Skedaddle — the e-journal
April 19, 1861
for April 19, 1861
Chronological History of the Civil War
New York Herald
Arrival of Major Anderson.
The steamer Baltic arrived off Sandy Hook at twelve M. yesterday, and was boarded off Quarantine by our special reporter. The Bavaria, from Hamburg, preceded the Baltic by a few moments, and this steamer, as well as all the craft in the bay and the houses along the shore, were decked with flags in honor of Major Anderson’s arrival. The day was bright, breezy and pleasant. Awaiting the Baltic off Quarantine were the boats of the Custom House, of the press, of the Medical Staff at Staten Island and the special reporters. As the steamer came slowly up the harbor, her black hull relieved against the bright waters, she was saluted by guns from the forts, from the shore, and by the ringing of bells and waving of flags, which were returned by the Baltic waving her ensign and firing her cannon.
The Harriet Lane, Faunce, for New York, sailed in company, also the Pawnee, with her troops, and Pocohantas for Norfolk. The Powhatan was not, nor had she been, at Charleston. The Pawnee did not arrive at Charleston bar until after the surrender. During the whole time the fleet remained off the bar the wind blew a gale from the southeast, rendering the fleet useless to Fort Sumter.
The following are the names of the passengers by the Baltic. Among the men on board were those wounded by the bursting of a cannon while firing a salute of fifty guns previous to hauling down the colors on evacuating:
Major R. Anderson, First artillery.
T. Seymour, Captain.
J.C. Davis, First Lieutenant.
N.J. Hall, Second Lieutenant.
Captain J.G. Foster, Engineer Corps.
First Lieutenant, R.K. Meade, Jr., Engineer Corps.
Dr. S.W. Crawford, Medical Corps.
Miss Annie E. Davis and attendant.
Sergeant Ranchan, Company H (thirty-two men).
Sergeant Scherbner, Company F (thirty men.)
John Livarer, Engineer Corps, wounded in battle.
John Erwin, Artillery, wounded in battle.
James Haves, Artillery, wounded in battle.
George Pinchard, Artillery, wounded in battle.
First Lieutenant E.M.K. Hudson, Fourth Artillery.
First Lieutenant Robert O. Tyler, Third Artillery.
Second Lieutenant C.J. Thomas, First Infantry, and two hundred recruits for general service.
The Baltic was decked out with tattered flags, and her prow was shattered, as if she had collided, or had been struck by a ball. Her decks were crowded with blue coats, who returned heartily the cheers which greeted them from the shore, from the vessels in the harbor, from the forts upon Bedloe’s and Governor’s islands, from the ferry boats, and from the skiffs alongside. As soon as it was ascertained beyond a doubt that
MAJOR ANDERSON WAS ON BOARD, the excitement became intense. The Major, dressed in uniform, wrapped in his military overcoat, and looking careworn and fatigued, stood upon the wheelhouse, and returned the salutations of the people. The men who fought at Sumter were distinguished by being in the full uniform of the United States, and were drawn up on the quarter deck. About two hundred men were on board, the most of whom were the recruits put on when the steamer started from New York. The decks were packed with bales of hay, and the cargo put on board here remained undisturbed.
THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER.
From the foremast floated the tattered flag of Fort Moultrie, hoisted at Sumter, but blown away at the commencement of the battle. From the mizenmast waved the flag of Fort Sumter, almost in rags, with a piece of its flagstaff attached.
