty well established. It seems that on Wednesday night, about eight o'clock, Major Anderson and his command having spiked the guns, fired the gun carriages of Fort Moultrie, and sawed down the flagstaff, evacuated the place, and took possession of Fort Sumter instead. The ladies, who had hitherto lived in the fort had been previously sent to Charleston, and, whatever furniture, ammunition and provisions that could be moved without exciting suspicion, had been quietly transferred to Fort Sumter. The report that the defences of Fort Moultrie had been so shamefully mutilated naturally aroused great indignation in the city. People immediately sought the steeples and cupolas of the public buildings, and telescopes were brought into active requisition, to gratify the general curiosity. Little, however could be described beyond a dense smoke issuing from within the ramparts, and large gangs of men at work unloading cargoes of schooners into Fort Sumter.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

150-Years-AGO -- CHRISTMAS DAY 1860

Christmas tree at Windsor Castle/Library of Congress
The Charleston Mercury
Tuesday, December 25, 1860.
     A merry Christmas to our readers. We are always glad to  greet the recurrence of this good, old-fashioned festival. The thousand happy associations -- social, domestic, religious -- that cluster around the day, make it dear to the heart, and invest its celebration with a joyful character which few can look upon with indifference. But doubly should the Christmas time now be welcome to the people of South Carolina. It has brought them honor, security and independence. They have nobly led the van in the great battle for Southern rights, and it may be fairly said that they have won the victory. They have awakened the sense of wrong in every Southern State, and the mutterings of the coming storm are now heard from Maryland to Texas. The thraldom of the South to her insolent confederates will cease with the year eighteen hundred and sixty. Already the morn of her destiny is breaking. Let us hope that ere another Christmas shall come round, the work that we have begun a rich, powerful and harmonious Southern Confederacy.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sons of Confederate Veterans to Host Sesquicentennial of the War Between the States Events at Historic Sites in Baton Rouge

The burning of the Louisiana Capital in Baton Rouge
in December 1862 by Northern invaders and vandals.
[La. DIv., Press Release]

Louisiana will see a momentous kick off to commemorate the Sesquicentennial of the War Between the States when the Louisiana Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) hosts two historic events in Baton Rouge on Saturday, January 15, 2011. The first event, at 9:30 a.m., will be a re-enactment of the surrender of the Federal garrison in Baton Rouge to Governor Thomas O. Moore and the assembled state militia companies. This historic event, which actually took place on January 10, 1861, involved the turn over of the garrison by Brevet Major Joseph Haskins after he realized he was greatly outnumbered by Louisiana Militia troops seeking to occupy the garrison by order of Governor Moore. The program will take place at the Federal Arsenal on the Capitol grounds and will include uniformed re-enactors portraying U.S. garrison troops and the state militia troops. Governor Moore, Colonel Braxton Bragg, Captain Henry Watkins Allen, and Major Haskin will also be portrayed.

The historic day will continue at 1:30 p.m. with a second program that will include a re-enactment of the Louisiana Secession Convention in the house chambers of the Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge. This historic event, which actually took place January 23-26, 1861, and resulted in Louisiana’s Secession from the Union, will include civilian clothed re-enactors portraying members of the convention’s delegation. The re-enactment will include the submission of the final ordinance, the voting process, and passage of the ordinance and will close as the individual portraying Governor Moore leads everyone outside of the capitol building to announce the results to the waiting crowd.

A short memorial service at the grave site of former Confederate Brigadier General, and Governor Henry Watkins Allen, there on the grounds of the Old State Capitol, will end the day’s events.

The SCV is the direct heir of the United Confederate Veterans, and the oldest hereditary organization for male descendants of Confederate soldiers. Organized at Richmond, Virginia in 1896, the SCV continues to serve as a historical, patriotic, and non-political organization dedicated to ensuring that a true history of the 1861-1865 period is preserved. Membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans is open to all male descendants of any veteran who served honorably in the Confederate armed forces. The Louisiana Division is made up of over 30 Camps, or chapters, around the State and encourages Louisianans to seek out, attend and even participate in the Sesquicentennial Commemoration that will be taking place over the next four years.

           
“Although you anticipated a quiet Christmas, I hope it was a happy one to you all, and that you were filled with gratitude for the many blessings that surrounded you. Although distant, my heart and thoughts were ever present with you and my prayers were offered for Heavens choicest benefits for you all...." Letter from Robert E. Lee to his wife at Christmas, 1860

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

150-YEARS-AGO -- Secession Jubilation in New Orleans

Louisiana Governor Thomas O. Moore
had already called for an election for
delegates to a secession convention.
(William Emerson Strong Photograph Album,
Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special
Collections Library, Duke University.)

New Orleans Daily True Delta Dec. 22, 1860 P. 2
Secession Jubilation.
At 12 o'clock to-day, on the Neutral Ground of Canal street, a salute of thirty guns was fired by the sympathisers with the secession movement of South Carolina.

New Orleans Daily True Delta
FURTHER NEWS FROM SOUTH CAROLINA
A SOUTHERN CONFEDERACY PROPOSED
THE CONVENTION IN SECRET SESSION
CHARLESTON, Dec. 21, 3 p.m., -- The convention met at noon to-day, pursuant to adjournment.
Prayer was offered beseeching Almighty God to unite the people of the south in the formation of a southern confederacy.

A motion was made that a committee be appointed to invite the governor, postmaster and collector of the port to be present, which, however, was temporarily postponed.

Barnwell Rhett, chairman of the committee, presented an address to the southern states, a long and able paper, reviewing the injuries of South Carolina during her connection with the Union.

