Monday, September 27, 2010

150-YEARS-AGO Bell, Everett Rally

Campaign banner for Constitutional Union party presidential and vice presidential candidates Bell and Everett. The two men stand before a large curtain, their hands resting on the Constitution. Behind the Constitution, the curtains part to show a rising sun. Above, a large eagle stands on a shield holding a banderole with the motto, "Liberty and Union Now and Forever One and Inseperable. No North, No South, No East, No West, Nothing but the Union." Below the figures are streamers with the candidates' names.  (Library of Congress)
[Below: Excerpt from UT Tyler Digital Archives]
THE CONSTITUTIONAL [ALEXANDRIA, LA], September 29, 1860, p. 2, c. 4

Make Way for the "Old
Rapides Opposed to Dis-
"Silence That Awful
700 Union Men on the
Great Enthusiasm!!!!!!

In accordance with the request of the Executive Committee, the friends of Bell and Everett rallied in large numbers on Saturday evening last, at the rooms of the Constitutional Union Club of Rapides, to take part in the grand torch-light procession, announced for that evening.

It was a success in the fullest sense of the word, realizing our most sanguine expectations, showing that even here in the very hot bed of "Fugitive" Democracy, the Union cause has a strong hold upon the hearts of the people; that it is a power full of life, vigor and energy, marching onward silently, keeping its own counsels, but like the resistless waves of the ocean, advancing with constant increasing force, and arriving at victory over the prostrate forms of secession and disunion.

The procession started from the Hall at an early hour, headed by a wagon carying [sic] a huge bell, with a transparency at each of the four corners, bearing the motto, "THE UNION IS OUR WATCH WORD." Throughout the procession were distributed something over three hundred and fifty flaming torches, thirty-four tri-colored transparencies representing the thirty three States and District of Columbia, and a number of larger transparencies with appropriate devices and mottoes. One represented the glorious old ship "Constitution," about to be dashed upon the rocks, but fortunately the sound of the fog "bell" is heard in time to rescue her. Another represented John Bell's negro man with a bell requesting the defaulting post-masters and office holders to "walk up and settle," and another portrayed Douglas and Breckinridge busily engaged in sawing the platform apart, while Lincoln coming up with a rail under his arm, remarks, "I always split 'em." Bringing up the rear was another wagon containing the members of "The Union Glee Club," who enlivened us occasionally with their spirit stirring songs.

As the procession paraded through the various streets, with their huge bell pealing out its long loud notes, the long imposing array of flaming lights and transparencies, the glorious song and cheer after cheer ascending up. Democracy sank away abashed, disheartened, while aloft was borne another note to the grand old song of the Union, which will chime in with the great National symphony on the sixth of November next.
After completing the circuit of the town, the crowd repaired to the Court House square and were addressed by Col. A. N. Ogden, and Major John Kelso. . .

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Confederate White  House in Richmond, Va. in 1901, now part of the Muserum of the Confederacy. (Library of Congress)
[Press release from the Museum of the Confederacy]
The Board of Trustees has announced the commencement of the construction phase of the Museum of the Confederacy-Appomattox, the largest project in the nation for the Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War. The groundbreaking for the new Museum will take place on September 23, 2010, with the opening scheduled for Spring of 2012.

S. Waite Rawls III, President of the Museum of the Confederacy, said: “The Museum of the Confederacy- Appomattox will bring a new dimension in the story of Appomattox, as the focal point of the ending of the American Civil War and the starting point of national reunification.” The themes for the main exhibit will study the events which led to the end of the war and reunification of the nation. Visitors will be able to examine the ending of a war, which had torn the nation and cost more than 620,000 lives, yet ended with a nobility and dignity marking a desire to heal the wounds and bring the nation together. There was the uncertainty facing the Confederate soldier and the civilian refugee, as they began the road home, while that same road “home” held both challenge and opportunity for the newly freed slave.

“These stories make Appomattox one of those names that rings across the years of history; not only in our own country but around the globe. When people study the history of this great nation the importance of Appomattox draws them to see the place for themselves,” stated Dr. Paul Harvey, Mayor of Appomattox.

