Sunday, February 27, 2011


Richmond Daily Dispatch
February 27, 1861

Confederate soldier
(Library of Congress)
 --The Southern papers are full of items concerning the warlike preparations in the Confederated States. There are three powder mills in PickensDistrict, S. C., turning out some 50 kegs a day. A firm in Savannah has contracted for 3,000 shot and shell for South Carolina, and another firm, in Mobile, is casting cannon balls, grape, &c. A company of 70 recruits, for the South Carolina army, passed through Augusta, Ga., on the 23d inst., from Tennessee. For the regular army of Georgia, recruiting is going on all over that State. In Athens a company of 40 had been enlisted up to the close of last week. The volunteers in Fort Pulaski are to be discharged, and the new regulars substituted for them. The Columbus Times publishes a letter from a delegate to the Southern Congress, in which he says:

"We intend to put the strongest force in the field which can be raised, and the President will accept from the States all the men that may be tendered. They will be received with their own officers, but the President must settle all questions of rank and position under the authority of Congress. My information is, that Davis will endeavor to secure for the officers of the U. S. Army, who have resigned, the best positions first, upon the ground that they are experienced and capable. There has, as yet, been nothing done by the Congress as to the raising of troops, except, possibly, in committee. We are delaying much time over the most trivial matters. We have a set of new men, uninformed upon the laws of the United States, and all anxious to speak."

Friday, February 25, 2011

150-Years-Ago -- Louisiana Celebrates Mardi Gras

[Excerpt by UT Tyler Digital Archives]

SUGAR PLANTER [WEST BATON ROUGE, LA], February 25, 1860, p. 2, c. 2

On the brink of War, Louisiana was still
celebrating Mardi Gras. The above 9th
Plate Ambrotype is believed to be an early
war New Orleans militiaman.
(Blog author's collection.)
Mardi Gras.—Quite a number of young men of our parish took it into their heads on Shrove Tuesday to keep up the time-honored custom of parading around en masque, much to the horror, wonder and astonishment of a large portion of our "culled" population who had never witnessed such dresses or faces in all their lives before. The number of maskers was quite large, and the variety of costumes added greatly to the interest of their procession. Several balls wound up the frolics of the day. One of the maskers took our hat from the beauty of the mule he rode, and the extreme delicacy of the rabbit tailed ringlets which adorned his magnificent head—Come down and get our hat—we havn't [sic] got nary more use for it.

"The institution," was celebrated in Red Stick as well as the deplorable condition of the weather would permit. A "member" whose perseverance and strength of muscle are worthy of the most intense appreciation, purchased a five cent mask, an immense crinoline (with the other feminine arrangements) and a tenor drum, paraded the streets upon his own hook, and pounded upon the last named article with such vigor and seriousness as became an individual who seemed to think that the whole responsibility of celebrating the day rested upon his shoulders. Another "member" who invariably requires facts and figures to substantiate everything—and who by the way constituted the entire procession following the drum—gives it as his positive opinion that the labors of the individual upon the drum did not cease more than ten minutes during that many hours. The indefatigable drummer marched past some points eight or ten different times, seeming perfectly indifferent as to whether any one was following him or not. He looked neither to the right nor left, but pressed forward with the air of a man who knew he had a celebration to "do" and he was bound to "do" it.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

150-Years-Ago -- TEXAS SECESSION

The Richmond Dispatch
Feb. 20, 1861

Correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.

the secession of Texas.

An unidentified young Confederate
volunteer. The image came out of  an
estate in Seguin, Texas.
(Blog author's collection)
Long Point, Washington Co., Texas, February 5, 1861.