THE EXPEDITION which started from New York did not all arrive at Charleston together. The Atlantic has not been seen, and probably went to Pensacola. The Baltic arrived off Charleston on the morning of Friday, after the firing upon Fort Sumter had commenced. The next day came the Pawnee and the Pocahontas, but the Powhatan has never been seen. The steamtugs were blown out to sea, and have not been seen by the Baltic. During all the while the fleet was off Charleston a terrific gale was blowing, and the vessels had enough to do to prevent being blown out to sea. The Baltic ran aground on the Rattlesnake shoals, while attempting to enter the harbor, and was got off with difficulty. The Harriet Lane chased the guard steamer Isabel into the harbor, but did not succeed in overhauling her. On the day Major Anderson evacuated preparations had been made to attempt to reinforce him that night. They had no tugs, and as the other vessels did not appear they had hardly any preparation. By the order of Captain Fox, who commanded the expedition, a SCHOONER WAS SEIZED as she was going into the harbor, loaded with ice. For $500 each, the captain and pilot of the schooner agree to try to put men in the fort. Before the attempt was made the fort was evacuated. The orders from the government to Captain Fox were explicit. He was to attempt to provision the fort, and if his vessels, without troops, were fired upon, he was then to rush in as best he could. In consequence of the terrible gale, and non-arrival of his tugs and transports, he was unable to execute his orders. The firing could be distinctly heard by the fleet, seven miles distant, and the result was awaited with the greatest anxiety. The captain of the Pawnee was anxious to rush in at all risks, but was restrained. Major Anderson was received on board the Baltic from the Isabel on Sunday night, and on Monday at five o’clock P.M. the Baltic started for New York. The Harriet Lane is but a short distance behind. The Pawnee also started, but goes to Washington. This is a condensation of the information furnished by Captain Fox, Captain Doubleday, Lieutenants Hall, Henderson and others.
MAJOR ANDERSON is a short, slim, bronze-faced, and apparently feeble gentleman, whose very appearance gives the lie to any doubt of his courage or patriotism. He was too exhausted and too much overcome by his emotions to speak, but referred us for information to his officers, saying that he would endorse all they said. Every man on board is well and in good spirits. Capt. Doubleday pronounced the recent charges against Major Anderson to be INFAMOUS LIES.
He says that there can be no doubt that Major Anderson did all that man could do. The fight was as good as they could make it. The Captain says that it is a terrible thing to have his private letters published, and warped from their original meaning, in order to form a basis for a charge against an officer who has done his duty bravely and well.
He brought his flags with him! “Look at them,” exclaimed the Captain, pointing to the mastheads. The other officers agreed in this eulogy of Anderson, cursed Webb and his paper, and said that he would be forced to eat his own words.
MAJOR ANDERSON’S TERMS.
Of evacuation which he conveyed to General Beauregard were just as the HERALD has before published them. They were simply an evacuation upon his own conditions. After considering this for some time, Gen. Beauregard said that he would open fire in an hour, and fired the first shot at precisely half-past four o’clock on Friday morning. Major Anderson told his men that it was necessary for them to save their strength, and so did not fire until after breakfast—about seven o’clock. The firing continued all day and night, as has been related in previous accounts. None of the men in Sumter were killed, but five were wounded. How many, if any, South Carolinians were killed they do not know, but it is the impression of the officers that several were killed. They heard reports to that effect before they left Charleston harbor.
WHY SUMTER WAS EVACUATED.
Fort Sumter was neither garrisoned, provisioned nor supplied with ammunition, for a long siege. Captain Doubleday says that when they consented to evacuate, they had but three cartridges left—the cartridge boxes having blown up, and five men being unable to make fast enough—and those were in the guns. The firing from the batteries was very effective. They had long enough practice, the Captain says. He was opposed to allowing them to complete their batteries, and was for resenting the attack on the Star of the West, but was overruled by Major Anderson and by his orders. That, and that only, was the point upon which he thought the Major wrong. All the provisions had been gone for thirty-six hours except salt pork. The fort was evacuated because, even if provisioned and reinforced, it was no longer tenable; and because Senator Wigfall, Beauregard’s aid-de-camp, came to the porthole and said that General desired no more bloodshed, and Major Anderson might evacuate upon his own terms. To this the Major agreed, and hoisted the white flag which Wigfall had brought with him. When the firing ceased, Major Anderson saluted his flag. It was hoisted by the South Carolinians upon the Isabel, when he embarked. He
NEVER WENT ASHORE
either as a guest of Beauregard at Charleston, or as a prisoner of war at Morris Island, and has not yet been from under the Star Spangled Banner of the United States, and he surrendered his sword to no one. His evacuation was conducted precisely as he had offered to conduct it before the firing commenced. In no points did the South Carolinians gain by their attack. They might have had the same thing without a shot, and Major Anderson granted nothing and yielded nothing on account of the bombardment. The American flag was not disgraced by him, and if the rebels had not come to his terms he would not have surrendered until his last shot was fired.