The convention refused to issue the address until its final adoption; made the special order for Saturday.
Judge Wardlow made a report by ordinance, amending the constitution of the state of South Carolina.
Other unimportant business was transacted, when the convention went into secret secession, excluding all but members.
New Orleans Daily True Delta
Dec. 25, 1861 P. 5
Secession Meeting at Odd Fellows' Hall.
This hall was well filled last night, for the purpose of holding, as announced, a meeting for the ratification of the nominations of the secession party for the state convention to be held on the 23rd January next.
The meeting was organized by Mr. C. Fellows being called on to preside by Mr. M. Simpson, and the reading of a long list of vice-presidents and secretaries.
Then came, as play-goers some times see, something not written down in the bills. A gentleman came forward with three resolutions tendering congratulations to South Carolina, and co-operation with her when Louisiana secedes; promising that the guns of Chalmette will speak in unison with those of Fort Moultrie, and announcing that the confederation of the south was peace; but come the other alternative, the people would not be unprepared. Simultaneously with the addition of these resolutions, a secession banner. Then a Miss Holman, a concert singer, was introduced and sang the Marseillaise. And at each successive performance, the crowd was enthused.
The speaking by Messrs. J.B. D. DeBow, C.W. Conrad, C.C. Gayarre, Alex. Walker, and E. Moise. All of them, of course, delivered straight-out secession speeches. Mr. Gayarre argued that because the colonies commenced the revolution without concert of action, the states should follow their example the present day. He said it was unfortunate that unanimity did not prevail as to the best method of securing the rights of the south. They (the advocates of separate state action) had differed from those distinguished citizens whose integrity, talents and pure motives they should not refuse homage to, because they differed from them. Let us, said the speaker, labor to produce unity, let us convince them, or be convinced.
After the address of Mr. Moise, the last speaker, the meeting dispersed.

Monday, December 20, 2010

150--YEARS--AGO -- UNION DISSOLVED

(Library of Congress)
CHARLESTON MERCURY
EXTRA:

Passed unanimously at 1:15 o'clock, P.M. December 20th, 1860.

AN ORDINANCE

To dissolve the Union between the Sate of South Carolina and other States unified with her under the compact entitled "The Constitution of the United States of America."

We, the People of the State of South Carolin, in Convention assembled, do declare and ordain, and it is hereby declared and ordained.

That the Ordinance adopted by the Convention, on the twent-third day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, whereby the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified, and also, all Acts and parts of Acts of the Genera(l) Assembly of this State, ratifying amendments of the said Constitution, are hereby repleased; and that the union now subsisting between South Carolina and other States, under the name of "The United States of America," is hereby dissolved.
 The
Union
is
Dissolved

Sunday, December 19, 2010

150-YEARS-AGO -- SECESSION DELEGATES MOVE TO CHARLESTON

Charleston Mercury
19 December 1860

St. Andrew's Hall, Broad Street, Charleston, S.C. --
 scene of the Secession Convention.
(Library of Congress)
CONVENTION
Delegates to the Convention are hereby notified that the place of meeting will be at St. Andrew's Hall, in Broad-street.

     The Convention--With the Convention, the Legislature, and the crowd of strangers who are in attendance upon both. Charleston is now full of animation. The hotels are overflowing, and everybody is in good spirits at the early propect of independence.
     By the notice elsewhere in our columns, it will be seen that St. Andrew's Hall has been selected as the best arranged room for the purposes of the Convention. The body will assemble there this morning at eleven o'clock.

      Christy's Minstrels are doing wonders in Charleston. Everybody goes to see them, and whowever sees them once, is sure to go again. "Dixie," as given by them, is positively refreshing.
     We learn the Christy's intend giving the new Governor of South Carolina a serenade some evening this week. The night will be duly  announced in the Mercury.

     Presentation of a Color to the Vigilant Rifles -- We take great pleasure in announcing that this efficient corps of firemen and soldiers are to have presented to them, this afternoon, a Company Flag. The Rifles will assemble at their Engine House, in State-street, at three o'clock, p.m., and from thence proceed through Queen and Meeting-streets to the Charleston Hotel, where they will be received by the Washington Light Infantry, their escort. After the battalion line is formed, right resting on Hayne-street, the Companies will march by sections down Meeting-street to the South Carolina Hall, where the ceremonies will take place. After which the battalion will march through the principal streets.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

150-YEARS-AGO -- GOV. PICKENS INAUGURATED

THE CHARLESTON MERCURY
18 December 1860



The News from Columbia.
Opening of the State Convention--Gen. Jamison,
President-Inaugural of Governor
Pickens--The Adjournment
to Charleston,
etc., etc.

INAUGURAL OF GOVERNOR PICKENS.
Gentlemen of the Senate and
Gov. Francis Wilkinson Pickens
(Library of Congress)
House of Representatives;
". . . The Constitution is a compact between co-States. and not with the Federal Government. On questions vital, and involving the peace and safety of the parties to the compact, from the very nature of the instrument, each State must judge of the mode and measure of protection of her local and domestic institutions. South Carolina will therefore decide for herself, and will, as she has a right to do, resume her original powers of government as an independent State, and, as such, will negotiate with other powers such treaties, leagues or covenants, as she may deem proper. . . .
. . . There is one thing certain, and I think it due to the country to say in advance, that South Carolina is resolved to assert her separate independence, and, as she acceded separately to the compact of Union, so she will most assuredly secede, separately and alone, be the consequences what they may; and I think it right to say, with no unkind feeling whatever, that on this point there can be no compromise, let it be offered from where it may. The issues are too grave, and too momentous, to admit of any counsel that looks to anything but direct and straight-forward independence. . . .
". . . It is our sincere desire to separate from the States of the North in peace, and leave them to develop their own civilization, according to their own sense of duty and of interest. But if, under the guidance of ambition and fanaticism, they decide otherwise, then be it so. We are prepared for any event, and, in humble reliance upon that Providence who presides over the destiny of men and of nations, we well endeavor to do our duty faithfully, bravely and honestly.
     "I am now ready to take the oath of office and swear undivided allegiance to South Carolina."
Francis Wilkinson Pickens, governor

Friday, December 17, 2010

MUSEUM OF THE CONFEDERACY ANNOUNCEMENT

[Press Release from Museum of the  Confederacy]

RICHMOND, Va. -- J. E. Jamerson & Sons Selected as General Contractor for Museum of the Confederacy-Appomattox


Richmond, VA: The Board of Trustees of the Museum of the Confederacy has selected the firm of J. E. Jamerson & Sons as general contractor for the Museum of the Confederacy-Appomattox.

