Monday, March 28, 2011

150-years-ago -- Optimism in Montgomery

The Charleston Mercury
March 28, 1861

Affairs in Montgomery,
[Special Despatch to the N.Y. Tribune.]

     Montgomery, March 22.-All discontent is gone, and the satisfaction of success beams from every face.
     The fogy States will all be absorbed during Lincoln's reign by the low tariffs and extraordinary prosperity of the Confederacy. The present tariff yields too much. The actual daily receipts are sixty thousand dollars, or twice the peace requirements of the Government. Congress will lower the rates of duties, and the people will be less taxed than any on the globe.
     The loan recently authorized called for fifteen millions of dollars, but the probable offerings will be seventy.
     New York should ask for immediate admission into the new Union. The majority of the Provisional Congress, acting under the two-thirds provision of the Constitution, can admit her.
     Montgomery, March 23-If Lincoln obstinately persists in holding the fortresses of the Confederacy, the Provisional Government will at once make war, selecting advantageous points on land and sea.

Friday, March 25, 2011

150-years-ago -- Bright Future Seen for Confederacy

The Richmond Daily Dispatch
March 25, 1861

Another speech of Vice President Stephens.

Confederate Vice President
Alexander Stephens
(Library of Congress)
Vice President Stephens addressed the citizens of Savannah, Ga., on Wednesday night. The Republican, in a sketch of his speech, says:

He contrasted the strength of the Confederate States with that of the Colonies at the time of their struggle for independence, and showed that we had more territory, more wealth, and more men than our fathers had when they asserted and maintained their independence. Our perfect system of government would attract the border slave States, and we would soon have more States, but even if they choose to stay where they are in the old Union, we still had territory enough for an empire — more than twice as much as some of the most powerful nations in Europe, with a soil and climate and productions superior to any in the world. With a good government and a brave, virtuous and intelligent people, we had nothing to fear. With less public debt than the Northern States, we have greater resources, and were better able to sustain an independent Government.

If we were true to ourselves, a brilliant future was before us — our Confederacy was destined to become the nucleus of a great controlling power on this continent. Our policy was peace with all nations — with our late confederates and the rest of the world. The olive branch was the emblem of peace. In lieu of it we presented the cotton plant. He had been frequently asked whether our revolution could be consummated without war.

He had thought at one time that war was inevitable. But, he would say, that of late the prospect was less threatening. The North had nothing to gain by war, and the adoption of a war, instead of a peace policy, on their part, could only be accounted for on the hypothesis that "those whom the Gods would destroy they first make mad." To talk of coercion was simply absurd — it was an impossibility. He thought when the Northern States come to count the cost of the attempt — for it could only be an attempt — they would, like the man who was practicing to fight a duel by shooting with a musket at the size of a man marked out on a barn door, and who, when he found he had put some fourteen shot in the mark, came to the conclusion that the weapon was too destructive, and that he would not fight. He thought the North when it came to contemplate the consequences would wisely conclude that coercion would be too destructive. There was no necessity for war.

The old Union was a contract between the States, and it was a principle of law that civil contracts can be annulled by mutual consent of the parties. Therefore all the present United States Congress had to do was simply to consent that the contract with the seceded States be annulled and settle matters amicably. But while the prospect of collision was not so unfavorable as it had been, it was well for us to be prepared with stout hearts and strong arms to meet any emergency. Until our revolution is consummated and our new Government firmly established, it is proper that we should be well prepared. It was for this that in arranging the tariff higher duties had been assessed than would ordinarily be necessary for the support of the Government. We wanted armaments and men, and to provide the means higher duties had been laid. In time of peace an average of ten per cent. on our imports would give us fifteen millions of dollars, ample for all purposes of government. The future was before us; whether it was to be peace or war, depended on others. He would only say let us be prepared — let us keep our armor bright and our powder dry.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


The New Orleans Daily True Delta
March 24, 1861

Capt. Dunan N. Ingraham was one of the
first C.S. Navy appointments made by
President Davis.
(Library of Congress)
Navy of the Confederate States.-The Montgomery Advertiser of Thursday says the following officers have been appointed by the president in the navy of the Confederate States, and confirmed by the provisional Congress:

