Monday, January 31, 2011


The Charleston Mercury was upset
that President Buchanan left Major
Robert Anderson, a slave owner from
Kentucky, in command of Fort Sumter.
(Library of Congress, from Frank Leslie's
Ilustrated News.)
The Charleston Mercury
Thursday, January 31, 1861

     There is something base, on the part of the President, in keeping Major Anderson at Fort Sumter under the present circumstances. Knowing him to be a Southron and a slaveholder, he should be offered a furlough or leave of absence, and a subtitute sent who is not a Southron. Leave all the Doubledays -- whether three score or one. The people of South Carolina have been measurably disarmed by their sympathy for Major Anderson, and President Buchanan knows it. Why was the former commandant at Fort Moultrie withdrawn, and Anderson put in his place, just at the beginning of our issues? Had the latter been as good a politician as a soldier, he would have declined the appointment, and then was his moment to resign, unless the Federal Government will show more magnanimity than is its character, and will voluntarily move to relieve him. Au contraire: the purpose is to disarm us, through him. But this cannont last. The result will be the sacrifice of a brave man, at the post of a supposed duty, whose government deliberately sacrifices him with the hope or some small temporary profit. Why not send General Wool, who seems spoiling for a fight, and ought to be indulged, in consideration of his name, if nothing more. We should be more readily disposed to wool him than the brave Kentuckian whom they have selected for the sacrifice.  Any how, we cannot well keep our hands off from wooling somebody shortly after the 4th of February. We cannot suffer a flag, so hateful as that of the United States, to wave in insolent defiance in the harbor of an independent States.

Friday, January 28, 2011


The Charleston Mercury
January 28, 1861
Page 1

The first South Carolina flag adopted 150-years-ago looked
something like this.
Our Flag
   On Saturday last both Houses of the General Assembly finally concurred in the design of the flag which is hereafter to represent the Sovereign State of South Carolina. The field is dark blue. Upon the upper inner corner of theflag is the crescent, in white, the horns pointing upward. In the mddle of the flag is an oval, in white, emblazoned with a golden palmetto, upright. The cut we present will give and idea of the porportions of the new ensign.
   No Federal Troops
   No Federal troops shall ever enter Virginia to operate against the South! Such was the solemn declaration of Floyd, of Virginia, long ago. Yet we seet that, contemplating the use of Federal troopsa gainst the South, the fortresses of Virginia are reinforced. Very beautiful, this! The Government of the United States, which left Harper's Ferry to the tender mercies of John Brown, arms it against Virginia herself. These fortresses,thus reinforced, are to be yielded, in March, to Abraham Lincoln. How many John Browns are to be sheltered in Virginia, under the protection of United States troops, is a question in political arithmetic, which our sister State must answer for herself. There was atime, however, when Virginia could snuff tyranny in the breeze. Does she not see it in these bayonets of the Federal Government?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

150-Years-Ago -- Louisiana Goes Out!

Richmond Daily Dispatch January 28, 1861

Louisiana secession delegates Jan. 26, 1861, by  Enoch
Wood Perry Jr. (Louisiana State Museum)

Louisiana gone out !

Rejoicings in the Sate, &., &c.
Baton Rouge,, Jan. 26.
--At 1.10, P. M., the following vote was declared on immediate secession — yeas 113, nays 17. The following is the ordinance;
An ordinance to dissolve the Union between the State of Louisiana and other States united with her under the compact entitled the Constitution of the United States of America;
We, the People of the State of Louisiana, in Convention assembled, do declare and ordain, and it is hereby declared and ordained, that the Ordinance passed by us November 22d, 1827, whereby the Constitution of the United States of America, and the amendments to said Constitution were adopted, and all laws and ordinances by which Louisiana became a member of the Federal Union be, and the same are hereby repealed and abrogated, and the Union now subsisting between Louisiana and other States under the name of the United States of America, is hereby dissolved.
And we further declare and ordain that the Senate of Louisiana hereby resumes the rights and powers heretofore delegated to the Government of the United States of America, and her citizens are absolved from allegiance to said Government.
And we further declare and ordain that all rights acquired and vested under the Constitution of the United States, or any act of Congress or treaty, or under any law of this State not incompatible with this ordinance, shall remain in force and have the same effect as if this ordinance had not been passed.
New Orleans,Jan. 26.
--Cannon are being fired in various parts of the city in honor of our independence. The Pelican flag floats proudly from all prominent points. The whole community are wild with delight.
Augusta,Jan. 26.
--The Independent Fire Company assembled at their headquarters on the announcement of the succession of Louisiana, and fired an appropriate salute in honor of the occasion. Subsequently the Washington Artillery fired 21 guns--six for the seceded States and fifteen for the Southern Confederacy.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

150-Years-Ago -- The Military Dress of the South Carolinians

The Richmond Daily Dispatch
January 25, 1861

A possible South Carolina Confederate.
One of the buttons on his jacket may be
a Palmetto button, but it is uncertain.
(CDV, M.D. Jones collection)
Military dress of the South Carolinians.
   The Charleston correspondent of the Baltimore American gives the following description of military uniforms in use there: The appearance of the militia of the Republic is quite prepossessing, though, like all militia, the variety of uniform adopted by the different companies would mar the general effect on review. For the most part, however, there is some attempt at uniformity in dress. This is rendered necessary by the quality and texture of cloth from which the clothing is made. Grey is the predominant color. The cloth is manufactured chiefly in North Carolina and Georgia, while some of it is imported from England direct. The material is generally serviceable and warm, and, affording no glaring or marked appearance, is particularly adapted to warfare. In clothing the men for service the gaudy tinsel and finery of the peaceful volunteer is left behind for quieter times. As yet the State has ordered the observance of no uniformity in the dress of her warriors.--The chief officers, nevertheless, have adopted a kind of undress uniform that is simple, neat and tasteful. I notice the Brigadier General and the members of his staff at times on the street with blue-black cloth frock coats, silver-washed Palmetto buttons, and a Palmetto tree worked upon the shoulders within a parallelogram of silver cord. The fatigue cap adopted is of the same cloth as the coat. Its shape is of the "rakish" wide-awake style so much in vogue with all our military companies; still the hat is rendered peculiarly South Carolinian by the inevitable Palmetto worked with silver upon the front. the cap is otherwise trimmed with silver cord.
   The dress of the aids of his Excellency Gov. Pickens, is substantially the same in style as that of the strictly military men, though it is much more tasty. The coat is trimmed with gilt buttons and bullion Palmetto decorations on the shoulders.