Established in 1947, the company has been involved as general contractor for many construction projects in central Virginia, including: the renovation and restoration of The Surrender Grounds of the Appomattox Court House National Park, Sandusky Middle School (Lynchburg, VA,) and the Campbell County (VA) Citizens Services Building.

“We are excited to be chosen as the general contractor for the Museum of the Confederacy-Appomattox,” said Phillip Jamerson, President of J. E. Jamerson & Sons, “The Museum will be important to the economic development of Appomattox, as well as to the region.”

“Selection of J.E. Jamerson & Sons as the general contractor was based on its proven track record with institutional projects within the region,” stated Matthew G. Thompson, Jr., Chairman of the Museum’s Board of Trustees. “The fact that Jamerson & Sons is located in Appomattox was definitely a plus.”

Riggs Ward Design, of Richmond, VA, has been contracted to provide exhibition design services for the Appomattox museum. Riggs Ward’s design portfolio includes exhibition projects for The Library of Congress, the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The Atlanta History Center, and the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor.

The Museum of the Confederacy-Appomattox will be the first of three new museums within a statewide museum system. The system will also include the current museum in Richmond and the White House of the Confederacy. Site work on the Appomattox museum is scheduled to begin the first of the year, weather permitting. The projected opening of the Museum of the Confederacy-Appomattox is Spring, 2012.

The Museum of the Confederacy is a private, nonprofit educational institution. The Museum and White House of the Confederacy are located in the historic Court End neighborhood in downtown Richmond Free parking is available in the MCV/VCU Hospitals Visitor/Patient parking deck adjacent to the Museum.

For additional information, please call (804) 649-1861 or visit us on the web at www.moc.org

150-YEARS-AGO SOUTH CAROLINA POISED FOR SECESSION

CHARLESTON MERCURY
17 December 1860


Robert Barnwall Rhett Sr., one of the main South Carolina
secessionists. (Library of Congress)

Important from Columbia
Small Pox Spreading--Convention Delegates
Coming In--A Caucus--The Disposition to
Hasten Independence, &c., &c.

[BY TELEGRAPH FROM OUR OWN SPECIAL REPORTERS.]

     COLUMBIA, Sunday evening, December.--The Board of Health this evening report fourteen new cases, as appearing to-day. The report will appear in the papers here to-morrow.
     It is now considered highly probably that the Convention Legislature will adjourn to-morrow, to meet in Charleston on Tuesday.
     Delegates are arriving by every train. Among those already here are Messrs. Cobb, Rhett, sr., Miles and Keitt.
     A caucus of many prominent Delegates was held last night. It was determined to make short work at the Convention.
     It is thought the Ordinance of Secession will be passed on Tuesday or Wednesday.
     Mr. Pickens, the Governor elect, has arrived, and is preparing for his inauguration to-morrow.

Monday, December 13, 2010

150-YEARS-AGO -- LeMAT REVOLVERS

[Excerpt from UT Tyler digital library]
Gen. J.E.B. Stuart was among the
Confederate generals who used the
LeMat revolver in the War for Southern
Independence. (Library of Congress)
LeMat Revolver (National Park Service)
HARRISON FLAG [MARSHALL, TX], December 15, 1860, p. 3. c. 1
            Le Mat's Grape Shot Revolver.—We had an opportunity yesterday of examining the most effective weapon in the shape of a pistol we have yet seen.  It is an invention of Le Mat, of Louisiana, and has received the emphatic approval of General Scott, the Secretary of War, and a board of Army officers appointed to test the merits of new inventions in arms.  It is about the size and weight of Colt's Army Revolver, upon which it is modeled, all the advantages of which it embraces, but has several more chambers, and a centre barrel upon which the others revolve, which (centre barrel) carries a heavy minie ball, or a cartridge of fifteen buckshot.  All of these are discharged by one hammer and trigger, and together deliver ten shots.  There is also an extra set of chambers, easily attached, which increase the discharge to nineteen.  The weapon is loaded and handled in the same manner as the Army Revolver, and carries the same distance.  The pistol is handsomely finished, and can be sold for $30.  The presence of so many military gentlemen in the city, the condition of the country, and the purpose of Virginia to embark in the manufacture of arms, render the visit of Col. Le Mat to our City very opportune, and we commend him to the courtesy of those whose position particularly demands that they should be looking to the defences of the State.—Richmond Whig.

[Editor's Notes: The LeMat Revolver was a favorite weapon among Confederates leaders. Generals J.E.B. Stuart, Pierre Beauregard, Braxton Bragg, Richard H. Anderson and Major Henry Wirz were among the notables who used it. Beauregard was one of the backers in New Orleans of the inventor, Col. Jean LeMat. There were 1,500 LeMats manufactured in London, England and Paris, France and were imported into the Confederacy. The upper 9-shot rifled barrel took .40-caliber ammunition and the .63-caliber cannon barrel was loaded with buckshot. The hammer could be redirected to either barrel.]

Sunday, December 12, 2010

HISTORY CHANNEL CAVES TO POLITICAL CORRECTNESS IN GEORGIA

[Press Release from Georgia Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans]

(ATLANTA - November 29, 2010) The nationally syndicated cable television History Channel has made the controversial decision to force cable television companies, including Comcast and Charter, to pull ads paid for by the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Georgia commemorating the Sesquicentennial (150th Anniversary) of the War Between the States.

The series of twelve television commercials by the Sons of Confederate Veterans is part of a statewide radio and television campaign aimed at commemorating the anniversary of the late War Between the States and educating the public on Georgia's important role and the historical causes of the War. All twelve television commercials, as well as a companion series of radio commercials, are still broadcasting across the state of Georgia; and an entire slate of additional commercials are already in production for 2011.

The commercials came under scrutiny of the History Channel when a little-known liberal Internet site began attacking the Sons of Confederate Veterans for commemorating the War and, subsequently, also the History Channel for allowing the commercials to broadcast in their programming.