     Captains-Lawerence Rougeau, of Louisiana; Joshiah Tattnall, of Georgia; Victor M. Randolph, of Alabama; Duncan N. Ingraham, of South Carolina.
     Commanders-E. Farrand, of Florida; Thos. W. Brent, of Florida; Raphael Semmes, of Alabama; Henry J. Hartstene, of South Carolina.
     Lieutenants-F.B. Renshaw, of Pennsylvania; Jas. H. North, of South Carolina; Thos B. Huger, of South Carolina; John Rutledge, of South Carolina; C.M. Morris, of South Carolina; A.F. Warley, of South Carolina; John Kell, of Georgia; Joseph Fry, of Florida; John R. Hamilton, of South Carolina; John R. Eggleston, of Mississippi; R.T. Chapman, of Alabama; Thos. P. Pelot, of South Carolina; Wm. G. Dozier, of South Carolina; John Stribling, of South Carolina; Phillip Porcher, of South Carolina.
     Surgeons-W.A.W. Spotswood, of Virginia; W.M. F. Carrington, of Virginia; Arthur M. Lynch, of South Carolina.
     Assistant Surgeon-Charles E. Lining, of South Carolina.
     Paymasters-Wm. W.J. Kelly, of  Florida; Henry Myers, of Georgia. 

C.S.S. Alabama, commanded by Capt. Raphael Semmes.
(Library of Congress)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

150-years-ago -- SHOOTING CONTEST

[Excerpt from the UT Tyler Digital Archives]

SUGAR PLANTER [WEST BATON ROUGE, LA], March 23, 1861, p. 2, c. 1

A well armed Confederate
infantryman (Blog author's collection),
The Pelican Rifles.—This excellent body of citizen soldiery made a fine turn out in Baton Rouge on Monday last for target exercise. In their beautiful uniforms of dark green which they have just adopted, the Rifles looked as their indomitable Captain wished them to look—like true and good soldiers, every one. Their target evinced some excellent shooting, which, considering the miserable weapons the State has allowed them to use—the condemned Mississippi rifle—showed that they had practised their best under the most disadvantageous circumstances. The first prize, a beautiful gold cross was won by private Allen W. Cameron; and the second prize, a handsome gold pencil was taken by private Benny Hickman. The leather medal won by Benny last spring stirred him up to unusual energy. The Rifles are well worthy the attention of the State in matter of arms, as they have supported themselves without the slightest outside assistance since their organization, and it would be no more just that the State give them arms to suit the indomitable energy which they have displayed since their first organizing, now nearly two years since.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


The Richmond Dispatch
March 22, 1861

Military spirit and genius of the South.