Monday, January 24, 2011

TV story about the Louisiana Secession Commemoration

Here's a link to a story KPLC-TV in Lake Charles, Louisiana did about the Sesquicentennial observance of Louisiana's secession.
Louisiana's Secession Commemoration.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

150-Years-Ago -- The Louisiana Secession Convention Begins

Richmond Daily Dispatch
January 26, 1861

Alexandre Mouton, former governor and
U.S. senator, was elected president of the
Louisiana Secession Convention.
(Library of Congress)
Louisiana State Convention,

Baton Rouge, Jan. 23.
--The LouisianaState Convention met to-day.
A flag with fifteen stars upon it floats over the Capitol.
After a fervent prayer had been offered up, the Convention organized by electing ex-Governor Mouton President by a viva voce vote of 81 to 41.
Mr. Hinge was conducted to the chair and made a speech, thanking the Convention for the honor conferred upon him, and advising the utmost calmness and firmness in all their deliberations.
Resolutions were adopted for the appointment of a Committee of Fifteen to report articles of secession of Louisiana from the Federal Union.
Several plans were here offered.
A resolution was adopted to convey the Commissioners from Alabama and South Carolina to seats on the floor.
The Chairman then named the Committee of Fifteen to report the Ordinance of Secession. --The committee will make their report tomorrow.
The Committee on Rules, &c., reported the following officers as necessary, in addition to the President: A Secretary, in an Assistant Secretary, a Doorkeeper, a Warrant, Clerk, and a suitable number of enrolling and translating clerks.
A Secretary was elected on the fourth ballot.
A committee of three was then appointed, to wait on the Commissioners from Alabama and South Carolina.
The Convention has adjourned until 10 o'clock to-morrow morning.
The State Legislature has adjourned until the 4th of February.
[second Dispatch.]
Baton Rouge,La.,Jan. 24.
--The Committee of Fifteen reported an Ordinance of Secession and a resolution regarding the navigation of the mouth of the Mississippi. Both were ordered to be printed. The committee asked for a postponement of any discussion on them until 12 o'clock to-morrow.
Several substitutes were offered for them, having in view a settlement of existing difficulties, and were ordered to be printed for to-morrow.
The Commissioners from Alabama and South Carolina were welcomed.
An invitation from the Mayor of New Orleans, for the Convention to adjourn there, was laid over.
A resolution of thanks was offered to the Governor, for his prompt seizure of the forts, which concludes "we will defend them here and elsewhere, with all the means in our power. "
Mr. Roselin asked, before the question was put, what was the authority for the acts done. The Governor was the highest conservator of the peace, and while such a disregard of law might become necessary for our rights, the speaker asked to know what was the exigency which rendered such action necessary in this case. He was not prepared to censure or thank.
A warm debate ensued; and when the Governor's annual Message was received, it was proposed to read that portion having reference to the taking of the forts.
Much debate for and against this proposition ensued, and ran with confusion, which the President was forced to rebuke.
The resolution was passed — yeas 118, nays 5.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

150-Years-Ago -- South Carolina and the North

An illustrated cover for sheet music celebrating the
 South Carolina state convention
 on December 20, 1860, where an ordinance of secession
was passed unanimously, thereby severing the state's
 ties with the Union. (Library of Congress)
 The Charleston Mercury
Saturday, January 19, 1861

     The Government of the United States is now the Government of the Northern States. Four Southern States [South Carolina Dec. 20, Mississippi Jan. 9, Florida Jan. 10, Alabama Jan. 11] have already, by virtue of their highest authority, withdrawn themselves from that Government. The eight Cotton States have all virtually done the same. The Southern Middle States may well be considered at this time as but neutrals. They have not yet definitely joined the Southern movement. They have no part in the attitude of the North, and no power in Congress.The whole problem resolves itself into the power and will of the North, versus the power and capacity of the South to resist. A geographical line divides the sections, and the South has resigned the Government into the hands of the North.
     The United States is the Northern States.
     Every man and every people have their own position to make and to define. The South has been kicked out the the Union, because they failed to maintain their dignity within the Union. With eyes wide open to the reiterated wrongs put upon them -- the bold denial of their rights -- the open infraction of their Constitution -- they have, year after year and decade after decade, submitted, and protested, protested and submitted, to deliberate robbery, outrage and insult.
     Such a course, amongst men, at once results in the forfeiture of all respect, esteem and consideration. It is the surest way to court indignity and oppression.
     This is equally true amongst peoples. The North has lost all respect whatsoever for the South -- all consideration of her rights -- all conception of her rights -- all consideration of her dignity -- all regard for her honor. We had become, in their minds, but the merest provincials -- menials to be cuffed into obedience to their orders, and whipped into compliance with their wills. The South has but reaped the natural fruits of its own weak, vacillating, timorous conduct. For the first time it has undertaken to assert its unquestionable rights and its dignity.
     But the North is naturally astonished -- it is indignant. "What! that its colonists should thus rebel -- to dare assert any rights contrary to their wills! Put them to the sword -- down with the rebels!" We of the South have sedulously made them our masters, and it now remains for us to unmake them. Of course the transition is not easy. They cannot naturally realize it, nor, of course, are they willing to yield to it. Force and power alone can decide the issue. . . .

Monday, January 17, 2011

150-Years-Ago -- More Details on the Seizure of the Baton Rouge Arsenal

[Excerpt from UT Tyler Digital Archive]