The Convention of the people of Texas has passed a Secession Ordinance; but, in consequence of some of the counties not being represented in the Convention, (which was caused by the opposition of Gov. Houston,) it is referred back to the people for adoption or rejection — the election to take place on the 23d inst. It will be adopted almost unanimously. Old Sam has always exercised a magic influence over a large portion of the old settlers of Texas until the recent secession movement, which he opposed; but when he saw most of his old guard leaving him, he wheeled, and has come right side up. The offer of the State of New York to furnish money and men to coerce the Southern States into Black Republican rule, has aroused the latent sparks of his once flaming patriotism, and he now says that he is with Texas either for weal or for woe, and that he will sanction anything her people may do. Texas will certainly go out on the 2d day of March next.
S. W.

Friday, February 18, 2011


Jefferson Davis, first president of the
Confederate States of America.
(Library of Congress)
President Jefferson Davis' First Inaugural Address

Alabama Capitol, Montgomery, February 18, 1861

Gentlemen of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, Friends and Fellow-Citizens:

     Called to the difficult and responsible station of Chief Executive of the Provisional Government which you have instituted, I approach the discharge of the duties assigned to me with an humble distrust of my abilities, but with a sustaining confidence in the wisdom of those who are to guide and to aid me in the administration of public affairs, and an abiding faith in the virtue and patriotism of the people.
     Looking forward to the speedy establishment of a permanent government to take the place of this, and which by its greater moral and physical power will be better able to combat with the many difficulties which arise from the conflicting interests of separate nations, I enter upon the duties of the office to which I have been chosen with the hope that the beginning of our career as a Confederacy may not be obstructed by hostile opposition to our enjoyment of the separate existence and independence which we have asserted, and, with the blessing of Providence, intend to maintain. Our present condition, achieved in a manner unprecedented in the history of nations, illustrates the American idea that governments rest upon the consent of the governed, and that it is the right of the people to alter or abolish governments whenever they become destructive of the ends for which they were established.
     The declared purpose of the compact of Union from which we have withdrawn was "to establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves and our posterity;" and when, in the judgment of the sovereign States now composing this Confederacy, it had been perverted from the purposes for which it was ordained, and had ceased to answer the ends for which it was established, a peaceful appeal to the ballot-box declared that so far as they were concerned, the government created by that compact should cease to exist. In this they merely asserted a right which the Declaration of Independence of 1776 had defined to be inalienable; of the time and occasion for its exercise, they, as sovereigns, were the final judges, each for itself. The impartial and enlightened verdict of mankind will vindicate the rectitude of our conduct, and He who knows the hearts of men will judge of the sincerity with which we labored to preserve the Government of our fathers in its spirit. The right solemnly proclaimed at the birth of the States, and which has been affirmed and reaffirmed in the bills of rights of States subsequently admitted into the Union of 1789, undeniably recognize in the people the power to resume the authority delegated for the purposes of government. Thus the sovereign States here represented proceeded to form this Confederacy, and it is by abuse of language that their act has been denominated a revolution. They formed a new alliance, but within each State its government has remained, the rights of person and property have not been disturbed. The agent through whom they communicated with foreign nations is changed, but this does not necessarily interrupt their international relations.
      Sustained by the consciousness that the transition from the former Union to the present Confederacy has not proceeded from a disregard on our part of just obligations, or any failure to perform every constitutional duty, moved by no interest or passion to invade the rights of others, anxious to cultivate peace and commerce with all nations, if we may not hope to avoid war, we may at least expect that posterity will acquit us of having needlessly engaged in it. Doubly justified by the absence of wrong on our part, and by wanton aggression on the part of others, there can be no cause to doubt that the courage and patriotism of the people of the Confederate States will be found equal to any measures of defense which honor and security may require.
     An agricultural people, whose chief interest is the export of a commodity required in every manufacturing country, our true policy is peace, and the freest trade which our necessities will permit. It is alike our interest, and that of all those to whom we would sell and from whom we would buy, that there should be the fewest practicable restrictions upon the interchange of commodities. There can be but little rivalry between ours and any manufacturing or navigating community, such as the Northeastern States of the American Union. It must follow, therefore, that a mutual interest would invite good will and kind offices. If, however, passion or the lust of dominion should cloud the judgment or inflame the ambition of those States, we must prepare to meet the emergency and to maintain, by the final arbitrament of the sword, the position which we have assumed among the nations of the earth. We have entered upon the career of independence, and it must be inflexibly pursued. Through many years of controversy with our late associates, the Northern States, we have vainly endeavored to secure tranquillity, and to obtain respect for the rights to which we were entitled. As a necessity, not a choice, we have resorted to the remedy of separation; and henceforth our energies must be directed to the conduct of our own affairs, and the perpetuity of the Confederacy which we have formed. If a just perception of mutual interest shall permit us peaceably to pursue our separate political career, my most earnest desire will have been fulfilled. But, if this be denied to us, and the integrity of our territory and jurisdiction be assailed, it will but remain for us, with firm resolve, to appeal to arms and invoke the blessings of Providence on a just cause.
     As a consequence of our new condition and with a view to meet anticipated wants, it will be necessary to provide for the speedy and efficient organization of branches of the executive department, having special charge of foreign intercourse, finance, military affairs, and the postal service.
     For purposes of defense, the Confederate States may, under ordinary circumstances, rely mainly upon their militia, but it is deemed advisable, in the present condition of affairs, that there should be a well-instructed and disciplined army, more numerous than would usually be required on a peace establishment. I also suggest that for the protection of our harbors and commerce on the high seas a navy adapted to those objects will be required. These necessities have doubtless engaged the attention of Congress.
     With a Constitution differing only from that of our fathers in so far as it is explanatory of their well-known intent, freed from the sectional conflicts which have interfered with the pursuit of the general welfare, it is not unreasonable to expect that States from which we have recently parted may seek to unite their fortunes with ours under the government which we have instituted. For this your Constitution makes adequate provision; but beyond this, if I mistake not the judgment and will of the people, a reunion with the States from which we have separated is neither practicable nor desirable. To increase the power, develop the resources, and promote the happiness of a confederacy, it is requisite that there should be so much of homogeneity that the welfare of every portion shall be the aim of the whole. Where this does not exist, antagonisms are engendered which must and should result in separation.
      Actuated solely by the desire to preserve our own rights and promote our own welfare, the separation of the Confederate States has been marked by no aggression upon others and followed by no domestic convulsion. Our industrial pursuits have received no check. The cultivation of our fields has progressed as heretofore, and even should we be involved in war there would be no considerable diminution in the production of the staples which have constituted our exports and in which the commercial world has an interest scarcely less than our own. This common interest of the producer and consumer can only be interrupted by an exterior force which should obstruct its transmission to foreign markets--a course of conduct which would be as unjust toward us as it would be detrimental to manufacturing and commercial interests abroad. Should reason guide the action of the Government from which we have separated, a policy so detrimental to the civilized world, the Northern States included, could not be dictated by even the strongest desire to inflict injury upon us; but otherwise a terrible responsibility will rest upon it, and the suffering of millions will bear testimony to the folly and wickedness of our aggressors. In the meantime there will remain to us, besides the ordinary means before suggested, the well-known resources for retaliation upon the commerce of an enemy.
     Experience in public stations, of subordinate grade to this which your kindness has conferred, has taught me that care and toil and disappointment are the price of official elevation. You will see many errors to forgive, many deficiencies to tolerate, but you shall not find in me either a want of zeal or fidelity to the cause that is to me highest in hope and of most enduring affection. Your generosity has bestowed upon me an undeserved distinction, one which I neither sought nor desired. Upon the continuance of that sentiment and upon your wisdom and patriotism I rely to direct and support me in the performance of the duty required at my hands.
     We have changed the constituent parts, but not the system of our Government. The Constitution formed by our fathers is that of these Confederate States, in their exposition of it, and in the judicial construction it has received, we have a light which reveals its true meaning.
     Thus instructed as to the just interpretation of the instrument, and ever remembering that all offices are but trusts held for the people, and that delegated powers are to be strictly construed, I will hope, by due diligence in the performance of my duties, though I may disappoint your expectations, yet to retain, when retiring, something of the good will and confidence which welcome my entrance into office.
     It is joyous, in the midst of perilous times, to look around upon a people united in heart, where one purpose of high resolve animates and actuates the whole--where the sacrifices to be made are not weighed in the balance against honor and right and liberty and equality. Obstacles may retard, they cannot long prevent the progress of a movement sanctified by its justice, and sustained by a virtuous people. Reverently let us invoke the God of our fathers to guide and protect us in our efforts to perpetuate the principles which, by his blessing, they were able to vindicate, establish and transmit to their posterity, and with a continuance of His favor, ever gratefully acknowledged, we may hopefully look forward to success, to peace, and to prosperity.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


The Richmond Dispatch
February 16, 1861

The new Louisiana Republic Flag flew for the first time Feb. 12, 1861.
(M. Jones collection)
Louisiana intelligence.

New Orleans, Feb. 12.

The new flag of Louisiana, ordered by the Convention, was unfurled to-day from the dome of the City Hall. The military were out in strong force on Lafayette Square, and formed a line opposite the City Hall. The flag was raised by Mayor Munro, amidst the huzzas of the multitude. The greatest enthusiasm was exhibited. The troops were reviewed by the Convention, and complimented on their efficiency and imposing appearance.

Judge Robertson, Commissioner from Virginia, was received in the Convention to-day.

The flag of Louisiana consists of thirteen stripes, in blue, red and white, with a yellow star on a red field. It is considered very handsome.

Monday, February 14, 2011

150-Years-Ago -- Henry Clay and Abraham Lincoln

The Richmond Dispatch
February 14, 1861

Sen. Henry Clay of Kentucky
(Library of Congress)
   In acknowledging a present of a bronze medal of Henry Clay, which some one lately sent to the Black Republican President elect, Mr. Lincoln speaks of the "extreme gratification I feel in possessing so beautiful a moment to of him whom, during my whole political life. I have loved and revered as a teacher and a leader."

   His teacher! His leader! Henry Clay the teacher of Mr. Lincoln! What lesson of Henry Clay has he learned? Wherein does he follow his leader's footsteps?
   If we were called upon to search the United States for two men who were father apart than any other two in character and public policy, we could not find such antipodes as Henry Clay and Abraham Lincoln. The solitary polar sea glittering in its framework of everlasting ice, and the mighty and genial tropie gulf, alive with the white sails of commerce and gemmed with the richest islands of the globe, are not farther apart and more dissimilar. Abraham Lincoln, the starched up, grim visaged, billions, dyspeptic Puritan, and Clay, the bright, joyous, generous, candid, noble gentleman! But in their political life, they have even less in unison than in personal character. Abraham Lincoln is the representative of sectional principles and a sectional party. The Convention which nominated him deliberately struck the word "National" out of its platform. It refused to be known by any such designation, and in that it was at least honest. It received no support in the slave States, and could claim none; and it presented Lincoln, not on his own merits but as the best available embodiment and representative of the sectional spirit. With a country rent in twain by his party, and the whole land overwhelmed with financial convulsions and distress, he has refused to speak one word which could end the war of sections and pour oil upon the troubled waters. And this is the man who has the effrontery to speak of Henry Clay as his teacher and his leader! If there was anything in the world by which Henry Clay was peculiarly and pre-eminently distinguished, it was his American spirit, embracing in its ample arms every section, every State, every little neighborhood of the American Union, and knitting one and all to his own patriotic soul with "hooks of steel." On every occasion of sectional antagonism, he stepped forward to heal the breach, and was willing himself to spring into the open chasm and perish there, if he could, by so doing, save his country. At such periods, when section was arrayed against section, when civil war was imminent, when the best and boldest held their breath in terror and amazement, the whole country looked to Henry Clay as its Pacificator, and so, on three different occasions, he proved himself, dying at last amid his struggles to preserve the Union and overcome the fell demon of sectionalism. Yet Lincoln, the first begotten of this sectional demon, has the audacity to declare himself a follower and disciple of Henry Clay! If so, he is such a follower as Benedict Arnold was of Washington, and such a disciple as was the traitor Judas.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

150-Years-Ago -- The Last of the Union in Louisiana

The Charleston Mercury
Feb. 19, 1861

[From the New Orleans Delta.]

