Skedaddle — the e-journal
April 20, 1861
for April 20, 1861
Chronological History of the Civil War
New York Herald
President Lincoln has issued a proclamation announcing a blockade of the ports of the revolutionary States. The document is given in another column.
Baltimore was the scene of a bloody fight yesterday. On the arrival of the Massachusetts regiment of troops in that city, their passage through to Washington was opposed by the secessionists, who showered stones upon the soldiers. The troops in return fired upon the mob, and succeeded in forcing their way through the city. In the conflict, two of the Massachusetts volunteers were killed and four wounded. Seven of the citizens were killed and some half dozen wounded. A despatch dated at nine o’clock in the evening states that quiet prevailed. A large meeting of citizens was held in the evening, which, was attended by the Mayor and the Governor of the States.
Captain Jones, the commander of the United States troops at Harper’s Ferry, telegraphed to General Scott yesterday, that at ten o’clock the night previous he destroyed by fire all the arms and the armory building proper at that point. He then withdrew his command, almost in the face of from twenty five hundred to three thousand Virginia secessionists, who were marching upon the armory to seize it.
The secessionists at Richmond have seized upon the public property there. A schooner belonging to Maine was also seized, as well as the New York steamer Jamestown.
Trouble has broken out in Delaware. The citizens of Wilmington have resolved to maintain an armed neutrality during the war. How far they will be able to hold this position with their feeble forces remains to be seen.
The Seventh regiment, numbering nine hundred and ninety men, with two howitzer guns, left the city at twenty minutes before seven o’clock last evening for Washington. An immense crowd of spectators filled the streets, windows, balconies and housetops to witness their departure. The scene is graphically described and illustrated in our columns this morning. A despatch from Philadelphia states that the regiment will probably leave that city on board the steamer Keystone State for Washington, via the Potomac.
General Sandford’s orders for the departure of the Sixth, Twelfth and Seventy first regiments have been changed from this afternoon until Sunday, when they are to assemble at their armories for embarkation at nine o’clock A.M. of that day. The regiments were actively engaged at their armories last evening, preparing for immediate departure, the general expectation being that they were to depart today. At the various recruiting stations and depots the enrollment of volunteers is going on with great rapidity, and Colonel Ellsworth’s movements toward forming a Zouave corps from the Fire Department are meeting with all desirable success.
The United States steamer Pocahontas arrived at this port yesterday from Charleston bar, and sailed again late in the afternoon, supposed for Norfolk. The Pawnee has arrived at Washington.
Advices from Key West to the 8th inst. state that Major French’s command at Key West now consists of three companies of the First artillery and two companies of the First infantry. The former garrison Fort Taylor and the latter the Key West barracks. Hon. John P. Baldwin has been appointed Collector of that port by the Southern confederacy; John Boyle has been made Inspector of Customs; John L. Tatum, District Attorney, and F. J. Moreno, Marshal. The former gentleman has been qualified, and will at once enter upon the duties of his office.
In the Republican Central Committee, which met last evening, resolutions were introduced censuring Governor Morgan for not being more prompt in answer to President Lincoln’s call for volunteers. The committee contemplate the idea of forming themselves into a recruiting company, and there by atoning in a measure for the inactivity and supineness of the State authorities. Our report of the proceedings could not be inserted, in consequence of the crowded state of our columns.
The Collector of this port has been instructed to advise all parties with regard to the course to be pursued to recover fines imposed on vessels from the South arriving without proper clearances. The Department will not entertain applications, unless under the remitting act of March 3, 1797. The schooner Harry Maybee, from Mobile, was fined yesterday.
The War.—Fight in Baltimore Between the Troops and the Mob—Two Soldiers and Seven Citizens Killed.
BALTIMORE, April 19, 1861.
A terrible scene is now going on in Pratt street. The track has been torn up. The troops attempted to march through, when they were attacked by a mob with stones and bricks, and then fired upon. The troops returned the fire. Two of the Seventh regiment of Massachusetts were killed. The fight is still going on.
There is intense excitement here. The soldiers are now forcing their way through. They fired on the mob, killing ten.
It is impossible to say what portion of the troops have been attacked. They bore a white flag as they marched up Pratt street, and were greeted with showers of paving stones. The Mayor of the city went ahead of them with the police. An immense crowd blocked up the streets. The soldiers finally turned and fired on the mob. Several of the wounded have just gone up the street in carts.
At the Washington depot an immense crowd assembled. The rioters attacked the soldiers, who fired on the mob. Several were wounded, and some fatally. It is said that four of the military and four rioters are killed. The city is in great excitement. Marital law has been proclaimed. The military are rushing to the armories.