Lt. Gen. Daniel Harvey Hill
(Library of Congress)
     Major D. H. Hill of the North CarolinaMilitary Institute, in his eloquent "Essay on Military Education," delivered at Wilmington, North Carolina, before the State Educational Convention," thus illustrates the military spirit and genius of the Southern people:
     "The armies of the Revolution were commanded by Washington, a Southern General. The officers, who distinguished themselves in an especial manner in the war of 1812, were Southern born and Southern-bred, Jackson, Coffee, Harrison, Scott and Gaines. The commanding Generals in the Mexican war, Scott, and Taylor, were both of Virginia. The Chief of Ordnance under Gen. Scott, and the next most important; officer was Huger, of South Carolina. The Chief of Engineers was Lee. of Virginia. the only man the Army acknowledges to be fit to be the successor to Gen. Scott. The chief leaders in skirmishing were Lane, of North Carolina, and Hays, of Tennessee.      
     The light batteries of Artillery which did such wonderful execution at Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, Monterey, Buena Vista, and in the Valley of Mexico, were generally under the command of Southern men, Ring Gold, Ridgelry, Bragg, Washington, Steptoe and Magruder. The heavy ordnance was under the control of Huger, of S. C., and Laidley, of Virginia. The battery of Mountain Howitzers, was directed by Reno, of Virginia. The dashing charge of cavalry at Resaca de la Palma, which has a worldwide reputation. was made by May, of Washington city. A far more brilliant affair was witnessed by ten thousand American soldiers drawn up in battle array on the beach at Vera Cruz, and by English. French and Spanish vessels of war in the harbor. A little steamer, armed with two heavy pieces of ordnance and manned by some 20 sailors, pushed up under the very walls of Vera Cruz, with its 400 pieces of artillery, and within easy range of the formidable Castle of San Juan D'Ullos, and from that position bombarded the city for half an hour. Projectiles of enormous weight and size fell thick as hall-stones around the little vessel, any one of which must have sunk her. The interest of the spectators was painful in the extreme, but the very insignificance of the steamer proved an efficient protection; she was too small a mark to be hit, and as she came back bearing her gallant crew, all dressed in their red jackets, the very earth shook with the cheers of the ten thousand exulting voice on the beach. The officer in command was Tetanal, of Georgia, the same who, at the risk of his commission and his life, interposed last year and rescued the defeated British at the Peiho Forts in China.
     During the sledge of Fort Brown the pulley of the flag got deranged, so that it could not be raised. An officer climbed the staff, and in the midst of a terrible tempest of shot and shell calmly and deliberately arranged the halyards, righted the pulley, and hoisted the flag. The exploit of Jasper at Fort Moultrie was as nothing, in comparison with this daring deed. That officer was Hanson, of Washington city, a descendant of John Hanson, of Maryland, President of the First Congress, and of Col. John Hanson Harrison, one of the most distinguished of Washington's aids. Years before the siege of Fort. Brown, General Worth had pronounced him the bravest man in the army. He was gentle and modest as a girl, kind and courteous to all, a devoted and enthusiastic Christian, a gentleman in the highest acceptation of the word. Just after the battle of Contreras, a rude litter, with a dead officer on it, was borne by. 'Sergeant, what officer is that? Capt. Hanson, of the 7th Infantry, sir? The soldier had fallen on the field of honor. Two gallant brothers, Capt. Wrightman K. Hanson, 7th Inf., the most enterprising young officer of the Florida War, and Passed Midshipman Jno. Hanson, both also fell in the service of their country.
     Santa Anna made the fatal mistake, at Cerro Gordo, of leaving Telegraph Hill unfortified. Gen. Scott discovered it, and sent up a young officer, with some 70 men, to seize it. An immense force of Mexicans came to dislodge him. He threw his men behind rocks and trees, and sent for succor. The Rifle Regiment came up and found themselves hotly pressed, and would have been driven back but for the timely arrival of the 2d Infantry. During all this time, that gallant Lieutenant held his position, and had he lost it, the battle of Cerro Gorde never would have been won. That intrepid young man was Gardner, of Washington city. The storming column against the main work on Cerro Gordo Hill was led by that tried veteran Harney, of Georgia." 
     Major Hill adds that the South has not merely evinced military spirit on the field. but in authorship. The books in use on infantry tactics were prepared by Scott, of Virginia, and Hardee, of Georgia. The Manual of Artillery Tactics in use is by Major Anderson, of Kentucky. The only works in this country on the Science of Artillery, written in the English language, are by Kingsbury and Gibbon, of North Carolina, and the only books on Military Engineering, by Mahan, of Virginia. The published experiments of Mordecai, of South Carolina, convey all our information of the strength of gunpowder and of cannon, and the proper tests for their trial.

Monday, March 21, 2011


The Richmond Daily Dispatch
March 21, 1861

Gen. Braxton Bragg, commmander
at Pensacola, Florida.
(Library of Congress)
Movements at Pensacola.

     The Pensacola papers have some interesting items about the forts at that point. The Tribune, of the 9th, says:
     Preparations are being made for immediate service. Batteries are being erected, and orders have been given to the squadron outside that they can no longer obtain supplies of provisions and water at the Navy-Yard. Capt. O'Hara, in command at Fort McRae, is doing noble service, mounting those heavy guns, a daily report of the calibre of which is heard here at sunrise and sunset, sounding like a clap of thunder. By the way, we heard a joke in reference to them a day or two ago. During the day, Capt. O'Hara having mounted one or two of these large Columbiads, concluded to try one of them and see how they fired. Accordingly, he belched forth one of those fronting Fort Pickens, which shook everything around and awoke Pickens, which immediately beat to arms, and in a moment every gun on: that fort was manned. Col. Forney was astonished at hearing the gun fired from Fort McRae during hours, and seeing Pickens manned, sent down to inquire what was the matter; he found nothing hurt. Our boys are anxious to get at the Brooklyn. The crew of that vessel is composed almost entirely of Abolitionists, and have become very obnoxious. They have not had decency enough to treat respectfully those who were kind enough to honor them with a visit.
     We take the following from the Warrington correspondence of the Pensacola Observer of the 11th:
     Brig. General Bragg returned to Pensacola on yesterday, but will make his headquarters here.
     There seems to be more confidence prevalent this morning — the exodus of families has ceased, and many who were preparing to leave have determined on remaining until they see things looking more squally.
     The light is still continued from the light house — the keeper was only notified to stop when Col.Forney commanded him.
Confederate mortar crew at Pensacola 1861.
(Florida State Library & Archives)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


[Excerpt from UT-Tyler Digital Archives]