The South's Defender
The Statue of Southern Liberty!
(Photo by Mike Jones)
   Louisiana has discarded the old order, and has wedded herself to the new. Louisiana has changed her political alumnae, and inscribed her name on the roll of an era which shall date from the 26th of January, 1861. Louisiana has joined the Southern exodus; she has passed dry-shod through the chasm; she has placed a gulf of storm and water, cloud and darkness, thunder and lightning, between herself and Egypt and servitude. Let Pharaoh and his hosts follow at their peril.
   Louisiana, the great exporting State of North America; Louisiana, the State of the great Commercial Metropolis of the South; Louisiana, which sits at the seaward portal of the Mississippi Valley and its majestic Rivers; Louisiana, which, of all the slave holding States, has the strongest material reasons for pursuing a conservative policy; Louisiana has publicly, formally, and by authentic and sovereign act, repudiated a Union which was without friendship, and a despotism which could not offer even the poor boon of a tranquil servitude, and, turning away from an unsatisfying past, has gone forth, bravely and hopefully, to reap the harvests of the coming years.
   This act of Louisiana closes the lid on the coffin of the old Federal Union. Abraham Lincoln will be fortunate if he can make himself its legal administrator; he can never be representative as a living reality. The day of the temporizers and compromisers is over. The men of the past must give way to the men of the future. The statesmanship that was devoted to be perpetuation of decay must yield to the statesmanship which aims to bring out of corruption incorruption, and to cause a new and more vigorous life to blossom from the very body of death. It is a high and sacred office, and should be discharged with sacramental fervor and religious devotion. It looks to nothing less than a national palangenesis.
   Thus for the patriot and philanthropist, the friend of liberty and the friend of peace, have cause to rejoice at the means which have been used to achieve Southern independence. They have been the progress of a revolution at once orderly and irresistible, at once bloodless and effectual. Never before in the history of civilization have an insulted and injured people thus vindicated their rights without warlike collision, without carnage, and without dangerous social convulsions. Let us hope that this spectacle will be presented to the end. Let it not be the fault of the South, at least, if the drama of the revolution shall yet be marked with sword and desolated fields and burning cities. But let it always be remembered that to be armed at all points is the surest guarantee against war; that, in assertion of our rights, to speak words as hard as cannon balls, and which mean cannon balls, as the surest way of saving our liberty as well as our ammunition. Semper paratus, semper tutus.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

150-Years-Ago -- Davis and Stephens Elected President and Vice President

Jefferson Davis, elected first president
of the Confederate States of America.
 The New Orleans Daily True Delta
Alexander H. Stephens elected vice president
of the Confederate States of America.
February 10, 1861

   Montgomery, Feb. 9 -- The congress of seceded states, last night, unanimosly agreed to the constitution for a provisional government.
   A strong and vigorous government will go into immediate operation, with full powers and ample funds.
   No propositions for compromise or re-construction of the old federal Union will be intertained.
   The Congress will remain in secession to make all the necessary laws.
   Latest from Montgomery.
   Hon. Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi, has just been unanimously elected president of the Confederate States of North America. Hon. A.H.Stephens of Georgia, was elected vice-president by a similar vote.

   The Contemplated Attack on Fort Sumter.
   Washington, Feb. 8 - The impression in well-informed circles is, that the question of an attack on Fort Sumter will be deferred to the southern congress; meanwhile, the South Carolina authorities will intercept reinforcements, supplies and mail matter for Maj. Anderson.
                                                                   The Peace Congress.
   Nearly all the commissoners, including those from Massachusetts and New York, have arrived.

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.

