Saturday, February 5, 2011

150-Years-Ago -- The National Crisis

The Richmond Dispatch
February 5, 1861

Fifth Company, Washington Artillery of
New Orleans, 1861.
(Copy print, M. Jones collection)

The Mississippi and Mobile Bay to be Blockaded — from Pensacola — the South Carolina Ultimatum--Union meeting at Charlestown, mass.--Kentucky, & etc., & etc.
     The Mississippi and Mobile Bay to be Blockaded.
     The New Orleans Picayune, of the 29th ult., says that the following is an extract from a private letter, from an authentic source at Vera Cruz, by the shipsteamship Tennessee:
     "It is said here, that Mr. Pickett, U. S. Consul, recently arrived on the Tennessee, has brought orders for Com. Prendergast, to blockade the mouths of the Mississippi and Mobile Bay, and protect Pensacola. It is certain that the St. Louis, the Powhatan, and the Sabine, are about to leave for your port. A meeting of the officers of these vessels has in consequence been held, at which there was much excitement. Many of the officers. Southern born, have since resigned, saying they are sons of the South, and cannot draw the sword against them. The feeling in Vera Cruz is entirely with the South."
      A large number of officers are reported to have already resigned, or expressed their intention of so doing when their States shall have seceded, but the Picayune withholds their names till officially advised. In the meantime, the Powhatan, St. Louis and Sabine may be daily expected off Pensacola, where the Macedonian has preceded them.
From Pensacola.
     A correspondent of the Mobile Advertiser writes as follows by the last steamer:
     We are at present at Warrington, with an army of one thousand six hundred or more, doing nothing. The Mississippi and Alabama boys are "spoiling" for a tight, but no prospects in advance of us for it. We can take Fort Pickens any time, but a political question behind this at present delays the assault.
      A correspondent of the Tribune writes by the same steamer:
      Mrs. Slimmer was in the Navy-Yard yesterday and kindly treated by all. Her voice is for war. She told Lieut. Slimmer he could not surrender. So much for apron-strings and petticoats.
      I saw an Alabama lady on her way down to Pensacola, following her husband, who, she said, she would stand or fall with, and be he living or dead, she would not falter to dress his wounds.
     A Pensacola letter, dated 25th Jan., states as follows:
     "Brown, of the Auburn Guards, was killed to-day by Betts, of the Tuskegee Light Infantry. All justify Betts. The offence was an insult to Mrs. Betts."
     Another dispatch states that Brown lived about an hour, during which he protested that he was not the man who insulted Mrs. Betts. He was killed with a bowie-knife, having first fired at Betts with a revolver, on the latter's making the attack.
The South Carolina Ultimatum.
      The final demand of South Carolina for the surrender of Fort Sumter, it is understood, has been responded to negatively by the President, with the assurance that the fort would not be reinforced, unless demanded by Major Anderson. The impression exists in this city that this reply of the President will be laid before the Congress which is now in session at Montgomery, and that the future military operations in the harbor of Charleston and at Pensacola will be given in charge of the Provisional Government, to be established for the Southern Confederacy. It may, therefore, be expected that Commissioners appointed by the Congress will be sent to Washington, making the demand in the name of the six seceding States for the surrender of all the forts and public property in their respective States. This, if so, will occasion further delay, and give time for the action and interposition of the Peace Congress of the Border States between the belligerents.--Wash. Cor Balto. Amer.
Union meeting at Charlestown, mass.
     Boston,Feb. 2.--A great Union meeting was held at Charlestown to-night. The speakers included Hon. Edward Everett, Messrs. Salsonstall, James Danna, and Richard Frottingham, Jr.
Resolutions were adopted as follows:
     Resolved, That this meeting concurs most heartily in the sentiment expressed by Hon. Wm. H. Seward, viz: "That the question of slavery is not now to be taken into account. We are to save the Union first, and will then save all that is worth saving."
     Resolved, That we earnestly hope that the proposition of Hon. Mr. Crittenden be adopted as the basis of a settlement of the impending perils of the United States, as the only practicable plan that all sections can finally and honorably adopt, which is all that human wisdom has been able to offer our distracted country.
     Resolved, That the proceedings of this meeting be forwarded to Senator Crittenden, with the request to present them to the Senate as the voice of the Union men of Bunker Hill.
     A call has been issued for a mass Union meeting of the people of Massachusetts, in Faneuil Hall, on next Tuesdaynight.
     The House, in secret session to-day, considered the bill appropriating $100,000 to the emergency fund. It was passed, under suspension of the rules.
     On Friday, the Kentucky Senate, by a very decisive vote, passed a resolution declaring it inexpedient at this time to take any action towards calling a State Convention. The Senate has also made an appeal to the South to stop the revolution, and to Congress to call a National Convention, and proposes adjourning over to the 24th April to await a response to these appeals.
Another Resignation.
     Mr. Henry Myers, who has been for some years in the United States Navy as Purser, we learn, has resigned his post. Mr. Myers is a native of Savannah, and has made this sacrifice for the honor of the State of Georgia.

No comments: