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.

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