SUGAR PLANTER [WEST BATON ROUGE, LA], March 16, 1861, p. 2, c. 2

Two  Louisiana Zouaves 1861
(Harper's Weekly)
The Zouaves Are Coming!—The Inkerman Zouaves, about whose identity there can be no dispute, will pay the citizens of Baton Rouge a visit so soon as their engagement at the Academy of Music in New Orleans terminates. There is something about the name of "Zouave" that is highly pleasing to Southern ears in these "piping times of"—war. We sing the Marseilliese [sic] now instead of the Star Spangled banner, and our military men, in their uniforms, come as near the Zouave dress as possible. The daring deeds of this heroic body of French soldiery have filled the world with admiration and none are more willing to accord them all praise than the chivalrous sons of the Sunny South. The Academy of Music is nightly filled to witness the performances of the Zouaves, who amidst the dreariness of a long and arduous campaign in the Crimea, could find time to indulge in theatricals when every one else almost was thinking of home and its comforts. On one occasion in the Crimea, while the same company were performing at their little Theatre D'Inkerman, the Russians made a sortie upon the French lines. The Thespians flew to arms, with their comrades, while in stage attire, and completely repulsed their enemy. After it was all over, they returned to the theatre and resumed their performance as if nothing of the kind had occurred. We feel assured they will be well received in our sister city. Let them come, we want something to drive away ennui.

Monday, March 14, 2011


The Charleston Mercury
March 15, 1861

The Constitution of the Confederate States.

The principle of State Sovereignty was enshrined in
the Confederate Constitution. Seen here is the Louisiana
State Flag.
     We yesterday laid before our readers the Constitution of the Confederate States of America. It is the old Constitution of the United States, amended in Several vital particulars - and with several serious defects, is the best Constitution, for the security of liberty and justice, the world has ever seen. We propose . . . to show to our readers the leading points which distinguish it from the Constitution of the United States, and in which its chief excellency consists. . . .    
     And first and foremost, let us congratulate the people of this great Confederacy, that this Constitution contains the first acknowledgment in the fundamental law of any people, of the great principle of equal and just taxation. That system of partial legislation in the imposition of the tax has been the prime cause of all the corruption and sectionalism which have finally overthrown the Union of the United States, is repudiated by this Constitution. Protective tariffs are at an end, if this Constitution is rightfully administered, with all the villainies they spawned upon the country.
     But the Constitution is equally admirable in the second great matter of all Government - the expenditure of the taxes. The corrupt system of internal improvements is cut up by the roots. This whole matter is left with the States. . . .The treasury of the Confederate States if free of this corrupt incubus, but the establishment of lights, beacons and buoys. . . .
     Executive patronage - the ninety-four thousand offices, and the rotation system, constituting the spoils of party victory in every Presidential election - is also extirpated by the Constitution of the Confederate States. Under the Constitution of the United States, all the civil officers of the Government hold their offices by the tenure of the Executive will. Hence the intense struggle in the Presidential election. . . .
     Nor should we forget, in connection with the Executive, that other feature of the Constitution, which extends the President's tenure of office to six years, and renders him ineligible [for reelection]. That stupendous evil - of a government, with all its power and patronage, entering into a Presidential election, to continue in power those in possession of the government - is abolished. . . .
     This Constitution is also made amendable. . . . Here a safety valve is provided for discontents. Any three States can bring all the States into grand council, to consider their relations towards each other and rectify grievances. . . .
     The sovereignty of the States stands out throughout the whole Constitution. We "we the people" are, is left in no doubt. They are the people of the States. And the consequent right of a State to secede from the Confederacy, although not expressed, is so patent that it needed no expression. . . .

Sunday, March 13, 2011


The Richmond Daily Dispatch
March 13, 1861

Montgomery, Alabama where the Confederate Constitution was created
150-years-ago. (Library of Congress)
The New Southern Confederacy Constitution

Montgomery, Ala.,March 12. --The injunction of secrecy on the permanent Constitution is removed, and the document is published.--The main new features differing from the U. S. Constitution are as follows:

No person not a citizen of the Confederate States is allowed to vote or hold any offices, civil or political, State or Federal.
Under the first census, South Carolina is entitled to 5 representatives in Congress, Georgia 10, Alabama 9, Florida 2, Mississippi 7, Louisiana 6, and Texas 6, Each State is to have two Senators.

Under the first census, South Carolina is entitled to 5 representatives in Congress, Georgia 10, Alabama 9, Florida 2, Mississippi 7, Louisiana 6, and Texas 6, Each State is to have two Senators.

The State Legislatures may impeach judicial or other Federal officers resident and acting in the State, by a two-thirds vote.