Captain Doubleday and all the officers agree that the above is the only true version of the matter, and that, after the bombardment, Beauregard accepted the very conditions formerly offered him. If no one was killed, “why was it necessary to prevent further bloodshed,” and to send Wigfall to the fort?
THE BRAVE SOLDIERS In Sumter behaved like heroes. Captain Doubleday and Lieutenants Hall and Hudson say that it would be invidious to make distinctions between men, all of whom displayed the most daring courage and the most invincible pluck. Nine times the flagstaff was shot down or injured, and five times the
FORT WAS ON FIRE.
The hot air and smoke were so stifling during the close of the engagement that the men were forced to lie flat on their faces in order to breathe, and even to cover their faces, with wet blankets. The South Carolinians fired hot shot and set fire to the barracks. “Major Anderson’s men,” as Lieut. Hall says, “were to fight like gentlemen, and not like pirates, and did not fire hot shot, or think of doing so.” As soon as the Charlestonians saw the fire (the last and the worst), they blazed away faster than before, in order to destroy the men as they attempted to extinguish the flames. No rafts were used, nor did any men go outside the fort. There was plenty of water inside, if there had only been men enough to use it. But the men were worked almost to death, and every man taken to put out the fire made one less at the guns. The fire surrounded the magazine, and amid the fire of the enemy the men were forced to remove the powder from the magazine, the inner door of which soon became so warped by the flames that it cannot now be closed. Happily all the powder was removed before the doorway of the magazine was impassable. The flames seemed to have followed the powder, for it soon became so hot that Major Anderson feared an explosion, and after several removals the powder had to be thrown into the sea, The constant work of the men accounts for the unfrequent discharges of the guns, and besides this the men had to make cartridges as they fired them. They only had a few shells and these were ignited by a red hot shot and blown up, at the beginning of the engagement. In spite of all the tumults, confusion, fire, smoke, danger of explosion and the bursting of the shells, the men worked on like giants.
Stirring and Decisive News—Virginia Seceded—Washington and the Line of the Potomac to be the Battle Field.
Virginia has seceded. She has taken this dreadful leap in the dark, and terrible to her, we fear, will be the consequences. A revolutionary army, under Governor Wise, is supposed to be moving upon Washington; the federal forts and other property in North Carolina, it is reported, have been seized in the name of the States; and from these and other Southern reports it is morally certain that Virginia will very soon be followed by North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Arkansas. The number of States thus arrayed on the side of the Southern confederacy will be twelve, with a population exceeding ten millions.
Delaware stands unquestioned in her loyalty, Maryland is apparently immoveable, and Missouri, we dare say, from her peculiar position and from her preponderating Northern and European settlers, will hold fast to the cause of the North. Thus the flag of the United States and the North will have a population exceeding twenty millions to uphold it; while the defensive cause of the seceded States, with about half this aggregate population, will be encumbered with that fearful item in a sectional war of over three millions of African slaves. A brilliant spontaneous manifestation of the Union loyalty of Maryland occurred at Baltimore yesterday. A body of secessionists on Federal Hill tried the experiment of hoisting the secession flag and firing a secession salute; but with the first discharge or two of their cannon, the Union operatives from the neighboring foundries and workshops turned out and quickly dispersed the revolutionists. From this significant incident, and from the Union serenade to Governor Hicks and his Union speech the other evening, we confidently believe that Baltimore and Maryland will stand the tug of war for the Union.
