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States at War, Volume 6: The Confederate States Chronology and a Reference Guide for South Carolina in the Civil War

States at War, Volume 6: The Confederate States Chronology and a Reference Guide for South Carolina in the Civil War

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States at War, Volume 6: The Confederate States Chronology and a Reference Guide for South Carolina in the Civil War

Lunghezza:
2,356 pagine
34 ore
Pubblicato:
Jan 2, 2018
ISBN:
9781512601084
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Although many Civil War reference books exist, Civil War researchers have until now had no single compendium to consult on important details about the combatant states (and territories). This crucial reference work, the sixth in the States at War series, provides vital information on the organization, activities, economies, demographics, and laws of Civil War South Carolina. This volume also includes the Confederate States Chronology. Miller enlists multiple sources, including the statutes, Journals of Congress, departmental reports, general orders from Richmond and state legislatures, and others, to illustrate the rise and fall of the Confederacy. In chronological order, he presents the national laws intended to harness its manpower and resources for war, the harsh realities of foreign diplomacy, the blockade, and the costs of states’ rights governance, along with mounting dissent; the effects of massive debt financing, inflation, and loss of credit; and a growing raggedness within the ranks of its army. The chronology provides a factual framework for one of history’s greatest ironies: in the end, the war to preserve slavery could not be won while 35 percent of the population was enslaved.
Pubblicato:
Jan 2, 2018
ISBN:
9781512601084
Formato:
Libro

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States at War, Volume 6 - University Press of New England

States at War

RICHARD F. MILLER, editor

VOLUME 1

A Reference Guide for Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont in the Civil War

VOLUME 2

A Reference Guide for New York in the Civil War

VOLUME 3

A Reference Guide for Pennsylvania in the Civil War

VOLUME 4

A Reference Guide for Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey in the Civil War

VOLUME 5

A Reference Guide for Ohio in the Civil War

VOLUME 6

The Confederate States Chronology and a Reference Guide for South Carolina in the Civil War

States at War

VOLUME 6

The Confederate States Chronology and a Reference Guide for

South Carolina

in the Civil War

RICHARD F. MILLER, editor

UNIVERSITY PRESS OF NEW ENGLAND

Hanover and London

University Press of New England

www.upne.com

© 2018 University Press of New England

All rights reserved

Manufactured in the United States of America

For permission to reproduce any of the material in this book, contact Permissions, University Press of New England, One Court Street, Suite 250, Lebanon NH 03766; or visit www.upne.com

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

States at war: a reference guide for . . . in the Civil War / Richard F. Miller, editor.

p. cm.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN 978-1-5126-0107-7 (cloth: alk. paper)—ISBN 978-1-5126-0108-4 (ebook)

1. United States—History—Civil War, 1861–1865. 2. U.S. states—History, Military—19th century. 3. U.S. states—Politics and government—19th century. 4. U.S. states—Economic conditions—19th century. I. Miller, Richard F., 1951–

e468.s79 2012

973.7—dc23    2012021652

To Henry Francis Miller, Blessed be who comes!

Contents

Acknowledgments

Abbreviations List

Introduction

Organization of This Book

Statutes

National Officers

Chronology of Events, Battles, Laws, and General Orders: Confederate States of America

Federal Encroachments by Congressional District

The South between Eight Censuses: 1790 vs. 1860

1860

1861

Legislative Sessions—Provisional Congress

1862

Legislative Sessions

1863

Legislative Sessions

1864

Legislative Sessions—1864–1865

1865

Appendix: Congressional Peace Resolutions

South Carolina

War Geography

Economy in 1860

Governance and Politicians

Demography

1859

Key Events

Legislative Sessions

State Military Affairs

1860

Key Events

Legislative Sessions

State Military Affairs

War Finance

1861

Key Events

Legislative Sessions

State Military Affairs

Economy

War Finance

1862

Key Events

Legislative Sessions

State Military Affairs

Economy

1863

Key Events

Legislative Sessions

State Military Affairs

Economy

1864

Key Events

Legislative Sessions

State Military Affairs

Economy

1865

Key Events

Supplementary Information

Military

Sherman versus Hampton on Foraging during the Carolina Campaign

Economy

Special Field Orders No. 15: Major-General William T. Sherman, January 16, 1865

Freed Persons: 1865

Appendix: Excerpts from The Address of the People of South Carolina, Assembled in Convention to the People of the Slaveholding States of the United States

Notes

South Carolina Bibliography

General Bibliography

Chronology Index: Confederate States

South Carolina Index

Acknowledgments

As States at War (SAW) turns south, its obligations remain much the same as during its northern sojourn: debts are high to the state legislators, numerous adjutants general, governors, memoirists, biographers, secondary source historians, genealogists, census takers, soldiers, and sailors—along with the War Department bureaucrats who did the acts and created the texts on which this work is based. Also, acknowledgment is long overdue to SAW’s more recent but equally profound debt to advancing technology. In the years since this series was conceived, the digitization of primary source materials has created almost instant access to ever-expanding and fully searchable databases of thousands of period newspapers, letters, journal articles, memoirs, letters, official documents, books, and other items that in the recent past might have entailed lengthy, expensive visits to far-flung repositories or the occasional long wait for an interlibrary loan. Public digital services used in volume 6 include Google Books; the Library of Congress’ Abraham Lincoln Papers, Chronicling America, and American Memory; Cornell University Library’s Making of America; the Davis Rumsey Map Collection; the Florida Digital Newspaper Library; and Florida Memory: State Library & Archives of Florida. Subscription services include JSTOR, Newspapers.com, NewspaperArchive.com, and GenealogyBank.com. These and other digital resources have transformed the way in which many historians research, collect, and organize information, a development that itself is likely to become a subject of future historical inquiry.

SAW was enormously improved by the criticism of Professor Emeritus James M. McPherson of Princeton University; Professor of History, Chair of the History Department, and Kathe Tappe Vernon Professor in Biography Robert E. Bonner; and the dean of Vermont’s Civil War history, Mr. Howard J. Coffin.

The value of an extensive project such as SAW is hardly self-evident. That UPNE editor Phyllis Deutsch found value here is something that exceeds this particular wordsmith’s smithy and so will be left unsaid. I wish to thank UPNE production editor Amanda Dupuis and Andrew Katz and John Donohue of Westchester Publishing Services, whose efforts have considerably improved the appearance and substance of this volume as well as saving me from many self-inflicted embarrassments. Lori Miller (no relation) tracked, as she has for the first five volumes, the bibliographic footprint of this volume, checked facts and sources, and constructed the Confederate Commodities Index, which precedes each month in the Confederate Chronology. Despite the diligent efforts of Ms. Dupuis and Ms. Miller, this Miller had final responsibility for volume 6’s contents and thus is alone responsible for all errors.

Finally, although volume 6 is dedicated to our new grandson, Henry Francis Miller, I lovingly acknowledge Alyson, my best friend, best love and helpmeet for over four decades, whose influence can be found on every page and in each word that follows.