DAILY ADVOCATE [BATON ROUGE, LA], February 17, 1861, p. 2, c. 5-6
A Woman in Arms.
Seizure of the Baton Rouge Barracks.
Col. Braxton Bragg negotiated with
Major J.A. Haskin of the 1st U.S. Artillery
on behalf of Gov. Thomas O. Moore.
(Library of Congress)
            We find in the Oswego (N. Y.) Times the following letter from Mrs. Maj. Haskin to a relative in that city concerning the seizure of the Barracks in this city.  The excitement attending the circumstance doubtless accounts for the several slight errors which Mrs. H. falls into in her narration.  Mrs. H. is mistaken about the loyalty of "one German company" in our city to the State, also about Maj. Haskin telling the Governor "if he did not want blood shed he had better keep his men as far off as possible."  We also think it more than probable that Maj. Haskin did not say "that the time has not yet come to shed  blood."  If he made such a remark he must have been very mad.
However the ladies will have their say, and we give Mrs. H. hers as a matter of curiosity:
["] The Baton Rouge barracks and arsenal, belonging to the United States government, were commanded by Major Haskin, a native of New York, and a brave and loyal officer.  We are permitted to copy the following letter, written by Maj. Haskin's wife to relatives in this city.  It is the only correct account of the surrender of the arsenal which has yet reached the Northern States:
                                                                                            Steamer Magenta, Mississippi River, Jan. 15.
I can imagine your surprise when you see the post-mark of my letter, and you will wonder what is coming now.  Well, I must tell you how we fell into the hands of the Philistines.  You know, I suppose, all about the Secessionists, but you cannot realize the terrible state of confusion into which the South is thrown by them, and the bitter feeling of hostility which sprung up in the South against the North.  We are in the midst of it, but hardly realized its full strength until we felt its effects.  Two or three times the Major was threatened by a mob, or rather the barracks and arsenal were, but he told them to come, he would be prepared for them, and, of course, they did not come.
On the evening of the 9th, Col. Bragg, the once famous soldier, came to our house and spent the evening with us, and, on gong away, told Major Haskin he would like to speak to him on the piazza a moment.  (This Col. Bragg, by the way, is now a sugar planter, and aid to the Governor of Louisiana.)  He told Haskin that within three or four days the Governor would demand the surrender of the barracks and arsenals, backed by a force of six hundred men.  It was too late to telegraph to Washington that night, but Haskin prepared a message to be sent off early in the morning for instructions.  The next morning, before we were out of our beds, we heard that the troops had arrived—and such a looking set, armed with revolvers, bowie-knives, and every other murderous looking thing you can imagine!
They continued to pour into the town all day—the steamers on which they came having some of them the pelican flag flying, and some the lone star of Texas.  The four militia companies from Baton Rouge, too were under arms.  Words cannot describe the terror and confusion of the place.  The people were entirely ignorant of what was to be done, and most of the leading people are for the Union.  As soon as these troops arrived, Haskin left only a guard at the barracks and took possession of the arsenal.  There the little company of fifty men took their stand, well armed, and two little persuasive brass pieces in the shape of mountain howitzers quite handy and well loaded.  There they remained all day, while I packed up and sent off, to the care of friends, all my valuables.  About 5 o'clock the summons came to surrender to the State of Louisiana the barracks, the arsenal, and everything appertaining thereto.  Haskin inquired the number of troops they had, and he said he considered his fifty men equal to five hundred of the State troops.
The Governor said he had six hundred in town and, in the time it would take to come from New Orleans, he could bring a thousand more.  The Union people of the town said that they could do nothing against a demand backed by the Governor.  So the only thing was to make terms as to the surrender.  Some declared that the company should leave the arsenal unarmed, but Haskin told them plainly that he would never leave the place so, if he died for it.  At last they acceded to everything.  The troops marched out when they were ready—armed, with their flags flying and all the company baggage, and with the understanding that no other flag should be raised but the stars and stripes while we remained in town, and no troops take possession of the barracks while we remained there, which understanding was fully kept.  In the meanwhile, we received every attention from the people of the town—their houses were thrown open to us, and they did everything they could for us.  We have some very warm friends there, and we heard of one German company belonging to the town, that refused to go to the fort to fight against Major Haskin.
In the meanwhile, the telegraph was in the hands of the traitors, and we could hear nothing from Washington.  I very much doubt whether our messages ever were sent—and they said very plainly, that if a telegraph arrived for the Major, which they did not like, he would not get it.  Haskin says, that for the last month he has felt like a mouse in a trap.
The barracks and arsenal are separate places, but neither places of defense—just a cluster of buildings—and while our fifty men might defend themselves in one or two of them, there were half a dozen more the rebels could take, and even this would have been with terrible loss of life, so of course there was n o choice.  But was'nt [sic] he mad?  The men were in such a state of excitement it was almost more than Haskin could do to restrain them, and he was really afraid there would be some collision before he could get out of town.  The Governor, wishing to show us every attention, wanted to escort us to the boat with three or four volunteer companies, but Haskin told him if he did not want blood shed he had better keep his men as far off as possible, as he would not answer for his men if he did not.  I tell you we had a brave little band, and every one of them would have given all they had to fight, but Haskin says the time has not come yet to shed blood, and although he was convinced he could hold the place two or three days, he would have been no better off at the end of that time, but much worse, as there are no United States troops any where near, and the telegraph in the hands of the traitors.
After we broke up housekeeping, we staid at the house of a friend by the name of Caldwell, direct descendants of the revolutionary parson Caldwell.  Our friend Mr. Caldwell said he was really afraid that Fanny (his wife) would come home with a black eye, she felt so bad and was so abusive to the other party.  Our officers with us are Lieutenants Todd, Duryea, and Cooper.
                                                                                                                            Rebecca Haskin. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Louisiana WFSI Sesquicentennial Underway

     BATON ROUGE, La. -- The Louisiana Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, began its series of War For Southern Independence Sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) events Saturday, January 15, with reenactments of the surrender of the U.S. Arsenal at the site of the Old Arsenal Powder Museum and the signing of the Ordinance of Secession at the Old State Capitol.
Gov. Thomas Overton Moore, portrayed by collaeral
descendant Edward Overton Cailleteau, is seen here
reviewing state militia troops before the surrender
of the U.S. Arsenal at Baton Rouge. The actual event
occurred Jan. 11, 1861. The 150th anniversary  reenactment
was Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011. (Photo by Mike Jones)
     The events were very well planned and reenacted by SCV members. The Old Arsenal, the state militia, under orders from Gov. Thomas Overton Moore, demanded and received the surrender of the U.S. troops. The commander of the arsenal, Brevet Major and Captain J.A. Haskins of the 1st U.S. Artillery formally surrendered to about 600 state militia and Gov. Moore. The surrender terms allowed Haskin and his some 80 to furl their colors and march away. Transportation was provided for them.
    Here is the demand from Gov. Moore:
   Sir: The Safety of the State of Louisiana demands that I take possession of all government property with her limits.
   You are therefore summond hereby to deliver up the barracks, aresenal, and public property now under your command.
   With the large force at my disposal this demand will be enforced.
   Any attempt at defence on your part will be a rash sacrifice of life.
   The highest consideration will be extended to yourself and command.
Thoms O. Moore,
Governor and Commander-in-chief of Militia of Louisiana.

Louis Ducros portrayed Gov. Alexandre Mouton, the president
of the Secession Convention, and read the Ordinance of
Secession in both French and English. (Photo by Mike Jones)

  The other reenactment held January 15, was the signing of the Louisiana Ordinance of Secession, which historically occurred January 26, 1861 at the Louisiana State Capitol. The reenactment was held in the Old State Capitol in same location as the original event. Highlights of the historic 4 day event were presented by  SCV members in 19th Century-style clothing.
   The Ordinance was read in both French and English by Louis Ducros, portraying Gov. Alexandre Mouton, who was the president of the Secession Convention. When it was passed by the delegates, the State Militia escorted Gov. Moore into the room to accept it and lead the gathering out to the front steps of the capitol to proclaim the dissolution of the Union between Louisiana and the United States.
   Following the secession reenactment, the gathering assembled around the tomb of Gov. Henry Watkins Allen, located on the grounds of the Old State Capitol. A moving memorial ceremony was held for the governor and a salute fired by the color guard carrying the Louisiana Secession flag.

The color guard for the event fired a salute in honor of
Gov. Henry Watkins Allen at his tomb on the grounds
of the Old State Capitol. The flag is the Louisiana Secession flag.
(Photo by Mike Jones)

Here is the Ordinance and the signers (from compilation on Young Sanders Center web site)

Ordinance of Secession of Louisiana
Passed in the State Capitol at Baton Rouge on 26 January 1861, By a Vote of 113-17

An Ordinance to dissolve the union between the State of Louisiana and other States, united with her under the compact entitled “The Constitution of the United States of America.”

We, the people of the State of Louisiana, in Convention assembled, do declare and ordain, and it is herby declared and ordained, That the ordinance passed by us in Convention on the 22nd day of November, in the year eighteen hundred and eleven, whereby the Constitution were adopted; and all laws and ordinance by which the State of Louisiana became a member of the Federal Union, be and the same are hereby repealed and abrogated; and that the union now subsisting between Louisiana and other States, under the name of “The United States of America” is hereby dissolved.