Vice-president Nancy Alpert of A&E Television, the parent company of the History Channel, gave the following explanation of her decision to ban the historical ads: "The subject matter of each of the SCV ads, plus the actual language... is well beyond our guidelines for any advertising on AETN." Alpert cited her opinion that the ads violated History Channel guidelines by quoting, among other things, a statement in one commercial that the war was "Not a 'civil war' fought to take over the United States, as it is called in history books today, this was a war... against an aggressive invasion by federal troops." She also complained that one of the commercials related to the causes of the War stated that the South seceded in part because "Northern congressmen were able to vote themselves virtually anything they wanted, using Southern tax money, while the South was powerless to stop it."

The commercials clearly offer a different point of view than that which is usually presented by documentaries on the History Channel; yet the channel has purported in the past to be an outlet which offers competing, and even controversial, opinions about historical events. Speaking on behalf of the Georgia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans which paid for the commercials to run, Division Commander Jack Bridwell had this to say, "We find it more than interesting that the History Channel has no problem airing shows with controversial theories about history, including more than one show which speculates that extraterrestrial aliens in UFO's somehow redirected human history, and yet the same channel does not see the value in allowing a non-profit, educational organisation to present the Southern view of the causes for the War."

As the organisation founded in 1896 and directly descended from the original United Confederate Veterans, the Sons of Confederate Veterans is charged in their initial charter with teaching the historical reasons for the South's heroic stand against overwhelming odds in the War. The charge given at the organisation's founding states, "To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will submit the vindication of the cause for which we fought; To your strength will be given the defense of the Confederate soldier's good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, and the perpetuation of those principles he loved and which made him glorious and which you also cherish."

With the Sons of Confederate Veterans representing more than 100,000 Southerners across the country, the Georgia Division of the SCV announced today that it is launching a campaign to educate the general American public about the censorship and hypocrisy of the A&E Network and particularly the History Channel. It is estimated that the A&E Network stands to lose several hundred thousand dollars over the course of the next two quarters as their advertisers are barraged by former viewers who are unhappy with this pandering to "political correctness," particularly across the South.

[Editor's Note: Click the link to the commercial in question here. Check out all the other good commercial's the Ga. Division SCV has on that site.]

Sunday, December 5, 2010

150-YEARS-AGO -- Louisiana Military Preparations Underway

[Excerpts from UT Tyler Digital Archives]

SUGAR PLANTER [WEST BATON ROUGE, LA], December 1, 1860, p. 2, c. 1
           
A meeting of the members of the Infantry Company, raised above the Court House, will meet to-day at the Court House, for the purpose of electing officers, deciding upon a uniform, equipments, &c.  Let every member be present.  We anticipate a large and enthusiastic meeting. 
SUGAR PLANTER [WEST BATON ROUGE, LA], December 8, 1860, p. 2, c. 5
           
The Military Spirit on Saturday Last.—Last Saturday, at the Court House, was witnessed one of the most spirited meetings ever held in the parish.  It being the day selected for the election of officers for the rifle company, and to perfect its organization, a large crowd assembled at the appointed place at ten o'clock. . . The balloting for officers then commenced, which resulted as follows:  H. M. Favrot, Captain; Octave M. LeBlanc, 1st Lieutenant. . . The uniform of the company will be neat, and we may say, handsome; being something of the Zouave pattern, and will be got ready as soon as possible.  If arms can be procured from the State in time, it is anticipated to have the first full dress parade on the 22d February next. . . 
SUGAR PLANTER [WEST BATON ROUGE, LA], December 22, 1860, p. 2, c. 1
           
A New Company.—The military spirit we are glad to see, is spreading all over the country.  Another company was organized in Baton Rouge on Saturday night last.  The members are all young men of high social position, and have entered into the spirit of the thing with a vim.  They have elected as officers—J. K. Duncan, Captain; James H. Stith, 1st Lieutenant; and Thos. G. Morgan, Jr., 2nd Lieutenant. 

[Editor's Note: Henry M. Favrot's company became Compay F (Formerly Company C) Delta Rifles, of the 4th Louisiana Infantry Regiment. He later became lieutenant colonel of the 2nd Louisiana Cavalry (State Guards).  Octave M. LeBlanc was first lieutenant of  the Delta Rifles and resigned Aug. 21, 1861. No more could be found on J.K. Duncan's company, but Johnson K. Duncan was a major in the 1st Louisiana Heavy Artillery Regiment and was promoted to colonel in the Provisional Army of the Confederate States of America. James H. Stith became a first lieutenant of Company B of the 1st Louisiana Heavy Artillery and died of sickness in 1862. Thomas Gibbs Morgan became a 2nd lieutenant and then captain in Company C of the 7th Louisiana Infantry Regiment. Morgan died Jan. 21, 1864 as a P.O.W. on Johnson Island, Ohio.]

Friday, December 3, 2010

LETTER'S TO BE DISPLAYED FOR SESQUICENTENNIAL AT LSU

BATON ROUGE – Beginning Dec. 6 and running through April 30, 2011, LSU Libraries Special Collections will present the exhibition “The Dear Ones at Home: Women’s Letters and Diaries of the Civil War Era,” at Hill Memorial Library.


Marking the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, which started April 12, 1861, the exhibition explores the variety of women’s experiences during the war, and its impact on their worlds.

Drawing on the rich manuscript holdings of the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, “The Dear Ones at Home” reveals what life was like on the home front, as women as well as men mobilized for the war. The exhibition displays photographs from the collections, including a daguerreotype of Varina Howell Davis, as well as illustrations from Harper’s Weekly.

Letters and diaries written by women at the time show how, as nurses and home front organizers, they supported or hindered the Confederate effort. As sweethearts and wives, they used their powers of affection to compel or dissuade men to serve.

For example, on April 14, 1862, Amelia Faulkner of Faulkland Plantation in Louisiana wrote to her friend, Henrietta Lauzin of Baton Rouge, that “girls ought to have nothing but soldiers for their beaux and if all girls thought as we do, there would be more companies leave this state.” But that same year, Mary Pugh of Lafourche Parish wrote to her husband, Richard, “you have done enough now to satisfy yourself and everyone else, so come now, if only for the sake of your little wife.”