Abbreviations

AAG: Assistant Adjutant General

AAG/IG: Assistant Adjutant General and Inspector General

ACG: Assistant Commissary General

ADC: Aide-de-camp

AG: Adjutant General

AG/IG: Adjutant General and Inspector General

AIG: Assistant Inspector General

ANV: Army of Northern Virginia

AQM: Assistant Quartermaster

AQMG: Assistant Quartermaster General

ASW: Assistant Secretary of War

AWOL: Away without leave

BSSC: Bank of the State of South Carolina

CG: Commissary General

CIC: Commander in chief

CS: Confederate States

CSA: Confederate States Army

CSN: Confederate States Navy

CSS: Confederate States Ship

EC-1: First iteration of South Carolina’s Executive Council

EC-2: Second iteration of South Carolina’s Executive Council

EO(S): Enrollment Officer(s)

GO: General Order(s)

HA: Heavy artillery

HMS: Her Majesty’s Ship

HQ: Headquarters

IG: Inspector General

KIA: Killed in action

KJV: King James Version

LA: Light artillery

MIA: Missing in action

NB: Nota bene

NCO: Non-commissioned officer

PACS: Provisional Army of the Confederate States

PM: Provost Marshal

PMG: Paymaster General

POW: Prisoner of war

QM: Quartermaster

QMG: Quartermaster General

RMS: Royal Mail Ship

SCM: South Carolina Militia

SCR: South Carolina Reserves

SCRR: South Carolina Railroad

SCST: South Carolina State Troops

SCV: South Carolina Volunteers

SFO: Special Field Order

SG: Surgeon General

SO: Special Order(s)

SS: Special Session

TIK: Tax-in-kind

TMD: Trans-Mississippi Department

U.S. United States

USA: United States Army (to refer to either regular army or volunteers)

USCT: United States Colored Troops

USN: United States Navy

USS: United States Ship

W: Wounded

South Carolina

Districts

circa 1860

1Up Country Districts

Pkn - Pickens

Gr - Greenville

Sp - Spartanburg

Yo - York

An - Anderson

La - Laurens

Un - Union

Chr - Chester

La - Lancaster

Ab - Abbeville

Ne - Newberry

Fa - Fairfield

2Middle Country Districts

Ed - Edgefield

Le - Lexington

Rch - Richland

Su - Sumter

Ke - Kershaw

Chd - Chesterfield

Ma - Marlboro

Da - Darlington

Mar - Marion

Cl - Clarendon

Or - Orangeburg

Ba - Barnwell

3Lower Country Districts

Be - Beaufort

Co - Colleton

Cha - Charleston

Wi - Williamsburg

Ge - Georgetown

Ho - Horry

Introduction

Organization of This Book

With volume 6, States at War (SAW) commences its examination of the Southern states. While the general organizing principles outlined in volumes 1 to 5 remain applicable (and should be consulted), the South presents special challenges for the chronologizer, most of which relate to the often simultaneous activity by local, state, Confederate, and federal authorities, including irregular forces (that is, organized or unorganized resistance) of both (or no) sides, all of which may claim to occupy the same spaces (both actual, as in military or guerilla occupations, and jurisdictional, as in claims of legal authority). To aid readers in sifting events, volume 6 introduces certain subjects in italics.

Thus, in the Confederate Chronology, italic paragraph introductions will attribute actions to the U.S. Congress, U.S. Law, U.S. Troop Call(s), a Lincoln Proclamation, or U.S. Military Administration. Other paragraphs are introduced by the descriptors Montgomery Convention (later, the Montgomery Congress); a Davis Proclamation; a CS Troop Call; the First Davis Tour, Second Davis Tour, or Third Davis Tour; and the Hampton Roads Conference.

The South Carolina chapter may use some of the foregoing as well as headings peculiar to it, such as the SC Democratic Convention, the Democratic National Convention, the Democratic Constitutional (Bolters’) Convention (later, Southern Rights Convention), the State Constitutional Convention, the EC-1 and EC-2, the Montgomery Convention (later, the Montgomery Congress), the CS Military Administration, the U.S. Military Administration, and the Port Royal Experiment. Readers will also find in boldface the Cushing Mission, the First Washington Mission, the Second Washington Mission—the SC Commissioners, and the Hayne Mission. Certain battles and campaigns are likewise identified: the Port Royal Expedition, the Morris Island Campaign, Honey Hill, and the Carolina Campaign. See the Abbreviations list.

Each month in the Confederate Chronology is introduced by a Confederate Commodities Index, which provides an approximation of the inflation rate since the prior month, the prior year, and the origination date. Its purpose is to establish for readers a series of indexes—essentially, a measure of currency corruption—that united the personal experiences of Confederate soldiers, government leaders, bureaucrats, ordinary civilians, blockade runners, people trading illegally with the enemy, counterfeiters, black marketeers, operators of illegal whisky stills, farmers secretly devoting acres (beyond the legal limits) to cotton cultivation, speculators exploiting price dysfunctions, and innocent merchants simply trying to protect inventories against relentless inflation.

The SAW researcher Lori Miller (no relation) prepared these figures, and the following notes are abstracted from her work. Each entry contains the value for that month, expressed in dollars; the change since last month (i.e., the change expressed in dollars and as a percentage relative to the previous calendar month); the change since last year (i.e., the change expressed in dollars and as a percentage relative to the same calendar month of the previous year); and the change since first record (i.e., the change expressed in dollars and as a percentage relative to the February 1861 value [$105]). Gold prices follow this format, relative to the September 1861 value of $1.14. Beginning in March 1863, Erlanger Bond (see Chronology, October 28, 1862; January 8, 18, and 29, 1863) prices are given. These were traded exclusively on European markets and may be considered as a proxy for Confederate credit in England and on the Continent. Quotes for Erlanger Bonds are given as current month / last month / first price.

Statutes

Statutes do not appear in the numerical order that was probably assigned later by official printers but are instead chronologized by the date of adoption.

National Officers

Executive

Jefferson Davis, Mississippi, President, Provisional CS, February 18, 1861, to February 22, 1862; President, Permanent CS, February 22, 1862, to May 10, 1865

Alexander Stephens, Georgia, Vice President, Provisional CS, February 11, 1861, to February 22, 1862; Vice President, Permanent CS, February 22, 1862, to May 11, 1865

Legislative

Howell Cobb, Georgia, President of the Provisional Congress, February 4, 1861, to February 18, 1862

Thomas S. Bocock, Virginia, Speaker of the CS House, February 18, 1862, to May 10, 1865

Robert M. T. Hunter, President Pro Tempore, CS Senate, February 18, 1862, to May 10, 1865

Secretaries of State

Robert Toombs, Georgia, February 25, 1861, to July 25, 1861

Robert M. T. Hunter, Virginia, July 25, 1861, to February 18, 1862

William M. Browne (Acting), Georgia, February 18, 1862, to March 18, 1862

Judah P. Benjamin, Louisiana, March 18, 1862, to May 10, 1865

Secretaries of the Treasury

Christopher G. Memminger, South Carolina, February 22, 1861, to July 18, 1864

George A. Trenholm, South Carolina, July 18, 1864, to April 27, 1865

John Reagan (Acting), Texas, April 27, 1865, to May 10, 1865

Secretaries of War

LeRoy Pope Walker, Alabama, February 25, 1861, to September 16, 1861

Judah P. Benjamin, Louisiana, September 17, 1861, to March 24, 1862

George W. Randolph, Virginia, March 24, 1862, to November 15, 1862

James Seddon, Virginia, November 21, 1862, to February 5, 1865

John C. Breckinridge, Kentucky, February 6, 1865, to May 10, 1865

Attorneys General

Judah P. Benjamin, Louisiana, February 25, 1861, to September 17, 1861

Wade Keyes, Alabama, September 17, 1861, to November 21, 1861, and October 1, 1863, to January 2, 1864