This gratifying attitude of Maryland keeps open several railway lines of communication with the North, to say nothing of the military advantages of the water line of Chesapeake Bay. Hence, if the Southern invading army are not in Washington before tomorrow morning, the probabilities are that they will not very soon attempt its occupation. The Massachusetts regiment, the New York Seventh regiment, and the troops pouring in from Pennsylvania, will, by tomorrow morning, we dare say, give General Scott an available defensive force for the federal capital of at least ten thousand effective men. Governor Wise and Major Ben McCulloch will hardly venture upon the expulsion of this defensive army under General Scott unless they can bring a force of twenty thousand of their raw recruits to the conflict. The name of Scott is in itself a tower of strength, of discipline and confidence, to the troops under his command, and his is a name, too, which will be respected by his enemies.
It appears, however, to be the settled purpose of the Southern revolutionists to expel the administration of Abraham Lincoln from its seat of authority. The Secretary of War at Montgomery, in a speech there on the receipt of the news of the evacuation of Fort Sumter, exultingly predicted that the confederate States would be in occupation of the city of Washington by the 1st of May. This would seem to indicate an extensive organization for this object. At all events, no man can longer entertain any doubts of the sagacity which marked the precautions of General Scott in reference to Mr. Lincoln’s inauguration. When our vigilant old General in Chief first sounded the alarm last December, the NEW YORK HERALD came promptly to his assistance, as will be seen from various extracts which we reproduce this morning on the subject from our columns. For example, on the 1st and 3d of January we suggested the concentration at Washington of sixty thousand men; and again, on the 15th, we appealed to the administration that, all things, in order to avoid a civil war of endless calamities, it is most important to provide against any treasonable or revolutionary movements upon Washington designed to overthrow the established government there.
We now hope that our suggestions of January in regard to our federal capital will be fulfilled to the full extent of sixty thousand men, so disposed as within a few hours to be within reach of the city. They may be needed there before the 1st of May, and, if not needed for the defence of Washington, they will be useful in guarding the line of the Potomac and the outlet of Chesapeake Bay, as the movements of the enemy may require. That the war will now be carried into Africa there is very little doubt; and thus, in the fatal step which Virginia has taken, she may not only suffer the disruption of her own territory by the Union elements of the Pan Handle and the West, but she may suffer, within a year, to the extent of one hundred millions of dollars in the losses of her slave property, to say nothing of the horrible contingencies of a possible servile insurrection.
Meantime as all hope of the representation of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Arkansas in our new Congress may now be abandoned, would it not be well for President Lincoln to assume the responsibility of summoning Congress together without delay? The Senate is ready, and a quorum is elected of the new House. Maryland, we believe, is the only State likely to be represented at this extra session which has not elected its members. And she could within a week supply this deficiency. To give system, efficiency, prestige and funds for the purposes of our government in the conduct of this war, the presence of Congress is needed at Washington. The resources are at the command of the government for a short war and an early peace; and half a million of men put in motion from the North may prove the cheapest, shortest and most effective argument in behalf of peace. Let us have no more child’s play. The great North is ready, and New York city and its suburbs alone, if required, can furnish fifty thousand men and fifty millions of money for the purposes of a decisive war and an early peace.
The Seventh Regiment.
This crack corps leaves today in all its strength for Washington. It has long been the pride of the city; its superior drill and discipline placed it at the head of our militia regiments. As the Guards, the Queen’s Household troops, in England, were the first to proceed to the Crimean war, being the choice troops of the army, so the Seventh regiment, the Household troops of the city of New York, are now proceeding on the dangerous service of defending the seat of government against attack. The intention at first was to remain only for a fortnight in Washington, and to return here when their place was supplied. But, judging from the news which we publish this morning, they may find it impossible to return so soon, and they may be called to play a part in scenes which will try their mettle and prove the value of the training which they have undergone. By all means let them remain at Washington till it is secure from danger and the enemy is placed hors de combat. New York expects every man of them to do his duty and to give a good account of himself.
Grand Scene in the Bay—Unbounded Enthusiasm.
Rarely has New York harbor been the scene of so interesting an occurrence as on yesterday afternoon. The bulletins announced that the steam transport Baltic was below, and would soon be up. This was like a match applied to a magazine in the effect it produced on the patriotic populace, and the rapidity with which the news spread among the people. There was a general tramp to the Battery, and the shore was soon fringed with a dense mass of citizens.