Documents included in the exhibit also show how women faced the perils of battle and occupation. For example, in a letter to a female friend, J. Young Sanders Jr., wrote, “My gentle friend, never come in contact with the enemy’s brutal soldiering, if it is avoidable… but flee them as you would a hideous pestilence. They wage war upon women and feeble old men.” Also, Ann Wilkinson Penrose’s diary records her fury when the Federals came to arrest her father in New Orleans: “My blood boiled, I felt possessed with fury… I made my way down as fast as I could with my crutches… I felt as if I could strike them to the ground.”

Additional items in the exhibit reflect women’s political attitudes and their reactions to the end of war and slavery.

Prepared by LSU Curator of Manuscripts Tara Laver and Exhibitions Coordinator Leah Jewett, the exhibition also explores how women responded and adjusted, successfully or unsuccessfully, to wartime changes in courtship and marriage; death and mourning; women’s work and gender roles; religious observance and faith; as well as race relations. Manuscript reminiscences of the war years and contemporary and modern published works of fiction and non-fiction are featured, including several antebellum pieces by African-American women writers.

Also on display is a complete set of prints from artist Edwin Forbes’s “Life Studies of the Great Army,” published in 1890. Forbes travelled with the Union army, sketching images of camp life as a special correspondent for the contemporary publication “Frank Leslie’s Illustrated News.” After the war, he completed etchings based on his war-time sketches, compiling them for his work.

In association with the exhibition, as part of Women’s History Month, LSU Assistant Professor of History Alecia P. Long will hold a presentation titled “(Mis)Remembering General Order No. 28: Benjamin Butler, the Woman Order, and Historical Memory” at noon on March 2, 2011 in the Hill Memorial Library lecture hall.

Both the exhibition and lecture are free and open to the public.

Hill Memorial Library is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. When classes are in session, the library is open Tuesday evenings until 8 p.m.

For more information, visit the Special Collections’ Web site at www.lib.lsu.edu/special.




Thursday, November 25, 2010

THANKSGIVING -- SOUTHERN STYLE

Southerners had good reasons for not
taking to the Thanksgiving holiday
right away.
By Mike Jones
It wasn't until well until into the 20th Century that some places in the American South really got into the habit of celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday. Why? In the beginning, Thanksgiving had two connections that many southerners found odious, Abraham Lincoln and New England. Many places claim Thanksgiving feasts that predated that of the Pilgrims of Massachusetts in 1621, including Texas, Florida and Virginia. But the modern Thanksgiving, which started in the mid-19th Century, is based on myths and legends that took shape from New England traditions.

Sarah Josepha Hale, editor of the Godey's Ladies Book, began a campaign in 1846 to have the last Thursday in November proclaimed a National patriotic holiday. She wrote every president asking him to proclaim the holiday. It wasn't until President Lincoln took up her plea and proclaimed the fourth Thursday in November 1863 to be Thanksgiving. The problem was, Lincoln at the time was busy sending his Northern armies, including many New Englanders, rampaging through the South, killing hundreds of thousands of Southerners, burning and devastating Southern cities, homes and farms throughout the Confederacy.

Gov. Oran Roberts of Texas
Since Lincoln, every other U.S. president has made an annual Thanksgiving Day proclamation. But the South would have none of it. Lincoln was widely despised in the South, as was New England. The South was beaten down, impoverished and a long way from "getting over it." In 1883, when Gov. Oran Roberts of Texas was asked to proclaim the holiday and said,  “It’s a damned Yankee institution anyway.” And that is exactly how many Southerners felt about it for decades after the war. Roberts had been the colonel of the 11th Texas Infantry in the War For Southern Independence.

An example of that Southern reluctance to celebrate the "Yankee institution" was Lake Charles, Louisiana. A survey of local newspapers there between 1899 and 1917 shows just how reluctant they were to embrace the holiday. Lake Charles had been raided by Yankees during the war, in 1862, its women and children held hostage while Yankee sailors extorted food from the town. Then 10 of their townsmen were made "human shields" on the raider's sloop, while it returned to its blockading ship in the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, many of the town's young men had died in the war, either killed in action, died of disease and wounds, or in Yankee P.O.W. camps.

In most years after the war the local newspapers make no mention at all of the holiday. It was simply ignored. Business as usual was conducted. However early in the 20th Century, a few advertisements started popping up in newspapers featuring Thanksgiving holiday sales. Then every few years, the newspaper would mention that Thanksgiving would be generally observed, contrary to the usual custom of ignoring it. What was prompting the change in attitude? Apparently it was time, good old American advertising, football, and finally pressure tactics.

The Lake Charles Daily American wrote in its edition of Nov. 23, 1904, "Thanksgiving day will probably be more generally observed in Lake Charles than has been customary. Besides the banks and public offices, most of the manufacturies will be shut down and the stores closed in the afternoon."

Not much more was heard about the holiday until the Daily American ran an advertisement on Nov. 25, 1908, "Foot-Ball Game! Thanksgiving/ Lake Charles High School vs. Industrial Institute at Base Ball Park. Admission, Adults 50 cents, school children 25 cents. No extra charge for carriage space." In addition there was a game between the Second Ward Giants vs. the First Ward Tigers, at no extra charge. Now that was something Southerners could get excited about on Thanksgiving.

The next year, Nov. 24, 1909, once again football was the focus of Thanksgiving activities. although church services were also mentioned in the Daily American. The article stated, "Tomorrow is the day when every football lover goes out to the park to see Lake Charles beat Crowley and win championship honors." The writer went on to say, "Mr. Jenkins repudiates the wild statements going around that the players have been feeding on raw beef alone for the last few days, but promises a hot contest anyway. The management will not be responsible for people injured in the rush for tickets, but will transport to the sanitarium anyone overcome with excitement during the game."