Thomas Bragg, North Carolina, November 21, 1861, to March 18, 1862

Thomas H. Watts, Alabama, March 18, 1862, to October 1, 1863

George Davis, North Carolina, January 2, 1864, to April 24, 1865

Secretary of the Navy

Stephen Mallory, Florida, March 4, 1861, to May 2, 1865

Postmaster General

John H. Reagan, Texas, March 6, 1861, to May 10, 1865

Chronology of Events, Battles, Laws, and General Orders

Confederate States of America

Deo Vindice (Under God, Our Vindicator)

—motto of the Confederate States of America¹

Federal Encroachments by Congressional District

²

By the time the rounds of secession had ended, the Confederacy claimed thirteen states, which were divided into 106 congressional districts (number in parentheses): Alabama (9), Arkansas (4), Florida (2), Georgia (10), Kentucky (12), Louisiana (6), Mississippi (7), Missouri (7), North Carolina (10), South Carolina (6), Tennessee (11), Texas (6), and Virginia (16).³ However, by the conclusion of the First Session, First Congress (April 21, 1862), 22.6 percent of the territory claimed (24 districts) was under federal control, 5.7 percent (6) was disrupted, and 71.7 percent (76) was unoccupied, that is, under the control of the Confederate States.⁴

By the end of the Second Session, First Congress (October 13, 1862), 27.4 percent of the territory claimed (29 districts) was under federal control, 9.4 percent (10) was disrupted, and 63.2 percent (67) was unoccupied.

By the end of the Third Session, First Congress (May 1, 1863), 30.2 percent of the territory claimed (32 districts) was under federal control, 8.5 percent (9) was disrupted, and 61.3 percent (65) was unoccupied. Occupied areas included western Tennessee, eastern Louisiana, and the northern rim of Virginia.

By the end of the Fourth Session, First Congress (February 17, 1864), 38.7 percent (41 districts) of the territory claimed was under federal control; 52.8 percent (56) was unoccupied, and 8.5 percent (9) was disrupted.

By the end of the First Session, Second Congress (June 14, 1864), 40.66 percent (43 districts) of the territory claimed was under federal control; 50 percent (53) was unoccupied, and 9.4 percent (10) was disrupted.

By the end of the Second Session, Second Congress (March 18, 1865), 45.3 percent (48 districts) of the territory claimed was under federal control; 34.9 percent (37) was unoccupied, and 19.8 percent (21) was disrupted.

The South between Eight Censuses: 1790 vs. 1860

Total Population. 1790: North, 1,968,040; South, 1,961,174; Southern %: 49.9%.

1860: North, 19,051,291; South, 12,237,997; Southern %: 39.1%.

Total White Population. 1790: North, 1,900,616; South, 1,271,390; Southern %: 40.1%.

1860: North, 18,825,075; South, 8,036,699; Southern %: 29.9%.

Total Black Population. 1790: North, 67,424; South, 689,784; Total U.S. in South: 91.1%. 1860: North, 226,216; South, 4,201,298; Total U.S. in South: 94.9%.

Black Population by Sections. 1790: North, 3.4%; South, 35.2%. 1860: North, 1.2%; South, 34.3%.

U.S. House of Representatives Distribution by Section. First Congress, 1789: North, 35; South, 30; Southern %: 46%. Thirty-Sixth Congress, 1860: North, 163; South, 85; Southern %: 35%.

U.S. Senate Distribution by Section. First Congress, 1789: North, 14; South, 12; Southern %: 46.1%. [NB: In 1789, slavery was legal in many Northern states.] Thirty-Sixth Congress, 1860: North, 38; South, 30; Southern %: 44.1%.

Presidential Electors, Distribution by Section. 1790: North, 61; South, 49; Southern %: 45%. 1860: North, 165; South, 87; Southern %: 35%.¹⁰

1860

NOVEMBER

6:Presidential election, selected states (winner in italics):

Alabama: Lincoln, 0; Douglas, 13,618/15.1%; Breckinridge, 48,669/54%; Bell, 27,835/30.9%

Arkansas: Lincoln, 0; Douglas, 5,357/9.9%; Breckinridge, 28,732/53.1%; Bell, 20,063/37.1%

Florida: Lincoln, 0; Douglas, 223/1.7%; Breckinridge, 8,277/62.2%; Bell, 4,801/36.1%

Georgia: Lincoln, 0; Douglas, 11,581/10.9%; Breckinridge, 52,176/48.9%; Bell, 42,960/40.3%

Kentucky: Lincoln, 1,364/0.9%; Douglas, 25,651/17.5%; Breckinridge, 53,143/36.3%; Bell, 66,058/45.2%

Louisiana: Lincoln, 0; Douglas, 7,625/15.1%; Breckinridge, 22,681/44.9%; Bell, 20,204/40.0%

Mississippi: Lincoln, 0; Douglas, 3,282/4.8%; Breckinridge, 40,768/59.0%; Bell, 25,045/36.4%

Missouri: Lincoln, 17,028/10.3%; Douglas, 58,801/35.5%; Breckinridge, 31,362/18.9%; Bell, 58,372/35.3%

North Carolina: Lincoln, 0; Douglas, 2,737/2.8%; Breckinridge, 48,846/50.5%; Bell, 45,128/46.7%

South Carolina: No popular vote; legislature votes for presidential electors.

Tennessee: Lincoln, 0; Douglas, 11,281/7.7%; Breckinridge, 65,097/44.6%; Bell, 69,728/47.7%

Texas: Lincoln, 0; Douglas, 18; Breckinridge, 47,454/75.5%; Bell, 15,383/24.5%

Virginia: Lincoln, 1,887/1.1%; Douglas, 16,198/9.7%; Breckinridge, 74,325/44.5%; Bell, 74,481/44.6%¹¹

14:Alexander H. Stephens delivers a long, passionate speech to Georgia’s legislature, the nub of it expressed in a question he poses: Shall the people of the South secede from the Union in consequence of the election of Mr. Lincoln to the Presidency of the United States? He immediately answers, I do not think they ought. In my judgment, the election of no man, constitutionally chosen to that high office, is sufficient cause for any State to separate from the Union.¹² (See entry for November 30.)

18:Georgia’s legislature calls for a state convention. (See entry for January 17, 1861.)¹³

26:Florida’s legislature convenes. Governor Madison Starke Perry recommends immediate secession.¹⁴

27:Maryland governor Thomas H. Hicks refuses to issue a proclamation calling for the legislature to convene, an assembly he is certain will vote to secede.¹⁵ (See entry for December 19.)

30:From Springfield, Illinois, President-Elect Abraham Lincoln has read in the newspapers the November 14 speech of his old friend Alexander H. Stephens and writes the Georgian to request a copy that might reflect any later revisions. Stephens replies on December 14 that the speech is as it appears in the newspapers.¹⁶ (See entry for December 22.)

DECEMBER

1:Florida approves a convention bill with an election for delegates to be held on December 22. (See entry for that date.)¹⁷

3:The second session of the Thirty-Sixth Congress reconvenes.

4:U.S. Congress: By a vote of 145 to 38 (the latter all Republicans), the House approves the appointment of one member from each state to form a Select Committee of Thirty-Three, to be chaired by the Ohioan Thomas Corwin and intended to resolve sectional differences. (Slave-state members were John Millson, Virginia; Warren Winslow, North Carolina; William W. Boyce, South Carolina; Peter E. Love, Georgia; Henry Winter Davis, Maryland; William G. Whiteley, Delaware; Francis Bristow, Kentucky; Thomas A. R. Nelson, Tennessee; Miles Taylor, Louisiana; Reuben Davis, Mississippi; George S. Houston, Alabama; John S. Phelps, Missouri; Albert Rust, Arkansas, George S. Hawkins, Florida; and Andrew J. Hamilton, Texas. Efforts to form a similar committee on the Senate encounters opposition from Republicans, worried that any compromise would permit territorial slavery.¹⁸ (See entries for December 11 and 14, 1860, and February 27, 1861.)