About half past twelve P. M. a large steamer was discerned approaching from Staten Island, and the well known and popular Baltic was soon recognized. As she approached grandly and rapidly, her flags at peak, fore and main, were visible, and when she came within a mile of Governor’s Island a bright flash burst from her bow, followed by the loud report of a gun, succeeded by another and another, as the noble ship, with her gallant freight, approached the city. Never was a steamer entering the harbor more universally welcome to the citizens of New York than the good ship Baltic on this occasion. The Brooklyn people spread themselves in a cordon along the wharves of their city fronting on the harbor; for they, too, were on the qui vie for the arrival of the brave Anderson and his small but heroic band. The shipping, as the steamer moved steadily and gracefully onward, ran up their bunting in all directions, and cheers arose from many points. At intervals the guns of the Baltic, now off Governor’s Island, flashed and boomed, and altogether the scene was one of the most brilliant, lively and thrilling nature. Meantime the small steam ferry boat which connects Governor’s Island with the city unfurled a large Star Spangled Banner to the bright sun and waving breeze, and immediately afterwards left her pier, at the barge office, and ran towards the transport. She was soon alongside, and ready to transfer the heroes from the Baltic. The throng at the Battery increased very perceptibly while these scenes were going forward, and the lower part of the city was literally attired in Stars and Stripes. It was most remarkable during the time the Baltic was nearing the city, to behold how rapidly flags and flagstaffs surmounted buildings on both sides of the river.
Our Great Crisis.—Arrangements for the Defence of the Capital.
WASHINGTON, April 18, 1861.
The mustering of men is going on briskly tonight. All the Northern and Western men in the city are organized for active service. General Lane, United States Senator from Kansas, commands about one hundred Kansas, Illinois and Massachusetts men. His colleague, General Pomeroy, is a Lieutenant in the same company. Cassius M. Clay sent his family to Philadelphia today and has since been engaged in mustering a force, and tonight it numbers about two hundred of the best men in the city. In the ranks are government officials, high and low, foreign Ministers, Governors, United States Senators, &c. Colonel Lamon, marshal of the district, is First Lieutenant, and William Milward, United States Marshal of the Eastern district of Pennsylvania, is Second Lieutenant.
Governor Nye has raised about fifty men, and turned them overt to the command of Colonel Clay.
The determination of all now in the city is to hold the city, at all hazards, until there is a sufficient military force here to relieve the citizens and civilians now volunteering.
Our Great Crisis.—Virginia Arrayed Against The Union—A Force Marching On The Federal Capital.
WASHINGTON, April 18, 1861.
The question of peace or war, so far as Virginia is concerned, is settled. Gov. Letcher’s reply to the President proclamation is full of war spirit. He emphatically refuses to respond, and defies the government of the United States. He says Virginia accepts the issue of war.
A gentleman, who has just arrived, states that the secession ordinance was passed two days ago. The seven men who voted against it were driven out of the city, and barely escaped with their lives.
The government has just received reliable intelligence that a large force, under command of Governor Wise, was about to start for Washington. The War Department has no doubt of its authenticity. The most active preparations are being made to bring all the force now here into active operation.
At two o’clock this morning the booming of cannon was distinctly heard in this city. What it was, or where it was, is not now known.
Our Great Crisis.—The Twelfth Regiment of New York Accepted.
WASHINGTON, April 18, 1861.
The war spirit prevails to an alarming extent tonight. Large numbers of strangers, principally office seekers, have formed themselves into companies, and are on duty tonight. General Nye, Cassius M. Clay, and Colonel Butterfield, of the New York Twelfth regiment, are in command of them. The object of this is to protect the city against certain military organizations said to exist in this city, known as the Knights of the Golden Circle.
The Secretary of War today accepted the services of the Twelfth regiment of New York. They will therefore immediately follow the Seventh regiment.