Friday, February 4, 2011


The Charleston Mercury
February 4, 1861

The Southern Congress.
    To-day meets a body  charged with the duty of constructing a Confederate Government for those States which have seceded from the Union of the late United States. It is a grave mission. Since the framing of the United States Constitution and Government, no work of such magnitude and importance has been imposed upon any statesmen in this country. The counsels now Inaugurated are fraught with the destinies of the Southern people.

The Members.
     The following is a full list of gentlemen appointed to represent their respective States in the Southern Congress:
Robert B. Rhett, South Carolina delegate.
(Library of Congress)
R.B. Rhett.
James Chesnut, Jr.
W.P. Miles.
T.J. Withers.
W.W. Boyce.
Jackson Mortaon
J. Patten Anderson.
James Powers.
W.P. Harris.
Walter Brooke.
W.S. Barry.
W.S. Wilson.
A.M. Clayton.
James T. Harris.
Howell Cobb, Georgia delegate.
(Library of  Congress)
J.A.P. Campbell.
R.W. Walker.
R.H. Smith.
C.J. McRae.
J.G. Shorter.
W.P. Chilton.
S.F. Hale.
D.P. Lewis.
T. Fearn.
J.L.M. Curry
Robert Toombs.
Howell Cobb.
M.J. Crawford.
Duncan Kenner, Loiuisiana delegate.
(Ascension Parish Library)
E.A. Nisbet.
A.R. Wright.
T.R.R. Cobb.
A.H. Kenan.
Alex. H. Stephens.
J. Perkins, jr.
A. Duclouet.
C.M. Conrad.
Duncan F. Kenner.
E. Sparrow.
Henry Marshall.
NORTH CAROLINA (commissioners.)
Ex.-Governor Swain.
J.L. Bridges.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

150-Years-Ago -- TEXAS GONE OUT!

Gov. Sam Houston refused to take the
oath of office to the Confederacy after
Texas seceded from the Union
(Library of Congress)
 By Mike Jones
   Texas became the seventh Southern state to assume its sovereign independent status when delegates to the Texas state secession convention passed an ordinance of secession from the United States on February 1, 1861. The passing margin of the vote was 166 to 8. The convention delegates cited the federal government's misuse of power against the Southern people. Texas resumed its status an an independent republic, which it had been between 1836 to 1845 when it first joined what was then a voluntary union of sovereign independent united states. The people of Texas ratified the convention's action on February 23, 1861 and the ordinance became effective as of March 2, 1861, which was the 25th anniversary of the Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico.
   Texas then became the seventh state to join the newly formed Confederate States of America. Governor Sam Houston refused to recognize the authority of the convention, but accepted the decision of the voters to approve secession. However he declined to take the oath of allegiance to the Confederacy and he was removed from office by the convention. Lt. Gov. Edward Clark succeeded Houston and did take the oath. Ironically Houston's son, Sam Houston Jr., served in the Confederate army as a member of the 2nd Texas Infantry. Houston Jr. served faithfully in the army and was severely wounded at the Battle of Shiloh.
Brig. Gen. Ben McCulloch
(Library of Congress)
   The Committee of Public Safety completed the new Texas revolution by securing the surrender of federal troops and property in Texas. Commissioners negotiated with Gen. David E. Twiggs, commander of U.S. troops in the state, for the surrender without success. Former Texas Ranger Ben McCulloch assembled a force of Texans, many who were members of the Knights of the Golden Circle, in San Antonio and took Twiggs into custody on February 16, 1861. Twiggs, a native of Georgia with southern sympathies, agreed to surrender his troops and federal property to the state. The U.S. soldiers were allowed to retain their sidearms and exit the state with honor.
   Twiggs soon was dismissed from the U.S. Army and became a Confederate general in command of the troops forming at New Orleans. Twiggs died July  15, 1862 at age 72. McCulloch went on to become a Confederate general and was killed in action at the Battle of Elk Horn Tavern, Arkansas on March 7, 1862. Sam Houston died in 1863,
Two Confederate soldiers, with the one at
right holding a Ben McCulloch colt revolver.
(Library of Congress)