6:South Carolina elects delegates for its state convention. (See South Carolina chapter.)

10:U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Howell Cobb resigns.¹⁹

11:The House Committee of Thirty-Three, appointed December 4, finally meets. In Baton Rouge, the Louisiana state convention bill is approved, after an amendment to submit the question to the voters is eliminated. Tomorrow the Mississippi commissioner will be heard.²⁰

13:In the Committee of Thirty-Three’s debate, Thomas McKee Dunn, Republican from Indiana, proposes a resolution (one of many considered), to be made in the Committee’s name, that the growing hostility among [Southerners] to the federal government, are greatly to be regretted. But without taking a position on whether these grievances are without just cause or not, any reasonable, proper, and constitutional remedies, and additional and more specific and effectual guarantees of their peculiar rights and interests as recognized by the Constitution, necessary to preserve the peace of the country and the perpetuation of the Union should be promptly and cheerfully granted. The Republican members of the Committee split on this proposal, eight to eight. Tonight Southern legislators meet to consider a response. (See entry for December 14.)²¹

14:Thirty Southern congressmen and senators sign an open letter To our Constituents: The argument is exhausted. All hope of relief in the Union through the agency of committees, congressional legislation or constitutional amendments, is extinguished, and we trust the South will not be deceived by appearances or the pretense of new guarantees. In our judgment, the Republicans are resolute in the purpose to grant nothing that will or ought to satisfy the South. We are satisfied that the honor, safety and independence of the Southern people require the organization of a Southern Confederacy—a result to be obtained only by separate State secession—that the primary object of each slaveholding State ought to be its speedy and absolute separation from a Union with hostile States.²²

15:Since the election, Abraham Lincoln has remained at Springfield and avoided public statements, but he has been active with his pen, maintaining an active correspondence with figures north, south, and, most critically, in between. To North Carolina congressman John A. Gilmer he offers some compromise: as to patronage appointments in slave states, he writes, I do not expect to inquire for the politics of the appointee, or whether he does or does not own slaves. But there are matters for which compromise is impossible: On the territorial question, I am inflexible.²³

17:South Carolina’s state convention assembles to consider secession. (See South Carolina chapter.)

18:The U.S. Senate authorizes a Committee of Thirteen, analogous to the House Committee of Thirty-Three and intended to resolve sectional differences. Committee members are Kentucky’s Lazarus W. Powell, Vermont’s Jacob Collamer, New York’s William Henry Seward, Virginia’s R. M. T. Hunter, Georgia’s Robert Toombs, Mississippi’s Jefferson Davis, Minnesota’s Henry M. Rice, Kentucky’s John J. Crittenden, Illinois’ Stephen A. Douglas, Wisconsin’s James Doolittle, Ohio’s Benjamin F. Wade, and Iowa’s James W. Grimes. (See entry for December 22.)²⁴

19:Maryland’s Governor Hicks refuses an official audience with Mississippi commissioner Alexander H. Handy (although he will meet unofficially with him).²⁵ (See entry for January 25, 1861.)

20:The South Carolina state convention votes to secede, 169 to 0. (See South Carolina chapter.) Meanwhile, Mississippi elects delegates to a state convention: of approximately 41,000 votes cast, 12,000 are for candidates with unclear positions; of the remaining 29,000 votes, 16,800 are for immediate actionists and 12,281 for cooperationists.²⁶

22:Florida elects delegates to a state convention. Separately, Lincoln replies to Stephens in a note marked For your own eye only. "Do the people of the South really entertain fears that a Republican administration would, directly or indirectly, interfere with their slaves, or with them, about their slaves? If they do, I wish to assure you, as once a friend, and still, I hope, not an enemy, that there is no cause for such fears. The South would be in no more danger in this respect, than it was in the days of Washington, Lincoln assures the Georgian. But the president-elect is also candid: You think slavery is right and ought to be extended; while we think it is wrong and ought to be restricted. That I suppose is the rub." (Italics in original; see entry for December 30.) Back in Washington, the Senate Committee of Thirteen adopts a suggestion by Jefferson Davis that for approval, a proposal must have majority support of the Committee’s five Republicans and its eight Democrats or members of other parties. This makes consensus difficult. (See entry for December 31.)²⁷

24:Alabama elects delegates to a state convention.²⁸

26:Tonight Major Robert Anderson evacuates Fort Moultrie for Fort Sumter.

30:Stephens replies to Lincoln’s December 22 note. Personally, I am not your enemy—far from it; and however widely we may differ politically, yet I trust we both have an earnest desire to preserve and maintain the Union. Stephens offers Lincoln some perspectives on the white South: When men come under the influence of fanaticism, there is not telling where their impulses or passions may drive them. This is what creates our discontent and apprehensions, not unreasonable when we see . . . such reckless exhibitions of madness as the John Brown raid into Virginia, which has received so much sympathy from many, and no open condemnation from any of the leading members of the dominant party. He appeals for a public statement from Lincoln, quoting Proverbs, 25:11: A word fitly spoken by you now would be like ‘apples of gold in pictures of silver.’ ²⁹

31:The Committee of Thirteen’s Senator Powell reports to the Senate, That the committee have not been able to agree upon any general plan of adjustment; this ends one approach to compromise, although the efforts continue. See January 3, 1861.³⁰

1861

JANUARY

2:Georgia voters endorse secession convention, 50,243 (57.5 percent) to 37,123 (42.5 percent), to meet in Milledgeville. It will meet January 16. South Carolina seizes Fort Johnson in Charleston Harbor. Separately, South Carolina elects commissioners to proceed to the various Southern state conventions not only to present the case for secession but to ask for a Southern Convention to convene in Montgomery, Alabama, on February 4. (See South Carolina chapter.)³¹

3:Three South Carolina commissioners leave Washington. In Georgia, the state militia seizes Fort Pulaski in Savannah, and in Missouri, secessionist governor Claiborne F. Jackson is inaugurated. Meanwhile, in the U.S. Senate, Crittenden, trying every innovation to promote his plan, introduces his compromise with a resolution that would submit it for approval to the nation’s voters. On January 14, this effort will fail. Separately, the Mississippi commissioner addresses the Delaware legislature and appeals to the state to join a Southern Confederacy. But the Delaware legislature votes its unqualified disapproval of secession as the remedy for existing difficulties.³²

4:On the orders of Alabama governor A. B. Moore, state troops seize the U.S. Arsenal at Mount Vernon, located thirty miles up the Mobile River.³³

5:Alabama’s Governor Moore informs Buchanan that he has ordered the seizure of Forts Gaines and Morgan, both guarding Mobile Bay. Fort Gaines will be formally occupied February 18. Separately, in Washington, senators from Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Mississippi, and Florida meet and adopt four resolutions: First, each of the Southern States should, as soon as may be, secede from the Union. Second, a convention to organize a Confederacy of the seceding States should meet by February 15 in Montgomery, Alabama. Third, in view of the hostile legislation that is threatened against the seceding States, and may be consummated before the 4th of March, states should be asked whether to retain their congressional delegations for the purpose of defeating such legislation. Finally, senators Jefferson Davis, John Slidell, and Stephen Mallory are appointed to execute these resolutions.³⁴

6:On Governor Madison S. Perry’s orders, Florida militiamen seize the U.S. Arsenal at Apalachicola.