Both branches of Congress may grant seats on the floor of either House to the principal officer of each Executive department, with the privilege of discussing measures affecting his department.

The representation of three-fifths of the slave population is continued.

Congress is not allowed, through duties, to foster any branch of industry.

The African slave trade is prohibited.

Congress is prohibited from making appropriations except by a vote of two-thirds of both Houses, except the appropriation be asked by the head of some department or by the President.

No extra compensation is to be allowed any contractor, officer, or agent of the Government, after the contract is made or service rendered.

Every law, or resolution having the force of law, shall relate to but one subject, which shall be expressed in the title.

The President and Vice-President shall be elected for six years.

The principal officers of the Departments, or diplomatic service, shall be removable at the pleasure of the President. The other civil officers are removable when their services are unnecessary, or for other good causes and reasons. The removals must be reported to the Senate. Practically, no captions removals are tolerated.

Other States are to be admitted into the Confederacy by a vote of two-thirds of both Houses.
The Confederacy may acquire territory, and slavery shall be acknowledged and protected by Congress therein and by the Territorial Government.

When five States shall ratify this Constitution it shall be established for those States.

Until it is ratified the Provisional Government shall be continued in force, but not extending beyond one year.

There was nothing of interest in Congress to-day.

Congress will probably take a recess for a month next week.
Messrs. L. M. Keitt, Thos. R. R. Cobb, F. S. Bartow, and others, have left for home.
It is understood that Mr. Slidell has refused a mission to Europe. Mr. Renet, of Louisiana, has accepted the place tendered Mr. Slidell.

Friday, March 11, 2011


The Richmond Daily Dispatch
March 12, 1861

Reception of Gen. Twiggs in New Orleans.

     The New Orleans papers publish very full accounts of the reception of Gen. Twiggs there on the 4th inst. The Delta says:

Gen. David E. Twiggs
(Library of  Congress)
     No such reception has been accorded in New Orleans to any public man since the welcome of Gen. Taylor, on his return from the glorious achievements of his Mexican campaign. As a pageant, though got up with little preparation, it was hardly ever equaled in this city. The military were out in large force.--More than twenty full, and some of them very large uniformed companies, were in line. The Orleans Guards alone turned out 240 men, the Washington Artillery, Louisiana Guards and Orleans Cadets 100 each. The ranks of the Crescent Rifles, of the several companies of Zouaves, the Montgomery Guards, and the other companies of the two brigades of Generals Palfrey and Tracy, also mustered strong. The whole formed a column of as gallant, well-disciplined and splendid troops as ever turned out to receive a veteran hero and General. But the military, after all, formed but a small feature in the grand reception: It was the demonstration of the vast crowd of citizens that assembled to welcome the patriotic soldier, and crowded broad Canal street for several squares, and the sidewalks of all the streets through which the procession moved — their loud and prolonged hurrahs, the waving of handkerchiefs by the ladies from every window and balcony, and the brightened and flushing expression of twenty thousand faces — which proclaimed in such eloquent terms the earnest patriotism of our people and their devotion to the honor of the flag of the Confederate States.
     To the address of welcome Gen. Twiggs responded in a firm and independent voice, withal marked by emotion. He thanked his native South, his adopted home, New Orleans, for the honor done him, and though loath to speak of himself, he could say here he never would be charged either as "traitor" or "coward." He trusted never to hear this charge against him here — elsewhere it may rise and it may fall, but so long as his native land knew him well, and spoke of him as he deserved, he would be satisfied. He reviewed briefly his late action in Texas. He had no desire to shed Southern blood, or to cause civil war, and if the Government at Washington intended resistance, why had it remained passive? The forts of Texas were to-day where they were yesterday. Why had they not been retaken? He hoped that by God's blessing he would be enabled to possess strength enough to participate in retaining these forts to the South, and to participate in the defence of her rights 'mid the momentous struggles of the country.'

Thursday, March 10, 2011


The New Orleans True Delta
March 10, 1861

Gov. Sam Houston disagreed with Texas
secession but refused to resign.
(Library of Congress)
      GALVESTON - On the 4th instant the convention, now in session at Austin, declared the state of Texas as being no longer connected with the federal Union.
     Governor Houston has issued a proclamation to that effect.
     The election returns are as yet incomplete. In fifty one thousand seven hundred votes cast, the majority for immediate secession is twenty-eight thousand.
     Ordinances were passed authorizing the delegates to represent the state of Texas in the provisional government of the Confederate States, and confirming the commissioners to contract with Gen. Twiggs.
     The vessels sent by the federal government to remove the troops are not to be seized. The Daniel Webster was off Indianola last week. Major Porter went ashore, expecting to find troops to remove. Finding none, the Daniel Webster went to Brazos Santiago for the same purpose. No news has yet been received from that quarter.
     Gen.McCullough is at Austin. It is reported he fears Watte will concentrate troops from the upper ports.
     A member of the convention wrote this from Austin on the 2d to Brenham, calling for volunteers for San Antonio. Austin advices of the 4th say nothing of this.
     Gen. Houston, it is said, will not resign nor take the oath of allegiance.
     The convention is discussing the ordinance defining the upper forts.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