"We believe the future of Appomattox's growth is in tourism," Delegate Watkins Abbitt, I-Appomattox, and member of the Virginia Tobacco Commission said. "The Museum of the Confederacy-Appomattox will certainly be a great addition to the region. The economy of the town and the region will benefit as more visitors will come and stay longer. The new museum will be an important component in creating an environment conducive to business expansion, new business establishment, job growth, and enhanced tax revenue.”

The Museum of the Confederacy-Appomattox is the first new site in the expansion to a system of museums for the Museum of the Confederacy, which has its headquarters in Richmond. With this building the Museum will add more than 5,000 square feet of exhibit area to the nearly 7,000 which exists in Richmond for the display of the world’s largest collection of artifacts, photographs, and documents, of the Confederacy.

“For 120 years The Museum of the Confederacy has been educating the public on the history of the Confederacy from our site in Richmond;” stated Rosewell Page, Chairman of the Museum’s Board of Trustees, “this expansion will allow us to broaden our mission by expanding this effort to Appomattox."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

150-YEARS-AGO: Breckinridge getting more popular in Louisiana

Vice President John C. Breckinridge
[Ed. Note: excerpted by the UT Tyler digital archives]

DAILY ADVOCATE [BATON ROUGE, LA], September 28, 1860, p. 2, c. 4-5

Letter from the Plains.
Plains, La., Sept. 24, 1860.
My motto is not

Breckinridge, Douglas, or Bell,
But pick, trash and gin, press, ship, and sell.
     I am no politician, I am on neutral ground; am on the fence; have made no expression of my political views, consequently, I can, without committing myself, give you one or two political items picked up on the way.
    I remained in Jackson one night, and during my short sojourn I heard nothing but Breckinridge and Lane. Jackson is for this ticket, soul and body, head and ears. While returning home I noticed the Breckinridge flag floating in several places on the road. The inference is, East Feliciana is "O. K." This is a trying time. Every one ought to be a faithful sentinel—at his post. As for me, I intend to vote for the South. I occupy an observing position, and I intend to vote for the man whose prospects are most favorable. My political motto was the motto of one member of the great American Triumvirate, "Principle, not men." I am a Democrat, and desire to vote the Democratic ticket, but I have no hesitancy in saying that I will vote for Mr. Bell if his prospects next November are most favorable. If I should do otherwise I would consider it an indirect vote for Lincoln. I am candid in this expression.
     Messrs. Editors, this is at your disposal, publish if you like; if not, consign it to the same place that Jeroboham did the roll of Baruch.
Yours, etc.,
R. W. Y. N.

DAILY ADVOCATE [BATON ROUGE, LA], October 1, 1860, p. 2, c. 5
Campagin Medals,
Bell and Everett,
At J. McCormicks.
DAILY ADVOCATE [BATON ROUGE, LA], October 2, 1860, p. 2, c. 5
Campaign Medals,
Breckinridge and Lane,
At J. McCormicks.
Campaign Medals,
Douglas and Johnson.
Prince of Wales Medals,
At J. McCormick's.

Monday, September 6, 2010


The SCV's official sesquicentennial logo.
By Mike Jones
A survey of War For Southern Independence Web Sites shows they have multiplied as we get closer to the kick-off date. Of course the kick-off date can be a variety of dates, including the 1860 presidential campaign, the 1860 election, and the secession of South Carolina. The newly elected commander-in-chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Michael Givens of South Carolina, officially proclaimed the sesquicentennial underway at national reunion of the organization in August.

The SCV has started a special sesquicentennial society that is raising money to build a new Confederate Museum as the group's international headquarters in Columbia, Tennessee. It is also creating a fund for promoting the bicentennial, 200th anniversary, for the years 2060-2065 as a commitment to the future of the organization and to the coming generation who will be the Sons of Confederate Veterans' leaders of the future. Here is a link to the SCV Sesquicentennial website, Confederate 150.