7:Action across the South: in Richmond, Virginia; Nashville, Tennessee (see entry for February 9); and Raleigh, North Carolina (see entry for January 9), the legislatures convene. But in Florida, the action is more militant as the state militia takes peaceful possession of Fort Marion at St. Augustine. In Louisiana, voters elect delegates to a state convention to consider secession: with 12,766 fewer votes cast than during the November 6, 1860, presidential election, voters choose 130 delegates: 80 favor immediate secession, 44 favor cooperative secession, and 6 delegates’ views are unclear. Meanwhile, in the mayor’s annual address to New York City’s council, Fernando Wood wonders why the city, given its wealth, should not also secede from the Union.³⁵

8:President Buchanan sends a message to Congress. Although repeating an earlier declaration that no State has a right by its own act to secede from the Union or throw off its federal obligations at pleasure, he also asserts, the executive department of this Government had no authority under the Constitution to recognize its validity by acknowledging the independence of such State. He declares, I certainly had no right to make aggressive war upon any State, and I am perfectly satisfied that the Constitution has wisely withheld that power even from Congress. However, he does believe that the right and the duty to use military force defensively against those who resist Federal officers in the execution of their legal functions and against those who assail the property of the Federal Government is clear and undeniable. But if anything is to be done, Congress must do it: On them [i.e., Congress] and on them alone rests the responsibility. Buchanan urges adoption of constitutional amendments to resolve sectional differences and adds that early on, I determined that no act of mine should increase the excitement in either section of the country. Accordingly, he declines to send reinforcements to Major Anderson.

Separately, in Virginia, the legislature unanimously adopts an anticoercion resolution declaring that since the Union was formed by assent, it cannot and ought not to be maintained by Force. A second resolution declares that the U.S. government has no power to declare or make war against any of the States; it passes 35 to 1. A third resolution states, when any one or more of the States has determined, or shall determine, under existing circumstances, to withdraw from the Union, we are unalterably opposed to any attempt on the part of the Federal Government to coerce the same into re-union, or submission, and that we will resist the same by all the means in our power. Virginia’s conservatism notwithstanding, as of today and since December 20, six other states have voted for state conventions to decide whether or not to secede.³⁶

9:Mississippi secedes; from 99 votes cast, 84 (84.9 percent) approve and 15 (15.1 percent) disapprove. Separately, the Virginia legislature resolves that no action regarding secession will be taken pending the state convention. Separately, at 4:00 a.m. in Smithville, North Carolina (and without state authority), a group of men seize Fort Johnston and its guns and ammunition. Fort Caswell, protecting the Cape Fear River entrance, is also seized. Governor John W. Ellis immediately orders the forts and property returned. (But see entries for January 29 and April 16.)³⁷

Meanwhile, the steamer Star of the West is fired on as it attempts to resupply Fort Sumter.

10:Florida’s convention votes to secede, 62 to 7, with 4 nays coming from West Florida. Meanwhile, the U.S. Arsenal in New Orleans surrenders to the Louisiana state militia. Surrender is also demanded from downriver Forts Jackson and St. Philip (these will be received tomorrow) and from Fort Pike (see entry for January 14). Separately, Virginia’s House adopts, 77 to 61, a measure that submits to popular vote any action that any state convention might take on secession.³⁸

11:In a secret session, Alabama votes to secede, 61 to 39; a measure to submit secession to a popular vote is defeated, 53 to 47. The Virginia Senate adopts a resolution (the House had adopted a similar resolution several days earlier) with a request of President Buchanan: In view of the imminent danger of civil war an assurance of the absolute preservation of the status quo for 60 days, except to repel hostile aggression, all questions of difference between the General Government and the Seceding States. In Louisiana, state authorities seize the U.S. Marine Hospital.³⁹

12:In Tennessee, the legislature calls for a vote on a state convention, to be held on February 8. Meanwhile, in Washington, Mississippi’s U.S. House members withdraw. In Vicksburg, the Mississippi militia plants a battery on Fort Hill, a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, essentially taking control of the waterway’s traffic through to New Orleans. In Pensacola, Florida, the U.S. Navy yard surrenders to the state militia. Also in Florida, four men, several uniformed, appear at Fort Pickens to meet with Lieutenant Adam J. Slemmer, USA; on behalf of the governors of Florida and Alabama, they demand its surrender. Slemmer refuses, and the men withdraw. Despite repeated demands, Fort Pickens will never be taken by Florida or the Confederacy; but today, the Florida militia does take Barrancas Barracks, Forts Barrancas and McRee, and the U.S. Navy yard at Pensacola.⁴⁰

13:Vicksburg’s battery fires on the civilian steamer A.O. Tyler of Cincinnati as it rounds a bend in the Mississippi River. (The Mississippians believe that the Tyler carries an invasion force.) Militiamen board and search the Tyler before permitting it to resume its journey.⁴¹ (See entry for February 25.)

14:Virginia’s legislature approves a state convention to meet in Richmond on February 13, with delegates popularly elected February 4. The ballot question will decide whether any action of said convention dissolving [the state’s] connection with the Federal Union . . . shall be submitted to the people for ratification or rejection. Meanwhile, the Louisiana militia seizes Fort Pike, which guards the Rigolet Pass, linking the Gulf, Lake Borgne, and New Orleans.

U.S. Congress: The House Committee of Thirty-Three reports a series of propositions designed to resolve sectional tensions. (See entry for February 27.)⁴²

15:Arkansas governor Henry M. Rector signs legislation calling for a February 18 popular election to determine if a secession convention will be held. (See entry for that date.) Separately, from San Antonio, Department of Texas commander General David E. Twiggs informs General Winfield Scott, I am a Southern man and am placed in a most embarrassing situation. In poor health, Twiggs notes, All I have is in the South, of which the Deep South will certainly secede; he pleads to be relieved of command.⁴³ (See entries for February 18 and March 1.)

16:In Missouri, the Senate notifies the House that it has passed (31 to 2) a bill calling for a state convention; the House will concur tomorrow, 105 to 17. But the final bill prohibits the convention from taking any measure changing or dissolving the political relations of [Missouri] to the Government of the United States, or any other State, until a majority of the qualified voters of this State, voting upon the question, shall ratify the same. The Senate concurs, 17 to 15. (See entry for February 18.) Meanwhile, in Virginia, commissioners from Alabama are received.⁴⁴

17:Former U.S. president John Tyler publishes a lengthy letter in which he urges that the Legislature, without delay, and without interference with the call of a convention . . . inaugurate a meeting of the Border States of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Missouri, slave States, with New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa, free States, through two commissioners to be appointed by each, to arrange, if possible, a programme of adjustment to be submitted to the other States, as conclusive of the whole matter. This is the genesis of the Peace Conference. (See entry for February 4.) Along similar lines, the Virginia legislature passes resolutions approving the Crittenden Compromise as the basis for sectional adjustment. Meanwhile, in Milledgeville, the Georgia state convention assembles. Attendees include the commissioners sent from South Carolina and Alabama. (See entry for January 18.)⁴⁵

18:The Georgia state convention approves a secession resolution by only 35 votes from 295 votes cast (165 to 130). Meanwhile, as the U.S. Army occupies Fort Jefferson at Dry Tortugas, Florida, in Tallahassee, the state convention votes to send delegates to the Montgomery Convention.⁴⁶

19:Georgia secedes: from 297 votes cast, 208 (70.1 percent) approve and 89 (29.9 percent) oppose. (See entry for January 21.) Meanwhile, Virginia’s legislature calls for a national peace convention, to be chaired by former president John Tyler. Separately, Tennessee’s legislature will submit the question of secession to a February 9 popular vote.⁴⁷ (See entry for that date.)