We do further declare and ordain, That the State of Louisiana hereby resumes all rights and powers heretofore delegated to the Government of the United States of America; that her citizens are absolved from all allegiance to said Government; and that she is in full possession and exercise of all those rights of sovereignty which appertain to a free and independent State.

We do further declare and ordain, That all rights acquired and vested under the Constitution of the United States, or any act of Congress, or treaty, or under any law of this State, and not incompatible with this ordinance, shall remain in force, and have the same effects as if this ordinance had not been passed.

Louisiana Secession Convention Officers

(Parish of Representation is in Parentheses.)
Alexandre Mouton (St. Landry, Calcasieu & Lafayette)
John Tomas Wheat (Orleans)

Assistant Secretary
E. E. Kidd (Jackson)

Louisiana Secession Convention Delegates

(A ↓ Denotes A Delegate Who Voted In Opposition To The Ordinance of Secession.)

Bossier Bienville Pointe Coupée, Avoyelles & West Feliciana

- Robert Hodges - Abraham M. Gray

- Charles D. Stewart

Claiborne Rapides

- John L. Lewis - John Kingsberry Elgee

E. Feliciana, E. Baton Rouge Sabine, Natchitoches,

West Baton Rouge Desoto; Caddo

- James Overton Fuqua - Benjamin Lewis Hodge

- Andrew Stewart Herron - Henry Marshall

Franklin & Carroll St. Charles & Lafourche

- Mark Valentine - Louis Bush

Iberville St. Helena, Washington,

- Augustus Talbot Livingston, & St. Tammany

- Hardy Chessley Richardson

Jackson & Union St. James & St. John the Baptist

- Wilson M. Kidd - André Bienvenu Roman ↓

Madison, Tensas & Concordia St. Landry, Calcasieu & Lafayette

- Lemuel Parker Conner, Sr. - Lucius Jacques Dupré

- John Perkins, Jr. - Alexandre Mouton

Morehouse & Ouachita St. Martin & Vermillion

- Horace M. Polk - Alexandre Etienne DeClouet

Orleans (Left Bank) St. Mary

(Including the City of New Orleans) - Gabriel LeClaire Fuselier

- W. Rufus Adams

- Pierre Emile Bonford

- Thomas Hall Kennedy

- Felix Labatut

- J. J. Michel

Plaquemines, St. Bernard, Jefferson Terrebonne, Assumption; Ascension

Orleans (Right Bank) - Robert Campbell Martin, Sr.

- Charles Bienvenu ↓ -Adolphe Verret ↓

- Fergus Gardere ↓

Winn, Catahoula; Caldwell

-Wade H. Hough ↓

Representative Delegates

Ascension Natchitoches

- Thomas E. H. Cottman ↓ - Aaron Howell Pierson, Sr.

- Edward Duffel, Jr. - Jules Sompayrac

Assumption Orleans Right Bank

- Edmund O. Melancon ↓ - George Washington Lewis

- Walter Pugh

First Representative District Second Representative District

- Isaac Newton Marks, Sr. - Joseph A. Rozier ↓

- Thomas Jenkins Semmes - W. T. Stocker ↓

- Benjamin S. Tappan

Third Representative District Fourth Representative District

- Robert W. Estlin - M. O. H. Norton

- James McCloskey

- John Budd Slawson

Fifth Representative District Sixth Representative District

- Bernard Avegno - John Pemberton

- Joseph Hernandez

Seventh Representative District Eighth Representative District

- Edward Bermudez - Charles Octave LeBlanc

- George Clark

Ninth Representative District Tenth Representative District

- P. Sever Wiltz - William R. Miles

- William M. Perkins

- Alexander Walker

Avoyelles Ouachita

- Aristides Barbin - Isaiah Garrett ↓

- Fenelon Cannon

Bienville Plaquemines

- Felix Lewis - Effingham Lawrence

- Joseph Biddle Wilkinson, Jr.

Bossier Pointe Coupee

- Thomas Jefferson Caldwell - Samuel Washington McKneely

- Henderson McFarland, Jr. - Auguste Provosty

Caddo Rapides

- Leon Dawson Marks - Thomas Courtland Manning

- George McWillie Williamson, Sr. - William Washington Smart

- Lewis Emanuel Texada

Calcasieu Sabine

- William Ellison Gill -Edward C. Davidson

Caldwell St. Bernard

- Cicero Christopher Meredith ↓ - Antoine Marrero

Carroll St. Charles

- John H. Martin - Richard Taylor

- Edward Sparrow

Catahoula St. Helena

- James Govan Taliaferro ↓ - James Anderson Williams

Claiborne St. James

- Nelson Jackson Scott -Jerome Kleber Gaudet ↓

- James M. Thomasson - Louis S. LeBourgeois ↓

Concordia St. John the Baptist

- Joseph E. Miler - Samuel Hollingsworth

- Zebulon York

Desoto St. Landry

- Joseph Barton Elam - Walthall Burton

- Young W. Graves - Thomas Alfred Cooke

- Caleb L. Swayze

- John A. Taylor

East Baton Rouge St. Martin

- William S. Pike - Jean Maximilien Alcibiades DeBlanc

- Isaac Ambrose Williams - John Moore

East Feliciana St. Mary

- William Patterson - Jules G. Olivier

- Thomas W. Scott - Washington M. Smith

Franklin St. Tammany

- Allen Bonner - Sidney S. Conner

Iberville Tensas

- Edward George Washington Butler - William Dumont Anderson

- Theodore Johnson - Samuel Worthington Dorsey

Jackson Terrebonne

- William Benson Warren - Gilmore Franklin Connely

- Andrew McCollam

Jefferson Union

- Charles Theodule Lagroue - William Cleaton Carr

- Christian Roselius ↓ - Sidney Henry Griffin

Lafayette Vermilion

- Michel Eloi Girard - Daniel O’Bryan

Lafourche Washington

- James Scudday Perkins - Nehemiah Magee

- Caleb Jackson Tucker

Livingston West Baton Rouge

- William Alexander Davidson Nathaniel W. Pope

Madison West Feliciana

- Claiborne C. Briscoe - William Ruffin Barrow, Sr.

- William Raine Peck - John Turnbull Towles, Sr.

Morehouse Winn

Mike Jones, portraying Calcasieu Parish delegate William
Ellison Gill, is seated in the Old State Capitol for the
reenactment of 150th anniversary of the Louisiana
Secession Convention. (Photo by Susan Jones)
- Robert Barr Todd - David Pierson ↓

Friday, January 14, 2011

Lt.Gov. Dardenne to Establish WBTS Sesquicentennial Commission

La. Gov. Thomas Overton Moore
who called for a secession
convention after the election
of Lincoln.
(William Emerson Strong Photograph Album,
Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special
Collections Library, Duke University.)

    Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne has received the go-ahead from Gov. Bobby Jindal to establish a War Between the States Sesquicentennial Commission. The Shreveport Times reported that Jindal's office told them it was okay with him as long as it doesn't cost the state any money and its members serve on a voluntary basis.
   Dardenne agreed to those terms and will appoint a commission along the lines of other states with such commissions. Among the possible members mentioned by the Times are Gary Joiner, historian/ author of a number of books on the Red River Campaign; Tom Pressly, historian/researcher; Chuck McMichael, immediate past national commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans; Dr. C.O. Simpkins, dentist and Civil Rights icon; and former Greenwood Mayor Ernest Lampkins.
   Dardenne was quoted in the Times as saying, We're behind the curve a little bit with what other states are doing," said Dardenne, whose office encompasses tourism and tourist development. "I'm anxious to see what other states have done. I think its' a tremendous tourist opportunity for the state because we have such a rich history, not only in terms of Civil War battles, but also Lincoln's plans for Reconstruction, which were focused around Louisiana. There's a lot of different angles that play into Louisiana's history and need to be remembered and examined during the course of the Sesquicentennial."

150-Years-Ago -- Statement of Capt. McGowan.

Steamer Star of the West approaching Fort Sumter and being fired upon
by South Carolina guns. (Library of Congress)

Richmond (Va.) Daily Dispatch
Jan. 14, 1861

The following is an official account of the trip:
Steam ship Star of the West.
New York, Jan. 12th, 1861.

M. O. Roberts, Esq--Sir:
   After leaving the wharf on the 5th inst., at 5 P. M., we proceeded down the bay, where we have to and took on board four officers and two hundred soldiers, with their arms, ammunition, &c, and then proceeded to sea, crossing the bar at Sandy Hook at 9 P. M.--Nothing unusual took place during the passage, which was a pleasant one for the season of the year.
   We arrived off Charleston bar at 1.30 A. M. on the 9th inst. but could find no guiding marks for the bar, as the lights were all out. We proceeded with caution, running very slow and sounding until about 4 A. M., being then in 4½ fathoms of water, when we discovered a light through the haze which at that time covered the horizon. Concluding that the lights were on Fort Sumter, after getting the hearings of it, we steered to the S. W. for the main ship channel, where we have to, to await day light our lights having all been put out since 12 o'clock to avoid being seen. As the day began to break we discovered a steamer just in shore of us, which as soon as she saw us, burned one blue light and two red lights as signals, and shortly after steamed over the bar and into the ship channel. The soldiers were now all put below, and no one allowed on the deck except our own crew. As soon as there was light enough to see, we crossed the bar and proceeded on up the channel, (the water bar busy having been taken away.) the steamer ahead of us sending off rockets and calcium lights, until after broad daylight, continuing on her course up, near two miles ahead of us. When we arrived about two miles from Fort Moultrie. Fort Sumter being about the same distance, a masked battery on Morris Island, where there was a red Palmetto flag flying, opened fire upon us — the distance about five eighths of a mile. We had the American flag flying at our flag staff at the time. and soon after the first shot hoisted a large American ensign at the fore. We continued on under the fire of the battery for over ten minutes. several of the shots going clear over-us. One just passed clear of the pilot-house. Another passed between the smoke-stack and walking beams of the engine. Another stuck the ship just shaft the forerunning and stove in the planking, while another come within an ace of carrying away the rudder. At the same time there was a movement of two steamers from near. Fort Moultrie, one of them towing a schooner. I presume an armed schooner., with the intention of cutting us off — Our position now became critical as we had to approach Fort Moultrie to within three-four of a mile, before we could keep away for Fort Sumter. A steamer approaching us with an armed schooner in tow, and the battery on the island flung at us all the time, and having no cannon to defend ourselves from the attack of the vessels, we concluded that to avoid certain capture or destruction we would endeavor to get to sea. Consequently we wore around and steered down the channel, the battery, firing upon us until their shot fell short. As it was now strong ebb tide, and the water having fallen some three feet, we proceeded with caution, and crossed the bar safely at $50 A. M, and continued on our course for this port, where we arrived this morning, after a boisterous passage. A steamer from Charleston was about three hours watching our movements.
     In justice to the officers and crew of each department of the ship, I must add, that their behavior, white under the fire of the battery, reflected great credit on them
     Mr. Brewer, the New York pilot, was of very great assistance to me in helping to pilot the ship over Charleston bar, and up and down the channel.

Very respectfully, your ob't. serv't.
J. McGowan, Captain.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


An unidentified Confederate volunteer.
(Library of Congress)

New Orleans Sunday True Delta
January 12, 1861

Telegraphed to the True Delta.
Affairs At Baton Rouge
Capitulation of Major Haskins.
Difficulty Among the State Troops.
Hopes of an Adjustment
New Orleans Troops Returning Home.

Dispatch No. 1.
   Baton Rouge, Jan. 11, p.m. -- Major Haskins commanding at the arsenal, capitulated today at 12 o'clock, and evacuated the ordinance department of the barracks. The officers' quarters are still occupied by the U. States forces, but will be delivered up when proper conveyance can be procured to take them away. The companies from New Orleans now hold possession of the arsenal and barracks. Some of the Baton Rouge companies deemed themselves slighted by not being sen to take charge of the place, and intimated that they would disband. This has caused great excitement here, and crowds are now at the street corners, using the most inflammatory language, denouncing Governor Moore in no measured terms.
   It is hoped that the disbanded Baton Rouge companies, will be consolidated to-night, and that good feeling will be restored.
Dispatch No. 2.
   Baton Rouge, January 11, p.m. -- Three companies have disbanded, the country companies retiring in high dudgeon. The Pelican, Creole and Gross Tete companies are mentioned among the disaffected. The greatest excietement still prevails.
   Three companies, it is expected, will leave for New Orleans to-night -- the Orleans Cadets, the Sarsfield Guards and the Chasseurs. The other companies from the city will leave on Saturday night. It is now understood that the volunteer troops of Baton Rouge will take charge of the arsenal and barracks.

The Richmond Dispatch
January 12, 1861

An engagement expected.
Charleston, dispatch to the Courier, from Montgomery, Ala., says:
"Fort Pike has been taken by Louisiana.
"The Federal troops have stationed all the forts in Pensacola harbor except Fort Pickens, where they have concentrated. Three hundred men have left Mobile to surprise Fort Pickens."
[Second Dispatch.]
New Orleans Jan. 11.
--Forts Jackson and St. Phillips, on the Mississippi, and Fort Pike, at the entrance of Lake Pontchartrain, have been seized by New Orleans troops. There was no resistance.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Louisiana state militia seized the U.S. Arsenal at Baton
Rouge on Jan. 10, 1861 at the direction of Gov. Thomas
Overton Moore. The state had a elected delegates to a
secession convention to convene Jan. 23 in Baton Rouge.
Since the seizure of Fort Sumter by U.S. troops in
Charleston, S.C., Southern governors seized federal
properties in their states to thwart such threatening moves
 in their states. Above, Louisiana state seal.
 [Excerpts from UT-Tyler Digital Archive]

SUGAR PLANTER [WEST BATON ROUGE, LA], January 12, 1861, p. 2, c. 1

We were unable to issue our paper on Saturday last, owing to the fact that ourself and printer were engaged in playing "military" with Capt. Favrot's company of Delta Rifles, during the somewhat exciting times in Baton Rouge last week.