But the Nov. 28, 1916 issue of the American Press showed just how reluctant the people of Lake Charles were to really embrace the "Yankee institution." The headline blared, "THURSDAY IS A TRIPLE HOLIDAY, Don't Try to Violate It, Because You Can't. Everybody Must Close Up. Thursday will be a holiday in Lake Charles in a triple sense this year. It will be a religious holiday, in obedience to the President's proclamation, with union services by the protestant pastors of the city at Simpson Methodist church at 10 o'clock, proper observance by the church of the Good Shepherd and high mass of thanksgiving at the church of the Immaculate Conception at 8 o'clock.

"Everybody in Lake Charles may as well prepare for the holiday, for they will be obliged to observe it. . . . It is hoped Lake Charles will enter into the spirit of the occasion, decorate their homes and places of business, and help show the visitors a good time." However there was no mention of a football game, so the day was probably a bust.

The next year, 1917, once again there was no mention in the newspaper of local observances of Thanksgiving. But as time passed, Thanksgiving finally caught on and in 1935, the newspaper notes there were Thanksgiving parties, dinners and celebrations in Lake Charles. In addition, local rice farmers were making big money raising and selling turkeys to the local population.

It had taken a long time, but Southerners finally found things they could get excited about Thanksgiving, namely feasting on turkey and watching football. Southerners have created their own Thanksgiving customs, rather than just accept those of the "Yankee institution." They have also added a Southern-Cajun flair with deep fried turkey, injected with flavorful spices, and invented such things as the "turducken" (a deboned chicken, stuffed in a deboned duck, stuffed in a deboned turkey). The South just seems to make things better and more fun. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

LOUISIANA STATE FLAG REDESIGN IS A WINNER

New Louisiana Flag Design
By Mike Jones

The redesigned Louisiana state flag was unveiled at the swearing in ceremony Monday, Nov. 22, for new Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne. The basic design is the same, a pelican feeding her young on a blue field, with the motto, "Union, Justice, Confidence" on a white banner underneath. The difference is the pelican is much better drawn and there are three drops of blood coming off her breast. The redesign is a winner, in my opinion. The pelican on the old flag was downright cartoonish looking. It also didn't have the blood drops, which have important symbolic meaning.

The changes were mandated by the Legislature in 2006, at the insistence of a bright 8th grader who knew his history.

The symbolism of the pelican feeding her young is self-sacrifice, which is also a very ancient Christian symbol of Christ the Redeemer. The flag has been representing Louisiana since its territorial days from 1803 to 1812 when the state was first admitted to the Union. The symbol was also used on state militia buttons, belt plates and cartridge box plates, as well as on the official state seal. As deeply ingrained as it was in state culture, it wasn't until 1902 that the Legislature officially adopted it as the state flag.

When Louisiana seceded from the Union on Jan. 26, 1861, the Louisiana pelican flag was raised over the state capitol building. Although a unique red, white and blue striped flag, with gold star in the red canton, was adopted to represent the independence of Louisiana, the pelican flag was found flying over the state capitol by Northern invaders who captured Baton Rouge in May of 1862. In addition, many Louisiana military units used pelican flags at the beginning of the War For Southern Independence.

The Louisiana pelican flag continues to honorably symbolize the sovereign status of our state.

THANKSGIVING HISTORY FROM THE SCV COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF

Beaufort, South Carolina
Thanksgiving Day

Compatriots,

Thanksgiving Day is soon upon us. This day has become marked as a time for families and friends to come together and give thanks for the many blessings that the Lord has bestowed upon us. Let us recount our blessings with all the grace that is the definition of a true Southron.

Unfortunately, on Thanksgiving Day we may hear of some credit given to U.S. President Abraham Lincoln for proclaiming the first Thanksgiving Day. Or, even more prominently, we see the first Thanksgiving Day associated with the Pilgrims who settled at Plymouth Rock, in what is now Massachusetts.

So much of what we hear about American history, and the genesis of our American holidays, is often simply wrong.

The first Thanksgiving in this country was, in fact, celebrated at Jamestown, Virginia in December 1607. The Berkley Plantation's charter required that the day of the colonist's safe arrival, "...shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving...." The Pilgrims were still thirteen years into the future. (See: "The Real First Thanksgiving")

Of course, the politically correct love to point to the happy scene of the Pilgrims in their black garb, white collars and stiff hats, sitting at a grand banquet with the ruddy savages, all in all a scene of peace and ethnic tranquility. This joint celebration took place because the Pilgrims' socialistic economic practices (i.e., a common storehouse) had driven them to the brink of starvation, before the Indians took pity and rescued them.

It should be noted that there was an even earlier Thanksgiving. History records that the Spanish settlement at Saint Augustine celebrated a feast with the indigenous peoples in 1565: "After the Mass, Menendez de Aviles invited the Timucuans to join him for the first communal meal of Europeans and natives together," This was apparently the first communal act of thanksgiving in the first permanent European settlement of what is now the United States. (See: "In U.S. History, Florida beats New England professor says")

But, despite all the credit incorrectly given to the Pilgrims of New England, it is President Lincoln who is oft credited with the first Thanksgiving proclamation because it began an unbroken string of such acts occurring in late November.

But Lincoln was not even the first president to do so since George Washington had issued such a proclamation in 1789. More to the point for us, Confederate President Jefferson Davis declared Friday, November 15, 1861 as, "...a day of national humiliation and prayer...," - a full two years before Lincoln's more famous declaration.

Since that time, Thanksgiving Day has become a federal holiday and has lost almost all of its original meaning. Now, Thanksgiving is little more than the opening day of shopping season, followed by a day, christened with the most befitting nickname, "Black Friday." In 1861, however, it was a different story.

At the time he issued his proclamation, Pres. Davis understood the enormity of the danger the South was facing and his decision to call upon the, "...reverend clergy and the people of these Confederate States to repair on that day to their homes and usual places of public worship, and to implore blessing of Almighty God upon our people, that he may give us victory over our enemies, preserve our homes and altars from pollution, and secure to us the restoration of peace and prosperity" was more than just a platitude.