Earnest letters from distinguished parties have been addressed to the Governors of the border States, urging them to assume immediately a neutral position, to prevent further collision between the United and Confederate States, and also that they shall urge upon their sister States to send representatives to Congress, who shall be instructed to propose and aid proper terms of reconciliation. President Davis has also been addressed on the same subject by his personal and political friends, urging a cooperation in this plan, and that he shall do all in his power to suspend hostilities until the people of the whole country can have the opportunity of deciding upon terms of adjustment.
Our Great Crisis.—Official Report of Affairs at the Gosport Navy Yard.
WASHINGTON, April 18, 1861.
The Secretary of the Navy despatched Commodore Paulding some days since to the Gosport Navy Yard, to inspect the movements in and about the yard. The Commodore returned here this evening, direct from the scene of operations. He reports to the Secretary of the Navy that the vessels reported sunk across the channel at the mouth of Elizabeth river are only three light boats; that it was done yesterday, and that they will not obstruct the passage of vessels; that the Merrimac is not outside of the supposed obstruction, but inside, but will remove the vessels as easily as she would remove a web. One or two war vessels are moored a short distance from the dock at the Navy Yard, and their guns will protect the yard. The mouth of the river is also carefully guarded.
Captain Thornton Jenkins, who accompanied Com. Paulding to Gosport, also arrived here this evening, direct from Norfolk. Five sloops are in harbor at Norfolk, with men and arms sufficient to protect and hold the Norfolk Navy Yard. The authorities had given notice to the commander in charge of the yard, that they intended to take it. Captain Jenkins does not believe that it is in the power of the Virginians to capture it. Should they attempt it the vessels would blow them to atoms. The commander, as also those in charge of the vessels, understood the matter fully, and are ready for any emergency.
There is no such vessel as the Yorktown in the navy now. The story evidently emanated from the fact that a New York schooner of the same name was seized at Norfolk for privateering purposes.
The government have no official information up to tonight that any attempt whatever has been made to take the arsenal at Harper’s Ferry. The report that it was taken this morning probably grew wholly out of the report of movements yesterday of large masses of men in Virginia towards Harper’s Ferry.
Eight hundred volunteer troops from Pennsylvania arrived here tonight, much to the gratification of the people and the government. Three hundred of these troops consist of flying artillery batteries and cavalry corps. It is said that the greatest indignation was expressed by the secessionists of Baltimore, at the fact that these troops were allowed to pass through the city. A meeting of secessionists was immediately held, and resolutions passed instructing the chairman to notify the Baltimore and Harrisburg Railroad Company, through their President, that they must not allow any more troops to pass over their road bound for Washington. The company will not only not heed this notice, but will pass them over for nothing.
It is reported that fifteen hundred more troops are on their way here, from New York and Massachusetts, and that they are expected to arrive in Baltimore tonight some time, and the secessionists of Baltimore are to resist their passage through that city. Union men of Baltimore have left here for that place this afternoon, to rally the Unionists, and join in repelling the secessionists in their attempt to close up the Northern gateway to the capital.
There is some apprehension of an attack upon the capital tonight from Virginia, and arrangements are making accordingly. The city is in a state of the greatest excitement.
Our Great Crisis. Harper’s Ferry Seized?
WASHINGTON, April 18, 1861.
The two dragoon messengers who came in from Virginia in such hot haste late last night, as mentioned in my despatch, brought the intelligence that three large special trains of cars left Alexandria between eight and nine o’clock in the evening. Two of them went in the direction of Richmond; but whether they were going to that place, or were destined to some other place of rendezvous in Virginia, was a matter of some doubt; but that they started upon some secret expedition against the government seemed clear in the minds of the messengers. The third train, containing none but known secessionists, went out on the road leading to Harper’s Ferry.
Following directly upon the report above mentioned the city has been thrown into a state of intense excitement by the report that the arsenal at Harper’s Ferry was seized this morning. But we get no particulars.
In addition to this, two Union members of the Richmond Convention—Messrs. Carlile and Dante—arrived here this forenoon, and report that the excitement was so intense yesterday that seven of the Union members had to leave to escape injury.
Mr. Clemens and four others proceeded on for Western Virginia, but their baggage was retained in Richmond. Mr. Bootts remained there, but is feared by his friends that he will be hung.