We issue now only a half sheet, in order that the legal advertising of the paper may not be interfered with. Our patrons will have to refer to other papers for the exciting news of the day.
SUGAR PLANTER [WEST BATON ROUGE, LA], January 19, 1861, p. 2, c. 1

Baton Rouge, Jan. 14, 1861.

Editor Sugar Planter: I promised you a little history of the times we had in the Arsenal and Garrison of this place during the past week, but have been laid up with the gout so badly as to render such an account impossible. The fact is, my dear boy, the State of Louisiana treated us too well in those trying hours. The first day, (last Saturday) the finest roasts, stews, fries, and even boned turkey, pate de foie gras and turtle soup, rewarded our patriotic services. Our gallant boys, however, disdained those dainties, and, to show their zeal, selected from amongst those tempting viands such food as dry bread, common cheese, and most venerable jerked beef, while a few still more enthusiastic, refused to eat anything for twenty-four hours. Was the like ever heard of before, good Mr. Planter? Why, sir, at night, the same men absolutely refused to repose upon the downy beds prepared for them by the Pelican, but heroically selected the softest planks they could find, and, envelopes in a blanket, were speedily ushered into the land of dreams. A few absolutely refused such delicious comforts, and with musket upon shoulder paraded the grounds all night to scare mysterious intruders away. The rainy, drizzly night was looked upon with the most dignified contempt, while the zeal of some of the boys was manifest in not sleeping themselves, or allowing others to sleep. The Pelican is a good and kind mother, and, so far, has well attended to the wants of her children. Shall write you again.

SUGAR PLANTER [WEST BATON ROUGE, LA], January 19, 1861, p. 2, c. 1

The West Baton Rouge Company:--From the many praises bestowed upon the Delta Rifles of our parish for the part they took in the exciting times of Baton Rouge last week, we are of opinion that their humble efforts were duly appreciated by the ruling powers of the State. Barely organized, and with little chance to drill, they did as well as could be expected under the circumstances. It was with a feeling of pride that we noticed in the ranks a large majority of those who had voted and worked for the success of the co-operation ticket, and amongst the foremost in the ranks as a private soldier was our parish representative to the Convention on the co-operation ticket, Col. N. W. Pope. Our parish, it will be remembered, voted heavily for the co-operation ticket, and, of course, was amongst those classed as "Submissionists;" but the disposition shown by our citizens, when the Governor called for men to take possession of the arsenal and barracks, was enough to satisfy any one that we are as willing and ready to maintain the honor and dignity of the Pelican State as those who thought proper to advocate separate State action. When such men as the Herefords, the Popes, Vaughn, Devall, Lobdell, Clarks, LeBlancs, Dubrocas, Williams, Favrot, and others of our prominent citizens will leave their homes and business to volunteer in defence of our beloved State, we think our parish may well be relieved of the odium of being a Union-at-any-price parish.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


The first shots of the War of Northern Aggression were fired on Jan. 9, 1861
when Star of the West attempted to bring reinforcements for Fort Sumter. In
self-defense, South Carolina artillerymen from The Citadel fired a warning shot
 across the bow. The ship kept coming and then the state troops opened
fire again and hit it three times before the steamer turned around.
(Library of Congress)
The Charleston Mercury
January 10, 1861, Page 1
   When Major Anderson spiked the guns of Fort Moultrie, and transferred his command to Fort Sumter, he perpetrated hostile acts against  this State. They clearly looked to a bitter instrumentality to coerce South Carolina by military power. The President of the United States understood this when he agreed with the South Carolina members of Congress not to change the military status in the bay of Charleston, upon the condition that we would not attack the forts. He knew perfectly well that if South Carolina had a right to secede from the Union, she had a right to have the forts in our harbor delivered up to her. These forts were built on her soil, for her defence against foreign nations. The obligation on the part of the Government of the United States to defend the State of South by these forts, fell with the secession of the State.
   Having no duty to discharge with them, their continued possession by the Federal authorities could only be construed into an attitude of hostility. They were held for purposes of violence and war. To put the State entirely right, in the course she was obliged to pursue, consistent with her right and sovereignty, South Carolina sent Commissioners to treat for peaceable surrender of these forts. A hostile change is made in the military relations of the Government of the United States towards South Carolina, in the bay of Charleston, by which the control of our waters is effected. Any military position, looking to violence, is war. Two friendly nations have a pass between them. They quarrel, and one of them seizes the pass. This is an act of war. But if the pass is within the territory of the nation aggressed on, no civilian could doubt that it is war commenced.
   South Carolina would have been justified, immediately on Fort Sumter being seized by Major Anderson, in opening a fire upon this fort from every point in the bay of Charleston. But the State authorities forbore --unwilling to commence the conflict with the Government of the United States. Not content, however, with holding the fort, the Government of the United States determines to make actively efficient the military command of our waters, and sends additional troops to work its guns guns against the State. Whether coming by land or water, there was but one course left for the State to pursue, consistent with her sovereignty or the welfare of her people, and that was, to prevent those troops reaching the fort.
   Accordingly, orders were given to the officers in command of the other stations in the bay of Charleston to arrest or sink any vessel carrying United States troops to Fort Sumter. Yesterday morning a steamer, supposed to be the Star of the West, attempted to enter the harbor. A gun was fired across her bows from the battery on Morris' Island. She went on without regarding it, and then she was fired into with such effect that she turned back and went to sea.
   All revolutions are blunders.They are never intended. The huge blunder now marring the counsels of the Government of the United States seems to be, that the Union can be maintained by violence and war, and that South Carolina can be cowed by demonstrations of military coercion. That the Black Republicans should commit such blunders is not surprising; for they have their existence as a party to support, and a rancorous sectional hatred to gratify; but that the present Administration should further their policy, and begin the grand drama of war and blood, is not a little astonishing. Every  step taken in this direction only widens the gulf between the Northern and Southern States, and drives the Southern States more speedily together into a Southern Confederacy. That military fools, like General Scott, who think the highest wisdom consists in the bloodiest fighting, should counsel the military possession of the bay of Charleston by the Government of the United States, is what might be expected.
   Thousands, and tens of thousands, longing for a Southern Confederacy, with an eternal separation from the people of the North, will hail him as their detested but most efficient deliverer. By all means, let Charleston be blockaded. Let the war complicate the nations of Europe, as well as the United States. Of one thing there need be no further blunders. The people of South Carolina will fight, and will establish the Southern Confederacy.