20:In Mississippi, state troops seize Fort Massachusetts on Ship Island.⁴⁸

21:U.S. senators David Yulee (Florida), Stephen R. Mallory (Florida), Clement Clay (Alabama), Benjamin Fitzpatrick (Alabama), and Jefferson Davis (Mississippi) resign from the Senate. With these Southerners absent, the Senate votes 36 to 16 to admit Kansas as a free state. Also, Georgia’s congressional delegation withdraws.⁴⁹

22:Kentucky’s House votes 87 to 6 to resist any invasion of the South. (See entry for January 25.)⁵⁰

23:In Baton Rouge, the state convention meets. In Virginia, the legislature passes a resolution adding some muscle to compromise efforts, declaring that if all efforts to reconcile the unhappy differences existing between the two sections of the country shall prove to be abortive, then . . . every consideration of honor and interest demands that Virginia shall unite her destiny with the slaveholding states of the south.⁵¹

24:Georgia governor Joseph E. Brown orders the state militia to seize the U.S. Arsenal at Augusta. Georgia’s convention also elects delegates to the Montgomery Convention.⁵²

25:Maryland’s Governor Hicks, believing Washington is in danger from secessionists, asks General Winfield Scott for two thousand arms. (See entry for February 29.) Meanwhile, Kentucky approves a joint resolution that cites Article V of the U.S. Constitution (providing that Congress call a constitutional convention upon application by the legislatures of two-thirds of the states) and, further, that such a convention, if called, should consider the Crittenden Compromise as the basis of adjustment. On January 29, Kentucky will appoint commissioners to attend the Washington Peace Conference. (See entry for February 11.)⁵³

26:Louisiana’s legislature votes to secede, 113 to 17. Meanwhile, in Savannah, Georgia, the state militia occupies the Oglethorpe Barracks and Fort Jackson.⁵⁴

28:In Louisiana, the state militia seizes Fort Macomb, located at the Chef Menteur Pass connecting Lake Pontchartrain to the Gulf of Mexico. In New Orleans, other U.S. Army property is seized, as two federal revenue cutters, one today (Robert McClelland) and another tomorrow (Lewis Cass), surrender to state authorities. And just to the west in Texas, a state convention meets. (See entry for February 1.)⁵⁵

29:The North Carolina General Assembly passes a bill ordering a February 28 popular election on the question of a state convention. (See entry for February 28.) Meanwhile, in Washington, Kansas is admitted to the Union as a free state.⁵⁶

31:South Carolina governor Francis W. Pickens certifies for the upcoming Montgomery Convention both the state’s delegates and a proposal, adopted last December, that the proposed basis for the new government be the existing U.S. Constitution. Separately, in New Orleans, state authorities seize the U.S. Mint and Customs House and the federal cutter Washington. Louisiana takes $389,267.46 from the mint and $147,519.66 from the customs house.⁵⁷ (See entry for March 14.)

FEBRUARY

Confederate Commodities Index: $105.00.⁵⁸

1:Texas’ state convention votes to secede, 166 to 7 (see entry for February 7). Texas will be the last state to secede before the attack on Fort Sumter.⁵⁹

3:Jeremiah Clemens, a reluctant Confederate from Huntsville, Alabama, who had nonetheless signed the state’s secession ordinance, writes Leroy P. Walker on several matters, including an assessment of local affairs: There is still much discontent here at the passage of the ordinance of secession, but it is growing weaker daily, and unless something is done to stir it up anew, will soon die away. He does report that last week in Limestone, William Yancey was burned in effigy, but Clemens dismisses the event as more frolic . . . than a serious manifestation of feeling on the part of older citizens.⁶⁰

4:Montgomery Convention. The first session of the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States of America convenes at Montgomery, Alabama. Delegates represent South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Georgian Howell Cobb is elected president of the convention by acclamation. Before proceeding with business, a five-member Committee on Rules is established.

Including states that have not yet joined (Arkansas, Kentucky, Virginia, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas), 117 delegates will sit; of those whose political affiliation is known (10 are unknown), 62 (53.4 percent of total) are Democrats and 44 (37.9 percent) are Whigs; on the basis of delegates’ recent positions on disunion, 58 (50 percent) are secessionists, 45 (38.7 percent) are Unionists, and the positions of 13 members are unknown; known occupations include 93 (80.1 percent) members who are engaged exclusively in the practice of law or who have combined law at some point with other endeavors; the largest of the combined occupations is lawyer-agrarian, which includes 46 members. Twenty-one members either own no enslaved persons or such ownership cannot be found; the remaining 95 are member-masters of 5,483 enslaved persons; the ten largest slaveholders own 2,575 enslaved persons, or 46.9 percent of all slaves owned; for all delegates, the average numbers of enslaved persons held is 46.8. This male assembly is experienced: presecession, 98 members have held important federal or state, mostly elective offices, with only 15 members having held no elected public office or bench appointment.⁶¹

Back in Washington, Louisianans John Slidell and Judah Benjamin withdraw from the U.S. Senate.

In Virginia, voters elect 152 delegates to the February 13 state convention, most of whom, on the basis of 1860 presidential endorsements, are conservative: 85 (56 percent) had supported Bell, 37 (24.3 percent) had supported Douglas, and 30 (19.7 percent) had supported Breckinridge. [NB: A recent account divides Virginia into five regions with political tilts for each: Unionist/Secessionist: Northwest, 28 (90 percent) / 3 (10 percent); Southwest, 14 (56 percent) / 11 (44 percent); Valley, 22 (85 percent) / 4 (15 percent); Piedmont 14 (39 percent) / 22 (61 percent); and Tidewater, 16 (50 percent) / 15 (50 percent); for a total of 94 (63 percent) Unionist delegates and 55 (37 percent) Secessionists.]⁶² (See entry for February 13.)

Separately, the Peace Conference convenes in Washington: free states represented are Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Pennsylvania; slave states represented are Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Missouri. Former president John Tyler is elected convention president. Slave states not attending are South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas; free states not attending include Oregon and California (too remote) and, for ideological reasons, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. (See entry for February 27.)⁶³

5:Montgomery Convention. Alexander Stephens, one of five members of the Rules Committee, introduces twenty-nine rules, which include one of special importance: first, all votes taken will be by states, and each state will be entitled to one vote; thus, individuals are not entitled to separate votes, and the question of how state delegations internally decide questions (some are ordered to only vote as a bloc) is circumvented—no minority or majority results. Also, Stephens identifies what the Montgomery assembly is: is it a convention, thus without ongoing legislative power, or a law-making congress? We are a Congress, Stephens declares at one point in the debate and, later today, introduces a successful motion striking out [in a three-part resolution declaring the purposes of the convention] the word ‘convention’ and substituting in lieu thereof the word ‘Congress.’ Also today, a Committee of Twelve is formed, composed of two members from each state and charged with drafting a provisional constitution. Alabama is represented by Richard W. Walker and Robert H. Smith; Florida by J. Patton Anderson and James B. Owens; Georgia by Alexander Stephens and Eugenius A. Nisbet; Louisiana by Duncan F. Kenner and John Perkins, Jr.; Mississippi by William T. S. Barry and Wiley Pope Harris; and South Carolina by Robert W. Barnwell and Christopher G. Memminger.