A despatch from Norfolk states that the United States ship Yorktown has been taken by the mob, and that they have sunken four or five vessels across the channel at the mouth of Elizabeth river, leading to the Navy Yard.
Save the Powder.
We suggest to our friends that no more powder should be wasted in salutes and military demonstrations. The tocsin of war has been sounded, and we know not the hour when it may be upon us. It is well, therefore, that we should not only keep our powder dry, but that we should waste as little of it as possible…. and by husbanding all our resources, we shall be better prepared for any emergency that may arise.
A Disunion Flag Hauled Down.
Early yesterday morning, the steamboat Sam Gaty landed at our Levee, with a “Confederate” flag flying from her jack-staff. As soon as the obnoxious banner was noticed, a crowd collected with the determination to have it hauled down. While they were bringing out “Old Kickapoo” to enforce their demand for its removal, it was taken down. But this did not satisfy the crowd, who regarded the display of a disunion emblem in Leavenworth as an insult to the city. So they went on board the Gaty, and insisted that the flag should be given up. This was at once done, and the “broad bars of the Confederacy” were carried off in triumph. Subsequently, an American flag was procured, and the captain of the Gaty hoisted it with his own hands, thus atoning for the insult he had offered to this community.
While the affair was in progress, the Russell came to the wharf, but before she was permitted to land, the people on shore compelled her to show her colors. She displayed the “stars and stripes,” and as the “banner of beauty and glory” went to the head of the flag-staff, and floated proudly to the breeze, the assembled crowd gave vent to their delight in shouts and cheers.
These incidents were somewhat significant, as showing the sentiment of our citizens. They desire to have peace in Kansas, and would do everything to avoid unnecessary disturbance growing out of the excitement concerning National affairs. But the fact that Kansas is a loyal State must be distinctly understood, and the Union proclivities of her people must be recognized and respected. Otherwise it will be impossible to preserve that order and quiet which is so much to be desired.
We Have a Government!
With the deepest anxiety have the American people been watching the transactions of the Administration, since the inauguration of Mr. LINCOLN, with a view to ascertain our true position among the nations, and solve the question, “Have we a Government?” The conditions of affairs toward the close of Mr. BUCHANAN’s career, rendered the question a most absorbing one. Treason stalked abroad in open day in our National Capital; plunder seemed to have become a ruling passion among our officers; he who could dive deepest in the robbery of the public treasury, and, and, in official acts, leave the treason of BENEDICT ARNOLD or AARON BURR furthest in the rear, seemed to enjoy the highest honors. Confusion reigned in Washington.
Since the new Administration has taken charge of the helm of State, in the short space of six weeks, order has been brought out of political confusion, the public offices have been filled with good and true men, a scattered army and a dispersed navy have been gathered together, the public defences have been duly cared for, and in every movement, our new President has thus far shown himself the man.
The consequences of all this firmness and manliness of President LINCOLN may be a war with the so-called Southern Confederacy; but it will merely be an earlier commencement that the end may be the sooner, and will, doubtless, under the Divine blessing, avert from our beloved land, those terrible evils of anarchy, toward which we were so rapidly and fatally drifting. There are worse evils than war. The question is solved, and the fact fully established, for which we nationally and individually should be heartily grateful to high Heaven. We have a Government. Let every patriot be firm in assisting to uphold and sustain it.
The State Defences
As our readers are aware, the Militia Laws of Pennsylvania have ever been very defective. Heretofore no emergency has arisen, which has not been promptly and effectively met, but in the present uncertain aspect of affairs, it become our rulers to look well to our guards, and render efficient every means for the public defence. With such views, Gov. Curtin has issued a message, from which we extract as follows:–
I recommend, therefore, that the Legislature make immediate provision for the removal of these capital defects; that arms be procured and distributed to those of our citizens who may enter into the military service of the State, and that steps be taken to change the guns already distributed, by the adoption of such well known and tried improvements as will render them effective in the event of their employment in actual service.