The Charleston Mercury
March 9, 1861

Many in the South felt like the North was
treating them like George III, above, treated
the 13 original Colonies in 1776.
Deus Vult
     The inference of Lincoln's Inaugural is that the watchful Providence has decreed that our Abolitionist enemies shall not escape the ruin they have meditated for their Southern brethren; and that God has hardened their hearts, and placed them under the guidance of false prophets and blind guides, so that they shall assuredly reach disaster by the broadest road.
     All the reasons which justified the secession of the Colonies from the rule of Great Britain, and even of more strength, are ours; and all the wisdom which might have taught George III and his Ministers, to save their credit, and save their blood money, by forbearing to attempt the arrest of a revolution which was inevitable - neither to be checked nor overpowered - are still potent to counsel the ruling powers at Washington of the suicidal folly of any hostile policy adopted in regard to the Cotton States. And there are other reasons now, which the age of George III had not reached, which confirm and enforce the policy which would leave the seceding States to their peaceful independence. The American doctrine has, for eighty years, taught that government flows only from the consent of the governed parties - that ours was a bond of fraternal union, based on like necessities and sympathies, and depending upon relations and feelings very far superior, in their character, to mere law and legislative processes. That one section of a people, which has been linked by bonds of this nature, should now proceed, deliberately, to attempt war and the butchery of another section; which, in return for long seasons of wrong and brutal injury, simply resolves to break from a connection which is dangerous and hateful, and proposes neither aggression nor assault; is, perhaps, one of the most monstrous of all outrages upon humanity. We simply say, "let us part in peace, since we can no longer live together in peace;" and the program suggested, forsooth, is to set on the dogs of war; without pause, in hot haste, regardless of right, justice, reason or the consequences. But the Overruling Power of the world, the Master of all human government, still rules as He did six thousand years ago. Can it be that He is then willing that the despotism, grown bloated and insolent, is allowed to goad itself to that fury, fatal to wisdom, which drives it headlong to its fall? The very impotence and perversity of thought and conduct, so evident in all that Lincoln has said, thought and done - so conclusive of his own and the incapacity of his counsellors - would seem to be conclusive that he and the presumptuous men whom he represents, is no longer sane, but is the victim of that judgment which blinds, and that impulse that hasten to the precipice.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


[Editor's Note: Excerpts from UT Tyler Digital Archives]

First National Flag of the Confederacy

SUGAR PLANTER [WEST BATON ROUGE, LA], March 9, 1861, p.2, c.1
A Flag Adopted by the Confederate States.—Information has been received in this city that the Southern Congress have unanimously determined upon a flag for the confederate [sic] States. The design was originated by the committee on Flag and not from any of the models presented. The following is the description of our flag: Blue union, with seven white stars; three horizontal stripes, red white red. The first red and the white extending from the union to the end of the flag, and the lower red stripe extending the whole length of the flag, occupying the entire space below the union. The stripes are all of equal width. It was hoisted on the Capitol at Montgomery on the 4th inst.

[Editor's Notes: The flag and seal committee of the provisional Confederate Congress reported the above design as the First National Flag of the Confederacy on March 4, 1861 in Montgomery, Ala. There was no recorded vote on the flag. It was nicknamed the "Stars and Bars." The flag is believed to have been designed by Nicola Marschall, a Prussian, and is said to have been inspired by the Austrian flag. At first it had seven stars for the seven original Confederate States. Additional stars were added as other Southern states seceded and joined the Confederacy up to a total of 13. It flew until the adoption of the Second National Flag on May 1, 1863.]

Henry Watkins Allen
(LSU Special Collections)
SUGAR PLANTER [WEST BATON ROUGE, LA], March 9, 1861, p. 2, c. 1

The Travels of a Sugar Planter; or Six Months in Europe. By Capt. H. W. Allen. For sale by J. McCormick.
We are indebted to our friend, McCormick, for a copy of the above work by our fellow parishioner, Capt. Allen, which we shall peruse and comment upon hereafter. Every West Baton Rougean, at least, should get a copy of the "Travels" and place it in their libraries. The wanderings of Capt. A., formed a rich treat to his friends at home who perused his accounts in the columns of a cotemporary. It is a neat little work and gotten up in good style.