Here are some planned SCV Sesquicentennial events for 2011:
2010 - Charleston, SC- December 2010

The Confederate Heritage Trust, in partnership with the South Carolina Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, is currently in the planning stages for what will be a grand and memorable Secession play and Ball. This event will commemorate and celebrate the state of South Carolina for the second time becoming an independent nation on December 20th 1860. The evening will begin with a theatrical play recreating the Convention and the men that cast their votes to remove South Carolina from the union know as These United States. Many of the actors will be local and State celebrities and personalities.

Immediately following the play a grand ball and reception will follow with a joyous night of music, dancing, food and drink. The Charleston Gaillard auditorium will be our venue for both events. As an added bonus The State Archives and History Department will have the original Ordinance of Secession available for all to see and enjoy.

The Confederate Heritage Trust and the South Carolina Division would like to personally invite you to attend this once in a lifetime event! Please purchase tickets and sponsorships now while space is available and we look forward to seeing you there. Remember all tickets and sponsorships are tax deductible. For more information go to, Secession Gala.
2011 - Montgomery, AL-February 19, 2011

It is time to mark your calender for the SCV Sesquicentennial Event to be held in Montgomery, AL on Saturday February 19, 2011. This event will feature a parade up Dexter Avenue to the Alabama State Capitol Building, a reenactment of the swearing in of President Jefferson Davis and a selection of speakers at the Capitol Building. Just like was done for the Flag Rally in 2000 in Columbia, South Carolina and for the Hunley Funeral in Charleston in 2004 - it is IMPERATIVE that this event be well attended. We must show the world that we will not permit the History and Heritage of the Confederacy to be forgotten and unobserved during the Sesquicentennial.

Below are the locations of national SCV sesquicentennial events in the following years:

2012 - Richmond, VA

2013 - Jackson, MS

2014 - Atlanta (Marietta/Kennesaw), GA

2015 - Shreveport,

Saturday, September 4, 2010


[Ed. Note: text from the UT Tyler digital archives]

Campaign editorial cartoon  featuring John Bell, Constitutional Union Party, left, Stephen A. Douglas, regular Democratic party candidate, John C. Breckinridge, Southern Democratic candidate and Abraham Lincoln, Republican party candidate. (Library of Congress)
DAILY GAZETTE & COMET [BATON ROUGE, LA], September 18, 1860, p. 2, c. 1

Ill. Sen. Stephen A. Douglas,
Democratic Party candidate for
president in 1860. (Library of Congress)

Outrageous Conduct.—On Sunday evening last, our city was visited with a most pestilential simoon of drunkness. A company of men paraded the streets under the Democratic doctrine, that "in union there is strength," committing all manner of outrages on persons and property, causing the stores and houses to close, and for a time taking complete possession of the place. It cannot be said the parties are not known—it cannot be said that there is not evidence to convict them, and it the question arises, where are the authorities, who are in the regular pay of the people to do what is clearly their duty, if any duty at all is required of them. This is not the first or second time that such disgraceful scenes have been witnessed in Baton Rouge of late years, and the violators of the law do so with impunity. Shall we admit that the parties, who are charged with the duty of arresting such and calling on others to aid them, when their power fails, are incompetent to the duty? Yes—this is the naked truth. The people are responsible for this condition of things. The evils all come out of that pandoras box, of all evil; the ballot box, which we for one are in favor of abolishing, if it can do nothing better than elevate to place, men, notoriously unfit for place. Where is the Mayor of the city—the Justice left to administer justice—the Marshal of the city and his assistant? We are all interested in these inquiries, and if there are not sober people enough—law abiding citizens, to see these evils corrected, the entire machinery of the city government had better be turned out to grass.

DAILY GAZETTE & COMET [BATON ROUGE, LA], September 18, 1860, p. 3, c. 1

Debaters Attention.—There will be a regular meeting of the Sugar Bowl Debating Society, this evening at 7½ o'clock, at the usual place of meeting.

At the last regular meeting of the society, the following question, "Are the opinions of S. A. Douglas with regard to Territories constitutional," was ably discussed by Messrs. Walters, Stuart, Annie, Muguet, LeBlanc and J. H. Hardon on the affirmative, and by Messrs. Favrot, C. O. & J. H. Hardy, Read, and McGimpsey on the negative. . . .