In this connection, I recommend the establishment of a Military Bureau at the Capitol, and that the militia laws of the Commonwealth be so modified and amended as to impart to the military organization of the State the vitality and energy essential to its practical value and usefulness.
The Result of Vacillation
The capture of Fort Sumter is the first bitter fruit of the vacillating and effeminate Administration of JAS. BUCHANAN. What other results may flow from it, is not to be foretold. The imprecations of a blood-baptized land will, probably, yet be heaped upon his head. May GOD protect the Right, and avert all such horrors from us, or if the worst must come, enable us to meet the emergency with true hearts and willing hands.
Men under arms in Washington
There are 1,200 men under arms in Washington, 700 volunteer and 500 regulars. The Volunteer force can be increased to 2,000 at a few hour’s notice. All the approaches to the city are guarded. There is said to be an organized disunion conspiracy in the District, with 700 men enrolled.
The refusal of the Secessionist mob in Charleston, to permit the return of Lieut. Talbot to fort Sumter, was an outrage exactly in keeping with the general course of the Secessionists. The following, copied from an editorial of the Baltimore Clipper, will show that at least some persons South of Mason and Dixon’s Line hold the same opinion. Speaking of the understanding, that the condition of the forts should remain unchanged, it says:
“As far as the administration is concerned, there has been no change in their condition; but in the meantime the secessionists of the South have been busy in concentrating troops around them by thousands. They have put up new batteries and fortifications at every available point. They have availed themselves of the armistice, if armistice it was, to fortify themselves in every respect, and have openly outraged all the rules of modern warfare. In fact they have acted in bad faith, and have most infamously and cowardly broken the pledges that were proposed. They have said to the United States, let us all allow matters to remain as they are until there can be a settlement, and in the meanwhile they have been levying armies and erecting fortifications, which in a state of actual war the forces of the United States would have been fully warranted in attacking. They have asked a truce and have themselves systematically violated it. They have prayed for an armistice, and under the cover of a white flag have been preparing themselves for operations of both offence and defence. They are as they have been from the beginning the violators of the public peace and the fomenters of a civil war, and now they insolently demand that the stars and stripes shall be struck to give place to their miserable Palmetto and Pelican flags, and that two-thirds of the people of this great nation shall SUBMIT to the dictation of a few disappointed locofoco spoilmongers or fight for the supremacy.”
Diary of a Yankee in the Patent Office
by Horatio Nelson Taft
FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 1861.—Another cool pleasant day but one of great excitement. Reports from various quarters indicate that danger is iminent of an attack upon the City. Harpers Ferry Armory and arsenal was destroyed this morning by Govt troops. The Steam Boats on the River have also been seized by Govt order. I went to the Depot to see the arrival of the Mass. Regiment. They came at last, after fighting their way through Baltimore loosing two men killed and firing upon the rioters, killing a number. A splendid looking set of men. They were marched directly to the Capitol and quartered there. I was at all the Hotels, home at 10 o’clock.
A Rebel War Clerk’s Diary
by John Beauchamp Jones
April 19th— Dispatches from Montgomery indicate that President Davis is as firm a States right man as any other, perfectly content to bear the burdens of government six years, and hence I apprehend he will not budge in the business of guarding Virginia until after the ratification of the secession ordinance. Thus a month’s precious time will be lost; and the scene of conflict, instead of being in Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia, will be in Virginia. From the ardor of the volunteers already beginning to pour into the city, I believe 25,000 men could be collected and armed in a week, and’ in another they might sweep the whole Abolition concern beyond the Susquehanna, and afterward easily keep them there. But this will not be attempted, nor permitted, by the Convention, so recently composed mostly of Union men.
To-night we have rumors of a collision in Baltimore. A regiment of Northern troops has been assailed by the mob. No good can come of mob assaults in a great revolution.
Wrote my wife to make preparations with all expedition to escape into Virginia. Women and children will not be molested for some weeks yet; but I see they have begun to ransack their baggage. Mrs. Semple, daughter of President Tyler, I am informed, had her plate taken from her in an attempt to get it away from New York.
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