Monday, March 7, 2011

150-years-ago -- Beauregard Confirmed as Confederate General

The Richmond Daily Dispatch
March 7, 1861

Pierre G.T. Beauregard was confirmed by the
Confederate Congress as a brigadier general
in the Confederate Army.
     A letter in the Columbus Sun, dated Montgomery, March 1, gives the following account of affairs at the capital of the Southern Confederacy:

     The Congress to-day did no business in open session. It is understood that the Permanent Constitution was under consideration. A vote on it will probably be taken on Tuesday or Wednesday next. As soon as the Permanent Constitution is adopted, a day will be set for the temporary adjournment of Congress, unless there be a commencement of war, in which case there will be no recess for some time to come.
     I was credibly informed to-day that Gov. Moore will, in a few days, tender one thousand men (officered, armed, and fully equipped,) to President Davis to be used in whatever service they may be needed. This is exclusive of the forces at Fort Morgan and Pensacola, numbering about 500 or 600 men. A large number of troops are being tendered to the Governor and President daily. If required, Alabama can furnish five thousand troops in a short time.
     Gen. Twiggs is expected here daily, and it is said, goes immediately to Charleston. He will probably be made Major General-in-Chief. Cola, Bragg and Johnston will also likely be Major Generals, and Col.C Wm. Henry Walker, of Ga., a Brigadier.
     During the secret session to-day the nomination of Gen. Peter G. T. Beauregard, of Louisiana, for Brigadier General of Provisional Army of the Confederate States, was confirmed, and secrecy removed.
     No other business was made public.
     President Davis will not allow civilians or West Point juniors to rank above West Point seniors, or citizens of the Confederate States who have heretofore seen service and who have resigned their commissions in the United States Army.
     Capt. Turney, of Tennessee, a son of the late celebrated Hopkins L. Turney, is in the city. He has tendered a company of Tennessee infantry to Mr. Davis, to serve the Confederate States.
     It is almost probable that there will be quite a change in the ratio of Representatives in the Congress of the Confederate States--indeed I learn that the subject is now being considered in connection with the permanent Constitution. According to the old Federal rate of representation, one representative to every 127,462 of population. South Carolina loses (for census of 1860) two representatives; Georgia loses one; Alabama loses one, and Texas gains two.
     I am very certain the old Federal basis will be entirely annulled, and each State will be entitled to a representative for every 50,000 of the entire population, white and black. The present Provisional Congress has just forty-nine members in all, or say 14 Senators and 35 Representatives. It is thought to be necessary to make the proposed changes for the reason, among others, that the Congress will be quite a small body unless the number of Representatives be increased. The Senate may be increased to four members from each State.
     A son of that gallant old hero, Joe Lane, arrived in this city last night. He has resigned from the West Point Military Academy, where he had ranked quite high. Mr. Lane is 22 years of age and had been at the Academy four years. This gallant son of a noble sire has formally tendered his services to President Davis, and is anxious to aid the South in her struggle for her rights and equality. He has taken this step by the advice of his father.

150-years-ago -- The New Posmaster-General

The Charleston Mercury
March 7, 1861

Judge John H. Reagan
Confederate Postmaster-General
(Library of Congress)
     The telegraph brings the announcement of the appointment and confirmation of Judge Reagan, of Texas, as Postmaster-General of the Confederate States.
     John H. Reagan was born in Sevier county, Tennessee, October 8, 1818. Having chosen the profession of law, and emirgrated to the Republic of Texas, he advanced, by his own merits, through many honorable grades of civic and military distinction, until 1852, when he was appointed a Judge of the District Court of Texas. In 1857 he was elected a member of the Thirty-Fifth Congress, which position he retained, serving with tact and success as a member of various important Committees.
     We have no doubt that in the discharge of the arduous duties of his new position, Judge Reagan will show that his administrative talent is not less than his ability as a legislator.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

150-years-ago -- Confederate Government in Full Operation

The Richmond Daily Dispatch
March 5, 1861

Affairs at the Southern Capital.