Now, in 2010 our country also faces many crises: economic crises, crises of faith; crises of the moral and political decay of society; our troops are at war in foreign fields; and our precious Southern heritage is under attack on many fronts.

During these hard times when all God's people are suffering, let us be thankful of the blessing that we have. We have the love of our brothers and sisters and we have our rich Southern heritage. But of all our blessings, nothing is sweeter than the promise of God's love and redemption.
During this Thanksgiving season, we should all remember the sacrifice of our noble Confederate forebears. We can learn much from their example made during their time of trial.
So, on this Thanksgiving Day, when we are giving thanks and enjoying the company of our family and friends, let's stand tall with the knowledge that together we are perpetuating the wishes of President, Jefferson Davis and sharing in a ritual that proclaims the superiority of God and keeps us mindful of our need for his mercies.
Confederately yours,
Michael Givens

Commander-in-Chief

Sons of Confederate Veterans

(931) 442-1831
SCV.org

Saturday, November 20, 2010

FORTS RANDOLPH AND BUHLOW OPENED

Confederate soldier
(Library of  Congress)
PINEVILLE, La. - Forts Randolph & Buhlow State Historic Site opened to the public, Thursday, Nov. 18, with a free day in the park and dedication ceremony. Following the ceremony, there were site tours and a live performance of War For Southern Independence-era music.

In an earlier press release, Lt. Gov. Schott Angelle said, "I am excited to announce the opening of Forts Randoph & Buhlow State Historic Site. This site represents an incredible piece of Louisiana's history and is an invaluable new tourism opportunity for Central Louisiana."

The $4.4 million project was funded by a combination of Capital Outlay funds and monies provided by the Red River Waterway Commission (RRWC), a spokesman said.

"Forts Randolph and Buhlow State Historic Site will be a wonderful addition to our system," said Dr. Stuart Johnson, Assistant Secretary for the Office of State Parks. "the Red River Waterway Commission and the City of Pineville are great partners, fully supporting this site and the Office of State Parks' mission to preserve and interpret our state's history."

Forts Randolph and Buhlow were built after the Red River Campaign during the War for Southern Independence. Johnson said that interpretation and programs at this site connect with Mansfield SHS and Port Hudson SHS on the whole Campaign and the subsequent events.

After the Battle of Mansfield, halting the Union advance to the West in Spring of 1864, Forts Randolph and Buhlow were constructed on the Red River at Alexandria by Confederates in order to repel future Union attacks through Northwest Louisiana. The earthen forts, constructed using local plantation slave labor, where fortified with cannon and troops, and never saw battle.

Fort Randolph & Buhlow State Historic Site is located on Red River in downtown Pineville. It includes visitor center with War For Southern Independence exhibits, an elevated boardwalk around both fort sites, and an overlook near the southern portion of the Bailey's Dam site. The site has an open field for War For Southern Independence re-enactments. Admission to the site is $4 per person; children (12 and under) and senior citizens (62 and over) are admitted free. For more information about the site, click Fort Randolph & Buhlow SHS or call 1-888-677-7437 toll free or 484-2390 locally.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

150--YEARS AGO -- SOUTH ARMS FOR WAR

A well armed  Confederate.
Pvt. William H. Rockwell,  Co. H. 18th North
Carolina State Troops. (Library of Congress)
[Excerpt from UT Tyler Digital Archives]

DAILY ADVOCATE [BATON ROUGE, LA], November 28, 1860, p. 2, c. 1


Extensive Purchases of War Munitions for the South.—Those Republican editors, preachers and lecturers who think that the indignation of the south is best put down by ridicule, and who, therefore, lavish the resources of their buffoonery upon every reported attempt of a Southern State to arm her citizens for an impending conflict, will find in the following facts more evidence that the South is in earnest, and that the calamities of disunion, which they would laugh away with their ill-timed jests, are actually imminent.

Yesterday there arrived by the steamer City of Hartford, from Hartford, 180 cases of Sharp's patent carbines, containing 10 pieces each, making in all arms for 1,800 men, and 40 cases of conical balls, each containing 1,000 bullets, or 40,000 cartridges in the aggregate. These arms and ammunition were ordered by telegraph from the Governor of Georgia, and will be sent to Savannah by the next steamer. The same factory has also received orders from Alabama for 1,000 stands of the same death-dealing weapons.

Cooper & Pond, of this city, receive from twenty to fifty orders daily from South Carolina, Alabama, and Georgia—and people who suppose that the South is not a paying customer may be astonished to know that their business transactions in this line are strictly on a cash basis. Cash within thirty days is their invariable rule. Most of the orders are for rifles and navy revolvers, though Cooper & Pond supply an immense number of flint-lock muskets. They lately sent twenty gun carriages to Georgia, and have done a brisk business in all kinds of small arms and ammunition with all the principal Southern States.

Another large house in this city has filled orders for about 5,000 stand of muskets of the United States pattern, and has sold large quantities of artillery swords and army pistols. Its orders come from all the Southern States, but mainly from those in which secession is regarded as the only remedy for Southern grievances. A third extensive establishment has supplied an immense number of Colt's revolvers and rifles to Georgia, principally to Columbus. All the wholesale houses and agencies in the city have been hard pressed to supply the orders for every imaginable species of weapon. To the above list may be added Aime's Manufacturing Company, which has furnished Georgia with cannon and with 300 artillery swords, and has done a large miscellaneous business with all the aggrieved States.

Pvt. Andrew Skidmore, Co. E, 17th Virginia Infantry
Mount Vernon Guard.
(Library of Congress)
The Southern States, living until recently in peace and happiness under the roof-tree of a common Union, have neglected the establishment of firearm factories within their own borders. During the past year, Virginia first recognized the necessity of starting a State armory, and appropriated $100,000 for the work. Some commencement has already been made on it, but it is certain that the armory will not be completed within one year, and in the meantime she must depend on the North. Various statements have been circulated about the present armament of Virginia. It is believed that she can, as asserted, bring 25,000 men into the field, but the tremendous batteries of rifled cannon which have been said to belong to her, do not exist. We understand, from good authority, that she has but one rifled cannon. Indeed, in the matter of heavy ordnance, all the Southern States appear to be far behind the North.