Friday, January 7, 2011


Richmond Daily Dispatch
January 7, 1861

The first flag of independence raised in the South, by the citizens of Savannah, Ga.
November 8th, 1860 / drawn by Henry Cleenewerck, Savannah, Ga.
; lithographed by R.H. Howell, Savannah, Ga. (Library of Congress)

   The Savannah News, of Friday morning gives the following particulars of the occupation of the Georgia forts by State troops. It gives Maj. Anderson's movement and the failure of the President to remand him, as the cause which induced the Governor to take the step:
   At eight o'clock yesterday morning, the ship steamer Sampson left with the detachments alluded to else where in this morning's paper, for Fort Pulaski. Col. Henry R. Jackson, aid to the Governor, accompanied by Maj. H M. Davenport, had preceded the companies, and had demanded of Mr. Thomas Hennessy keeper of the Fort, the keys, which he, having no power to resist, promptly delivered to the authorized agent of the Governor of Georgia. When the boat reached the landing on Cockspur Island the troops were debarked and marched to the Fort, which was taken possession of, in pursuance of orders of the Governor of the State, by Col. A. R. Lawton, commanding officer.
   On the passage down, the Sampson passed the ship revenue cutter J. C. Dobbin, with the United States colors Union down, and the Palmetto flag flying at her peak.
   Shortly after the arrival of the steamer at Cockspur, a party of gentlemen presented themselves at the Fort, and made a tender to Col. Lawton of the Cutter Dobbin, which they had captured, and which was then aground. Col. Lawton, not recognizing the unlawful capture of the Dobbin, authorized Capt. Scriven. of the Savannah Volunteer Guards, to take possession of her in the name of the State of Georgia, with instructions to turn her over to the Governor, which he did.
   The occupation of Fort Pulaski, by authority of the Governor of the State, was a prudential measure, designed to guard against the commission of any lawless act by an exasperated people, and at the same time to prevent its occupancy by forces hostile to us, and it will be sustained by our people to any amount of reinforcements necessary to hold it against attack from any quarter.
   The ship cutter Dobbin, it appears, had been taken possession of without any State authority whatever, and on application of Mr. Boston, Collector of the port, for her releases Gov. Brown promptly granted it, in the following letter:
   Sir: The ship Revenue Cutter J. C. Dobbin, which was seized by some unauthorized person or persons unknown to me has, under the order giver by me to Col. Lawton, now in command of Fort Pulaski, to protect Government property against injury, been recaptured, and is now aground near Fort Pulaski. You will please send a revenue boat and take her into your custody to night, and I will have her hauled off to-morrow morning and delivered to you at such place as you may designate. I much regret the lawless seizure of the vessel, and beg leave to assure you that I shall from time to time give such orders as will protect the Custom-House and other property belonging to the Federal Government till the action of this State is determined by the Convention of her people.

Monday, January 3, 2011


The Charleston Merucy reported on this day in 1861 that Charleston had become an armed camp ready it defend its
independence. Fort Moultrie, seen here on April 16, 1861, had been fully restored after being wrecked when the Union
garrison retreated to Fort Sumter. (Library of Congress)

The Charleston Mercury
January 3, 1861
   Every effort of the General Government to avert dissolution, only hastens on its fate. Major Anderson abandons Fort Moultrie and garrisons Fort Sumter. The President approves and the Northern press praises the achievement. The New York Evening Post even declares that this step of coercion  raises the price of Stocks in New York. But what follows in the South, where the great game of disunion is going on? The people of are made more resolute in their determination to throw off the Government. Our city is like an armed camp. Martial music fills the air. Offers of assistance come by thousands from the neighboring States. Fort Moultrie, Castle Pinckney, Fort Johnson, and the United States Arsenal, are occupied with our troops. Disciplined companies are arriving by railroad from the interior of the State. The Governor of Georgia seizes the United States forts commanding the harbor of Savannah. The Georgia elections, with the voice of a tempest, sweeps before it the flying chaff of Unionism and fear, and proclaims that the Union must be dissolved. In a few more days Florida, Alabama and Mississippi will have cast off all political connection with the North, and all the fortresses on the Atlantic and the Gulf, from Cape Fear to the Mississippi, will have the stars and stripes forever taken down from their flagstaffs. So works the threats of coercion of the South. And how is it at the North? Congress has been in session a month and not a single measure of coercion has been proposed, much less passed, in Congress. The Black Republicans seem to be content to abuse the President as a traitor, because he does not enter upon the enterprise of conquering the South with one thousand men, being the whole force at his command from Boston to New Orleans. They know that the President is just as helpless as they are, to coerce the Southern States into the Union; and yet, they bray about their asinine abuse, with all the force of baffled hate and raging imbecility. Scheme after scheme, to keep the Union together, is formed, and bursts like bubbles on a fretful tide. Every day brings its proof of the steady progress of the Government of the United States to dissolution, and of the South to union, whilst every effort made to avert this inevitable drift of things, only accelerates them to their final consummation. Not to act is fatal and to act is more speedily fatal. So, why not at once acquiesce in the destiny of things--pitch the account book of the Union into the fire; and take down the new account book of a Southern Confederacy? Then, spread out its fair pages, for a glorious history of independence, prosperity, and liberty. As to the North,--let it go over to Canada--or break up into an Eastern, Middle, and Western Confederacy--all inferior in power, wealth and civilization, to the great predominating Republic of the Slaveholding States of North America. Can they hep themselves? We will see.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


The Richmond Daily Dispatch
January 2, 1861

South Carolina militia taking possession of Castle Pinckney.
(Harper's Weekly, January 12, 1861)
 Fort Sumter.
[From the Charleston Mercury, Dec.31st.]
   All day Saturday and yesterday, our gallant troops were busy in the performance of the various duties assigned them by the State. At Fort Moultrie, we are glad to be able to state that matters are progressing swimmingly. The most vigorous measures are on foot to remount the dismantled guns, and every hour is working wonders towards that end.--At various exposed points along the bay, breastworks are being rapidly erected. The details of these fortifications we shall give at another time. But whoever glances at the earnest manner in which these defences are pushed forward, must acknowledge that Carolinians have lost none of the zeal and bravery which distinguished them of old.
   Sunday was to idle day for the garrisons. At Castle Pinckney service was duly performed, but the rest of the day was devoted to energetic action.

The State of affairs at Fort Sumter.