Separately, Louisiana’s U.S. congressional delegation withdraws.⁶⁴

7:Montgomery Convention. Committee of Twelve chair Memminger presents the draft of the Constitution for the Provisional Government of the Confederate States of North America. The Convention adjourns to print and consider the draft. Unofficially, delegates begin to talk among themselves about candidates for president. Separately, Texas passes an ordinance of secession, subject to a February 23 popular vote. (See entry for that date.)⁶⁵

8:Montgomery Convention becomes the Provisional Congress. Debate begins on the draft constitution. Among the issues resolved are adding an invocation in God’s name in the preamble (approved); Mississippi and Florida’s unsuccessful attempt to deny the Convention/Congress the right to legislate; a line-item veto for the president (approved); prohibiting the government from laying protective tariffs (approved); and an effort to preserve Congress’ power to reopen the African slave trade (defeated in favor of prohibition). The Provisional Confederate Constitution is approved for one year. Texas’ delegates join the convention and approve the charter.

In Little Rock, Arkansas, state authorities seize the U.S. Arsenal.⁶⁶

9:Montgomery Congress: Jefferson Davis is unanimously elected president and Alexander H. Stephens vice president of the Provisional Government of the Confederate States of America. (The North had been dropped.) Georgia’s Toombs, South Carolina’s Rhett, and Florida’s Morton immediately wire Davis: We are directed to inform You that You were this day unanimously elected President of the provisional Government of the Confederate States of America, and to request you to Come to Montgomery immediately. Also, in a secret session, the Congress adopts a resolution establishing a Committee on Permanent Constitution (as it will be named tomorrow) to draft a proposed permanent charter for the Confederacy. Representing Alabama are Leroy P. Walker and Robert H. Smith; Florida, Jackson Morton and James B. Owens; Georgia, Robert Toombs and Thomas R. R. Cobb; Louisiana, Alexander De Clouet and Edward Sparrow; Mississippi, Alexander M. Clayton and Wiley P. Harris; South Carolina, Robert Barnwell Rhett, Sr., and James Chesnut.

Meanwhile, in Tennessee, an election is held for a state convention to consider seceding from the Union. Delegates campaigned for or against secession; from 116,552 votes cast, pro-Union delegates won significant majorities in West (24,091 to 9,344), Middle (36,809 to 9,828), and especially East Tennessee, where the vote was 30,903 to 5,577. (But see entry for May 1.)⁶⁷

11:Stephens accepts the vice presidency in a brief address; refrains from commenting about general conditions, preferring to leave this to the soon-to-be-arriving Jefferson Davis; and urges Congress to establish a postal service, transfer customhouses from U.S. to CS control, and legislate a 10 percent tariff on imports. In Vicksburg, Jefferson Davis speaks: I regard this as a moment of solemnity and not of personal triumph. He is attached to the Union of our fathers, and, he says, I have ever struggled to maintain it. . . . But we have failed. He continues, I hope that our separation may be peaceful. But, whether it be so or not, I am ready, as I have always been, to redeem my pledges to you and the South, by shedding every drop of my blood in your cause. Later, in Jackson, he also speaks: he deplores war but, if it comes, will face it as his duty; he is concerned about the chance of a blockade but expresses this belief about England and France: [they] would not allow our great staple to be dammed up within our present limits; and if the North wants war, he promises to take it to the North.

Separately, from Washington, Texan Louis T. Wigfall writes Leroy Pope Walker, soon to be secretary of war, The French minister stated Saturday in our cloak room that the Emperor would at once recognize your Government. He understands the present treaties to be still existing between his Government and the seceding States, and said that, when officially informed that they were disposed to carry the stipulations out, no difficulty would be made as to the mere agent through which they may hereafter act. (See entry of February 18.) To the west in Kentucky, the legislature adopts a resolution that appeals to their southern brethren to stay the work of secession; protest[s] against the use of force or coercion by the General Government against the seceding States, as unwise and inexpedient, and tending to the destruction of [their] common country; and notes that the legislature, having made an Article V application to Congress and appointed delegates to the Peace Conference, now believes that it is unnecessary and inexpedient [for it] to take any further action on this subject at the present time; and as an evidence of the sincerity and good faith of [its] propositions for an adjustment, and [its] expression of devotion to the Union . . . Kentucky awaits with deep solitude the responses from her sister States. (See entry for April 4.)⁶⁸

12:Resolution No. 9 is passed, giving Montgomery charge over the questions and difficulties between the several states of the Confederacy and the U.S. government. (See Legislative Sessions—Provisional Congress.) This resolution is wired to South Carolina governor F. W. Pickens. (See entries for February 13 and February 26.)

13:In Richmond, Virginia, delegates who had been elected February 4 convene to consider secession. Tomorrow, the convention will receive representatives from South Carolina, Mississippi, and Georgia. (See entry for February 18.) Meanwhile, a relieved Governor Pickens wires Congress acknowledging yesterday’s Resolution No. 9 and urging under all the circumstances to get possession of Sumter at a period not beyond the fourth, that is, the day Lincoln is to be inaugurated.⁶⁹

15:The Missouri legislature calls for a state convention to meet on February 28. Separately, in a secret session, Congress passes Resolution No. 16, directing President Davis to take immediate steps for possession of Forts Sumter and Pickens. (See Legislative Sessions—Provisional Congress.)⁷⁰

16:In Texas, the state militia seizes the U.S. Arsenal and Barracks in San Antonio.⁷¹

18:Arkansas voters decide to have a state convention (27,412 to 15,826) to consider secession and then choose delegates; from 41,553 votes cast, pro-Union delegates win 23,626 votes to 17,927 votes for pro-secession delegates. (But see entry for May 6.) Meanwhile, in San Antonio and on demand by state authorities, Brevet Major General David E. Twiggs surrenders all the military posts and public property within the limits of this command [the Department of Texas] to state authorities to avoid even the possibility of collision between the Federal and State troops. (On March 1, Secretary of War Joseph Holt will dismiss Twiggs for his treachery to the flag of his country.) (See entry for February 21.) Meanwhile, in Missouri, voters elect ninety-nine delegates to the state convention; according to one assessment, a large majority of delegates are anti-secession. (See entry for February 28.) And in Richmond, Mississippi commissioner Fulton Anderson and Georgia commissioner Henry L. Benning address the convention to urge secession.

Jefferson Davis is inaugurated as president of the Provisional Government. In his address, Davis hopes for peace (that the beginning of our career as a Confederacy may not be obstructed by hostile opposition), appeals to democratic principles (that governments rest upon the consent of the governed), declares that for states, the old Constitution had been perverted from the purpose for which it was ordained, and adds that in establishing the Confederacy, the states only assert rights embodied in the Declaration of Independence. Thus, he asserts that it is by abuse of language that [this act] has been denominated a revolution. The Confederacy contains an agricultural people whose interests require peace and the freest trade which [their] necessities will permit. By all rational considerations, peaceful separation should occur; but, if passion or the lust of dominion should cloud the judgment or inflame the ambition of the states remaining in the Union, the Confederacy must prepare to meet the emergency and to maintain, by the final arbitrament of the sword its national existence. This requires a national army (more numerous than would usually be required on a peace establishment) and navy. Davis also believes that some states in the old Union may wish to join the Confederacy but that rejoining the Union is neither practicable nor desirable. He asserts that the Confederacy is actuated solely by the desire to preserve [its people’s] own rights and promote [their] own welfare, and he promises no aggression upon others and followed by no domestic convulsion. But if war comes, it will by Northern aggression, and on its folly and wickedness will rest the suffering of millions. In such event, the Confederacy retains besides the ordinary means before suggested, the well-known resources for retaliation upon the commerce of an enemy. Separately, Georgia delegate to Montgomery Thomas R. R. Cobb (Howell’s brother) informs his wife that Senator John Slidell of Louisiana writes to Howell that the French minister assures him that his Government will acknowledge [the Confederacy’s] independence at once. The fear of war is daily diminishing here.⁷²

19:In New Orleans, state authorities seize the U.S. Paymaster’s office. In Richmond, South Carolina commissioner John S. Preston addresses the convention to urge Virginia’s secession. In a reporter’s paraphrase, Preston declares that South Carolina having borne years of aggression in the Union, had exercised the right of secession, and was prepared for resistance to the death The Union could never be reconstructed. . . . No sanctity of human touch could re-unite the people of the North and South. He expressed a full confidence in Virginia’s going with the Southern Confederacy.⁷³

20:No. 21, An Act to Provide Munitions of War and for other purposes. (See Legislative Sessions—Provisional Congress and entry for February 21.)⁷⁴

21:Now armed with the authority of No. 21 (see February 20), Davis commissions Captain Raphael Semmes (future captain of the Alabama) as an agent of the Confederate States to make purchases and contracts for machinery and munitions, or for the manufacture of arms and munitions of war. He recommends that Semmes proceed to Hazard Powder Company in Connecticut and obtain gunpowder; at the Washington Arsenal, he is to meet a man who might sell a (musket) cap-making machine; whether successful or not, Semmes should try to acquire such a machine and have it sent to Alabama’s Mount Vernon Arsenal. He should also go to Harpers Ferry and contact various persons about buying machinery to produce rifles; Davis provides Semmes with contact names in New York City for possible assistance to buy more ordnance. (See entry for February 24.)

The Texas militia seizes U.S. property at Brazos Santiago. Also, U.S. forces abandon Camp Cooper.⁷⁵

22:Congress confirms Jefferson Davis’ nominations of Robert Toombs as secretary of state, C. G. Memminger as secretary of the treasury, and Leroy Pope Walker as secretary of war.⁷⁶

23:Texas voters approve secession: of 57,337 votes cast, 44,317 (77.29 percent) approve and 13,020 (22.7 percent) disapprove.⁷⁷ (See entry for March 2.)

24:Agent Semmes arrives in Washington tonight and begins four days of intense negotiations to acquire ordnance and, more important, machinery to manufacture the same. His results are mixed: frustration in trying to buy a percussion cap machine but greater success in locating machinery potentially for purchase. He reports an interesting find on a side trip to Richmond: I visited also the Tredegar Foundry at this place, and was surprised to find so large and well-appointed establishment. It has great facilities for founding cannon and casting shot and shell, and being within slave territory, will be a great resource for us if we are put upon our defense. The foundry employs seven hundred workers, and Semmes vouches for Tredegar’s reliability.⁷⁸ (See entry for April 9.)

25:Congress confirms Jefferson Davis’ nominations of Henry T. Ellett (Mississippi) as postmaster general and Judah P. Benjamin (Louisiana) as attorney general. The nomination of Stephen R. Mallory (Florida) as secretary of the navy is referred to the Committee on Naval Affairs (see entry for March 4.) Congress also confirms Davis’ nominations of Andre B. Roman (Louisiana), Martin Jenkins Crawford (Georgia), and John Forsyth (Alabama) as commissioners to the government of the United States. Another measure passes today: Article I, Section 7, of the Provisional Constitution prohibits the importation of African negroes from any foreign country other than the slave-holding States of the United States and requires that Congress pass such laws as shall effectually prevent the same. Today Congress passes a bill whose Section 6 specifies the treatment of illegally imported blacks: if the transporting ship last cleared through a U.S. port, the CS president shall offer to deliver such negroes to the said [U.S.] State on receiving a guaranty from such State that the blacks will be deemed free or that such negroes will be transported to Africa and there placed at liberty free of expense to the Government. However, if the offer to state governors is rejected, then the CS president may receive offers to accomplish the same from private parties. But if no private parties are forthcoming within a reasonable time, the president is authorized to cause the said negroes to be sold at public outcry to the highest bidder and use the sale proceeds to offset any expenses and pay informers, if any. (See entry for February 28.)

No. 34: An Act to declare and establish the Free Navigation of the Mississippi River is passed, declaring free the peaceful navigation of the Mississippi River. (See Legislative Sessions—Provisional Congress and entry for September 12, 1862.)⁷⁹

26:Jefferson Davis complains to Congress that while the CS is specially charged with obtaining possession of Forts Sumter and Pickens, and the Provisional Constitution vests issues of peace and war in the same, the only material of war he has is under state control. To distribute the arms and munitions so as best to provide for the defense of the country, Davis states, it is needful that they be placed under the control of the General Government. He asks Congress for legislation to transfer to his control all arms and munitions from U.S. facilities recently seized; for an accounting of arms and munitions already distributed by states; and for a list of arms that states are willing to devote to the common service of the Confederacy. Davis adds, The difficulty of supplying our wants in that regard by purchase abroad or by manufacture at home is well known.

Separately, Davis nominates as commissioners to Europe William L. Yancey (Alabama), Pierre Adolphe Rost (Louisiana), and A. Dudley Mann (Virginia-born). The Committee on Foreign Affairs will approve all three nominations tomorrow.⁸⁰

27:The U.S. House votes on the package of resolutions known as the Crittenden Compromise; it is rejected, 113 nays, 80 yeas. Having no better option, Senator Crittenden will now embrace the Peace Conference platform in the remaining days of this session. (See entry for March 2.)

Across town, the February 5 Peace Conference adjourns and has produced a proposed constitutional amendment, Article XIII, which has seven sections.

Section 1: North of the parallel of 36º 30' of north latitude, slavery is prohibited. South of this parallel, slavery as it now exists shall not be changed. Congress is prohibited from passing any law to hinder or prevent the taking of such persons from any of the States of this Union to said territory, nor to impair the rights arising from said relation.

Section 2: No territory shall be acquired by the United States without the concurrence of a majority of the Senators from States which allow involuntary servitude and a majority of all the Senators which prohibit that relation; nor shall territory be acquired by treaty unless the votes of a majority of the Senators from each class of States hereinbefore mentioned be cast as a part of the two-thirds majority necessary for the ratification of such treaty.

Section 3: Congress shall have no power to regulate, abolish, or control, within any State, slavery, nor interfere with slavery in the District of Columbia without Maryland’s permission and that of the owners; Congress will have no power to inhibit the taking of slaves into any state or territory, nor shall Congress have the power to interfere with slavery in territories; however, the selling of slaves in the District of Columbia is prohibited.

Section 4: Reaffirms the third paragraph of Article IV, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution, that No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping to another, shall, in consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from Such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service of Labor may be due, and declares that nothing in that paragraph will be interpreted to prevent states and their agents from enforcing the delivery of fugitives from labor to the person to whom such service of labor is due.

Section 5: Forever prohibits the foreign slave trade and vests Congress with the duty to pass laws to prevent the importation of slaves, coolies, or other persons held to service or labor.

Section 6: The first, third, and fifth sections of this amendment, together with Article I, Section 2, of the existing Constitution, shall never be amended or abolished without the consent of all the States.

Section 7: Congress will enact laws that compensate the owner of a fugitive

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