     MONTGOMERY, Alabama - The Capital of the Southern Confederacy seems to be as popular with office-seekers as the Washington. There were 104 arrivals per day at the Exchange Hotel from the 11th to the 22d ult. The papers announce that the residence of Col. Ed. Harrison has been procured for the use of President Davis. One day last week a wag advertised for 20 accountants, the applicants to apply at the "Government Building." The consequence was a terrific rush, and equally terrific disappointment.--The Columbia (Ga.) Times publishes a series of interesting letters, giving a view of affairs at Montgomery. From one dated the 27th ult., we take the following:
     The President has his quarters at the Exchange Hotel, where he transacts the public business. A house has been rented for him for the period of one year at the sum of $5,000, in a convenient part of the city. The Vice-President, Mr. Stephens, and the Secretary of State, Mr. Toombs, have rooms together in a small, pretty house, a few blocks from the Exchange. They are the great men, to whose advice and counsel much weight is attached in the present crisis.
     The government is moving along slowly and gaining strength day by day. There is harmony and good feeling in Congress, and the secret sessions facilitate the business. There is no talk of reconstruction, nor will the idea be entertained for a moment. The all-absorbing theme is, how to build up the new government so as to combine strength and durability. A conflict of arms being anticipated, every provision is made to preserve our credit, relying upon the patriotism of the people to bear temporary inconveniences and submit to sacrifices.
     The policy of Congress is that of peace and not war. The President has entertained but one opinion, to wit: that coercion will be attempted, and the present difficulties will have to be settled by the arbitrament of the sword. Hence, his earnest desire is to be in the defensive, and have the Republicans inaugurate the war. This will put us right with all Christendom, and will command more sympathy from the border States than an aggressive war.
     The Commissioners have left for Washington. Rather, Mr. Crawford has gone, and will await the arrival of Messrs. Forsyth and Romain. The prevailing opinion here is, that Carolina is rather impatient. While admiring the spirit and chivalry of the brave boys who are anxious to attack Sumter, they fear matters will be precipitated by their overzealous patriotism, making us initiate the war. Arrangements are in progress to put fifty thousand volunteers in the field and prosecute the war with vigor.
     Captain Baxton Bragg, of a "little more grape" notoriety, has been telegraphed for to command the brave troops at Charleston.--They want an officer there to restrain the impetuosity of the soldiers, and in whose judgment and skill they have confidence.

Stephen Mallory of Florida was
appointed Secretary of  the Navy.
(Library of Congress)
     The President believes that Mr. Mallory, of Florida, is well fitted for the post of Secretary of the Navy, but this gentleman is vigorously opposed by the men from his own State. In all probability Capt. Ingraham will be selected. He has gained some reputation as a Naval Commander, and would do well as a Cabinet officer.
     Mr. Yancey has not left yet for Europe. He is sanguine that our Government will be recognized by foreign powers, and that they will resist blockade. Mr. Toombs, it is said, would have preferred a mission, to the high post he occupies.
     It is not probable that Montgomery will be selected as the permanent Capital. The high board and rather poor fare have turned the scale against her. Atlanta, Macon, Columbus, or some other central spot, will be looked to.
     A small tax of one eighth of one per cent. has been levied upon cotton exported, to take effect after next August, if the contingency requires it.
     The permanent Constitution is not yet adopted. It provides for a term of six years for the President, and gives the Cabinet officers the power of vindicating themselves, and speaking in Congress, but not to vote. It preserves the three-fifths ratio of representation in slaves.
     Hon. Howell Cobb makes a capital President of Congress, and Dixon, of Georgia, cannot be surpassed as a Clerk.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

150-Years-Ago -- Lincoln becomes president of the northern states.

The Charleston Mercury
March 4, 1861

A soldier from the 7th New York State Militia
at Camp Cameron in Washington, D.C. in 1861,
ready to launch Lincoln's war of coercion.
(Library of Congress)
     AbrahamLincoln, as President of the States that have not withdrawn from the Union, speaks for the first time to-day. He can scarcely avoid foreshadowing, in some degree, the policy of his administration. He must proclaim peace of declare war. He must virtually recognize the independence of the Confederate States, or encounter them in a conflict of arms. In his Western railroad speeches, while sedulously flattering the vanity and the ignorance of the rabble, by his frequent and pleasant allusions to the "enforcement of the laws," he has been shrewd enough to allow himself a wide margain for a change of mind. How far he will avail himself of this comfortable reservation, he will probably tell us to-day. His wily advisers are evidently in sore distress. They begin to understand the madness of coercion, yet looking upon the tid of Northern prejudice and ambition which has thus far borne them upward, they dare not falter. Like Frankenstein, they have raised a monster which they cannon quell. Let them solve their riddle as best they may. The strength of the South is her safety.