   From the accounts of a number of laborers who were sent from Fort Sumter on Friday night, our reporters have gleaned a mass of highly interesting details in relation to the strength and present condition of the great fortress which now forms the last stronghold of Federal authority within the limits of our State.
   About six weeks ago, when there were no troops in Fort Sumter, the Federal officers in charge of that post proposed to the workmen employed in completing the fortifications, and who then numbered about 150 men, that they should enlist in the United States service, and thus vary the monotony of handling the trowel and the derrick, by a little daily practice with the musket and the howitzer. The workmen, most of whom were from a Southern city, at first demurred at this somewhat extraordinary proposal, alleging that they came to work and not to fight; and, finally, after consultation among themselves, they flatly refused to become the thankless tools of coercion.--The benevolent officers, as there was no help for it, suffered the matter to drop for awhile, and the work of getting the guns in position and otherwise strengthening the fortress was resumed by the stalwart Baltimore mechanics and laborers without any more martial propositions.
   Thus matters wore on until the transfer of the garrison of Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter. On Thursday evening, when the Palmetto banner floating over Castle Pinckney; and the rockets from Fort Moultrie announced to the lookouts on the ramparts of Fort Sumter the occupation of both those works by the State troops, the impression was quite prevalent among the United States officers that a sudden attack upon their own position would follow. The laborers were again hastily summoned together — again the officers endeavored to coax them to don the blue cloth and brass buttons in defence of the fort, and again the sturdy sons of toil declined the tempting offer. Finding that the workmen were immovable in their resolve not to participate in any contest with the forces of South Carolina, the officers thought that the next best thing was to get men who could evince no sympathy for Federal tyranny out of the way as soon as possible. The boats were accordingly manned shortly after nightfall, and the larger portion of the workmen were quietly taken over to Fort Johnson. The workmen say that this was done by order of Capt Foster, who, it will be remembered, was in Charleston that same morning (Thursday.)
   The dreaded attack not having taken place, the laborers and mechanics returned on Friday morning, when about eighty of them, including all the master mechanics, weary of a position so full of danger and alarms, announced their intention to quit. On demanding their pay, they received drafts on the North, instead of the specie in which the Government usually pays its employees, and glad to get away, they embarked at 4 o'clock on Saturday morning on a schooner for Charleston. On arriving in Charleston, they found themselves in a strange city, and destitute of means. A purse was promptly made up for them among some of our liberal citizens, and on Saturday afternoon they departed for their homes on the steamship Keystone State. Previous to leaving, however, they related the following facts concerning the post they have just left:
   The force now remaining in Fort Sumter consists of about one hundred and thirty men, fifty of whom are laborers, and the rest troops belonging to the artillery branch of the United States service. These latter are sufficient to man about one-half the guns of the fort, supposing the guns were all mounted. Fortunately, however, this is far from being the case. Out of seventy- five pieces of heavy ordnance now in the fort, only eleven are fully mounted. These are all casemate guns in the lower tier, and include the nine guns of that face of the fortress fronting towards Sullivan's Island. Two more of these casemate guns were nearly mounted on Friday evening, but the work of getting them in position is necessarily slow and tedious, and, with the force now at work, it is impossible to mount more than three guns per day at the utmost. The heaviest guns, too, which are the ten-inch Columbiads, have yet to be mounted. One of the casemate guns at one of the angles of the walls has been placed in position so as to cover Castle Pinckney. The garrison were on Friday evening getting ready to mount some of the casemate guns on the south side of the walls.
   Besides these heavy pieces, four of the lighter barbette guns are mounted upon the ramparts, pointing towards Morris' Island. These are so arranged upon pivot carriages as to sweep around the whole horizon. The magazine of the fortress is well stocked with an immense quantity of grape, canister and shells, and about seven hundred barrels of powder. All the small arms and stores of Fort Moultrie have been transferred with the garrison, and there is a sufficient accumulation of provisions to last, in case of necessity, for six months at least. Four large cisterns contain an ample supply of fresh water; but it is now well understood that Fort Sumter has no fuel to spare. The rumor current in the city that a number of the guns in Fort Sumter, which are not yet mounted, had been spiked by the Southern workmen, is without foundation.

The Arsenal.

   About two o'clock, yesterday afternoon, the Federal flag, which until that time had been suffered to wave over the Arsenal, was hauled down, and the glorious Palmetto banner run up in its stead. As the State flag for the first time flapped in the breeze from that fine staff, a salute of cannon was fired to celebrate the event. We fancy that the guards will watch more zealously than ever, now that they know that the flag of their redeemed country is floating proudly over them.

The Charleston Courier of Saturday has the following:

   Our reporter visited the Island yesterday, and found matters at Fort Moultrie progressing quietly and satisfactorily. The rubbish left by the Federal troops is being cleaned away, and the fortress assuming a defensible aspect. Many apprehended difficulties, of a nature we need not name, have been removed, and the volunteer companies constituting the garrison are making merry over the hardships of the soldier. Some of the guns are, it is supposed, badly injured by the burning of the carriages. Activity prevails at the garrison, and its vigilant officers are determined on the course that guides their action.
   Fort Sumter, as viewed at a distance, presents an appearance of lively activity Schooners and barges were plying between the fort and the channel during the day. Everything seems to indicate active preparation.
   Castle Pinckney was reinforced in the afternoon by a detachment of the Marion Artillery from Fort Moultrie, under the command of Captain King. A detachment of the Washington Light Infantry was transferred from the former to the latter place in the forenoon, thus retaining at Fort Moultrie the same force as first occupied it.
   The garrison at Castle Pinckney consists of about two hundred men. Ten twenty-four pound cannon are mounted on the ramparts, besides some fifteen pieces — a few of which are case mated — in the lower tier. The work is well provided with munitions of all kinds, and under the command of its field officers, Col. Pettigrew and Maj. Ellison Capers, will make itself felt, if need be, when the time comes. It is far from being the insignificant position of which it has the reputation. Although a defective construction has impaired the power of the lower batteries to a considerable extent, it has an effective tier of rampart guns, which, from its eligible position, are capable of much service. It is beyond the reach of the largest guns of Fort Sumter, and commands the entire line of wharves and shipping along Cooper River, and in the hands of an enemy would be capable of doing vast injury to the city.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


The Charleston Zouave Cadets occupied Castle Pinckney
December 26, 1860
(The Photographic History of The Civil War in Ten Volumes: Volume Three, The Decisive Battles. The Review of Reviews Co., New York. 1911. p. 171.)

The Charles Mercury
January 1, 1861

   Our readers will perceive, from our telegraphic despatches,that Governor Floyd has resigned his seat in the Cabinet as Secretary of War, and that General Scott has been appointed, ad interim, in his place, or Mr. Holt, who is equally in favor of coercion; and that the war steamer, Harriet Lane, has been ordered to this port; and that troops may also be expected. This looks very belligerent, and we confess, quite exceeds the folly we were prepared to attribute to the Administration. In twelve days three more States -- Florida, Alabama and Mississippi -- will most probably be out of the Union. In one month four more -- Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas and Georgia -- will also most probably be out of the Union. If there was any doubt of such results the Government will make them sure by its futile attempts to coerce South Carolina. It will do more. It will speedily bring all the other Southern States into sympathy and union with the Cotton States. If the Cotton States had the ordering of events, they could not devise any expedient so certain and speedy in its operation to drive all the Southern States together into a separate Confederacy, than that which the Administration, under the counsels of General Scott, is now about to adopt. As soon as this intelligence passes down the South, the people of every Southern State in which is a military stronghold of the United States, will seize it. We could have seized Fort Sumter; but failing to do so, we see it garrisoned for the control of the bay. The other Southern States will profit by the lesson, and will know how to meet the faithlessness and hostility of the Federal Government. Virginia, Florida, Alabama, will now understand the uses to which the United States fortresses in their respective States are to be applied. They are to be filled with enemies to enforce the authority of a Government as unscrupulous as it is tyrannical. Nor will the spirit of the people of the South quail before such demonstrations. It will rise with the development of the true nature of the Government of the United States. Some of our people have not realized that it has become a remorse less sectional despotism. Now its true characteristics will be made plain to all; and as it raises its bloody front, it will be met with that stern courage which always animates men struggling for their liberties and institutions. Although we deprecate collisions with the General Government we cannot doubt that it must, more speedily than any other instrumentality, produce the triumph of the policy of South Carolina. That policy is an eternal separation of the Southern from the Northern States, and a mightily Southern Confederacy. The poor fools who are trying to defeat its consummation by drawing the sword, will only give it a loftier and more enduring triumph.
   South Carolina, with the Ithurial spear of Secession, has touched the toad--and lo! it springs up, a devil