South Carolina is the only Southern State which has an armory of her own. It has been in operation some years, and turns out good work, though at a cost not less probably than that of the same class of arms in the North.—Journal of Commerce.

Friday, November 5, 2010

150-YEARS-AGO --- SOUTHERN REACTION TO LINCOLN"S ELECTION



Louisiana Gov. Thomas Overton  Moore
who led the state out fo the Union.
(Mansfield State Historic Site)

[Excerpts from UT Tyler Digital Archives]

DAILY ADVOCATE [BATON ROUGE, LA], November 7, 1860, p. 2, c. 1


A Quiet Election.—One of the quietest, most orderly and pleasant elections ever held in this country occurred at our polls on Tuesday. Not a harsh word passed between the sovereigns in our hearing throughout the day. No drunken rowdies blocked up the passageway to the ballot-box; no illegal votes were polled, nor none attempted to be polled when it was ascertained that they were illegal. Good humor and friendly intercourse characterized the proceedings of the day, and while the "working men" of the respective parties were unusually active to advance the interests of their favorites, not an incident occurred to mar the universal harmony and kindly feeling that prevailed.
DAILY ADVOCATE [BATON ROUGE, LA], November 12, 1860, p. 2, c. 2
Revolution in South Carolina.

Immediate Secession Anticipated.

The Flag of Independence

A Red Star on a White Ground.

Convention Called.

Resignation of Senator Chesnut.

Great Excitement at Charleston.

Removal of Government Arms Attempted.
Special correspondence of the Delta.

Columbia, S. C., Nov. 10.—The bill calling a State Convention to meet on the 17th of December, for the purpose of taking measures to assert and maintain the independence of the State, has passed both Houses of the Legislature by a unanimous vote.

Senator Chesnut has resigned his seat in the United States Senate.

The flag of secession—a red star on a white ground—is waving in all the public places and from all public edifices. . .
DAILY ADVOCATE [BATON ROUGE, LA], November 12, 1860, p. 2, c. 3-4
From the N. O. Delta.

A Large and Enthusiastic Meeting. . . .

The Blue Cockade and South

Carolina Indorsed. . . .
. . . A sample of the blue cockade was shown, and every person desirous of obtaining one, (and no person will presume to wear one unless he can, and is willing to sustain the cause, and be not ashamed of the badge,) can find the means of procuring them at the Armory Hall this day. . .
DAILY ADVOCATE [BATON ROUGE, LA], November 13, 1860, p. 2, c. 6

The Charleston papers of the 8th come to us filled with accounts of the recent exciting proceedings in Charleston and Columbia. The Mercury has the following paragraphs:
The States Rights Flag Thrown to the Breeze.
. . . The most exciting incident was the unfurling of the State flag of South Carolina from an upper window of the Mercury office, which was greeted with vociferous cheers, proclaiming, in trumpet tones, that the "colors were to be nailed to the mast." . . .

At 12 o'clock was unfurled from our windows, and stretched across the street, a red flag with the Palmetto and the Lone Star. A shout from below, and twice three hearty cheers, greeted its appearance. . .

DAILY ADVOCATE [BATON ROUGE, LA], November 13, 1860, p. 2, c. 4

The following dispatch, dated Galveston, November 12th, was received here last evening:

"Considerable excitement here about the election of Lincoln. Disunion poles are being raised, and Lone Star Flags are flying. Declarations of Independence are being signed and military companies raised."

ELECTION OF 1860 in Louisiana

Southern Militia Officer
(6th Plate Tintype, author's collection)
By Mike Jones

The election of 1860 in Louisiana was quiet, orderly and showed no unusual alarm. On the ballot were John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky, who was the nominee of Southern Democrats; John Bell of Tennessee, nominee for the Constitutional Union Party, which was made up of old Whigs and Know-Nothings; and Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois, who was the nominee of the  regular Democratic Party. Abraham Lincoln of the Republican Party did not appear on the ballot in the state.

Breckinridge won the state by a plurality of the vote with 22,680. Bell received 20,204 and Douglas 7,625. Louisianians, before the election, were clearly split on the question of secession from the Union. But the election of Lincoln rapidly drove them into the pro-secession camp.

A visitor to New Orleans at this time recorded his observation:
"The excitement about the result of the election seems to increase fast. 
The most talk I hear now [in New Orleans] is about the state of the
country. Some anxiety appears to be felt as to the result. The
Southern people think the result of the election is a sort of declaration
of hostility by the North. Nearly every day Lincoln's effigy is hanged
in the principal streets and squares. When it is run up it is saluted
with the firing of cannon & cheers. Secession is openly talked of,
apparently with increasing confidence in its success." (Charles Schultz, “New
Orleans in December 1860” Louisiana Historical Quarterly.)

Governor Thomas Overton Moore, a secessionist leader, called for a Secession Convention in January. Louisianians got to vote on the question when they  elected representatives to the convention. On January 7 voters went to the polls and elected 80 immediate secessionists and 50 cooperationists, meaning they wanted to cooperate with other Southern states before seceding individually.
Also in the period after the election Louisianians started organizing military companies to defend the state. The groups took on such names as the "Crescent Rifles," "Minute Men," "Home Guards," and "Defenders of
Southern Rights." Groups already organized, such as volunteer firemen, steamboatmen and others, formed their own military units. The Louisiana Legislature convened in December in special session to establish a military board headed by the governor and authorized it to appropriate $500 million to arm and equip companies.

Events followed with rapidity: the election of delegates to the secession convention were elected January 7, 1861;  the the U.S. Arsenal in Baton Rouge was seized by  Louisiana troops January 10, Forts Jackson and St. Philip January 11, and Fort Pike and the United States barracks near New Orleans on January 14. Fort Macomb on Chef Mentur Road, guarding the eastern water approaches, was taken January 28, 1861.
'Pellican' flags were flying in all directions, companies drilling. . ." the northern visitor observed at the time. Louisianians were deadly serious about defending their sovereign and independent rights.