Civil war has commenced. The railroad track is said to be torn up outside of the city.
Parties threaten to destroy the Baltimore street bridge.
As the troops passed along Pratt street a perfect shower of paving stones rained on their heads.
The cars have left for Washington, and were stoned as they left.
It was the Seventh regiment of Massachusetts which broke through the mob. Three of the mob are known to be dead, and three soldiers. Many were wounded. Stores are closing, and the military rapidly forming. The Minute Men are turning out.
BALTIMORE, April 19—2:30 P.M.
Affairs are getting serious. Before all the cars got through great crowds assembled at various points and commenced obstructing the road.
Reports are now arriving that the mob are tearing up the track.
It is understood the principal portion of the troops have got through.
BALTIMORE, April 19—4 P.M.
A town meeting has been called for four o’.
It is said there have been twelve lives lost.
Several are mortally wounded.
Parties of men, half frantic, are roaming the streets, armed with guns, pistols and muskets.
The stores are closed, and business is suspended.
A general state of dread prevails.
Parties, a short time ago, rushed into the telegraph office, armed with hatchets and cut the wires. Not much damage was done.
BALTIMORE, April 19—5 P.M.
R. W. Davis, of the firm of Pegram, Paynter & Davis, was shot dead during the riot near Camden station.
Four of the Massachusetts troops were killed and several wounded, but it is impossible to learn their names.
It is reported that the Philadelphians are now at the outer depot. The President of the road has ordered the train back at the urgent request of the Mayor and Governor. They are already off.
The citizens who were mortally wounded are John McCan, P. Grifin, G. Needham.
Blockade of the Southern Ports.—Proclamation from President Lincoln.
WASHINGTON, April 19, 1861.
The President has issued a proclamation stating that an insurrection against the government of the United States has broken out in the States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, and the law of the United States for the collection of the revenue cannot be effectually executed therein conformably to that provision of the constitution which requires duties to be uniform throughout the United States, and further that a combination of persons engaged in such insurrection have threatened to grant pretended letters of marque to authorize the bearers thereof to commit assaults on the lives, vessels and property of good citizens of the country lawfully engaged in commerce on the high seas and in the waters of the United States; and whereas, the President says an executive proclamation has already been issued requiring the persons engaged in these disorderly proceedings to desist, therefore calling out a militia force for the purpose of repressing the same and convening Congress in extraordinary session to deliberate and determine thereon. The President with a view to the same purposes before mentioned, and to the protection of the public peace, and the lives and property of its orderly citizens pursing their lawful occupations, until Congress shall have assembled and deliberated on the said unlawful proceedings, or until the same shall have ceased, has further deemed it advisable to set on foot a blockade of the ports within the states aforesaid in pursuance of the laws of the United States and the law of nations in such cases provided. For this purpose a competent force will be posted so as to prevent the entrance and exit of vessels from the ports aforesaid. If, therefore, with a view to violate the blockade, ad vessel shall attempt to leave any of the said ports, she will be duly warned by the commander of one of the said blockading vessels, who will endorse on her register the fact and date of such warning, and if the same vessel still again attempt to enter or leave the blockaded she will be captured and sent to the nearest convenient port for such proceedings against her and her cargo as may be deemed advisable.
We learn that it is the intention of the ladies of Marshall to present the company of Rangers which leaves town to-day, (Saturday) with a splendid flag, as a mark of their high appreciation of the zeal and patriotism which has prompted them to respond with such alacrity to the call made upon them for their services. One of Marshall’s fairest daughters, and it can boast of many such, will make the presentation. The ladies have thus nobly resolved to offer to the gallant Rangers on their departure, a public expression of their heartfelt sympathies for the arduous but glorious cause in which they have engaged. This is as it should be. The love and beauty of woman have always been intimately associated with the valor of the soldier and the sanctity of his cause. In the days of chivalry, no knight went forth to combat whose proud crest did not gleam with the light of some “fayre ladye’s” gift. So will our gallant Rangers to forth with the smiles, the tears, and the sympathies of woman to animate and inspire their hearts to nobly perform the arduous task which they have voluntarily undertaken.
(West Baton Rouge, LA)
An Unlimited Order.
Passing through the foundry of Messrs. Hill & Markham, in Baton Rouge a day or two since, we found a number of workmen busily engaged in casting twenty-four pound cannon balls. We were informed that the order from the State was unlimited—in other words, they were to keep on casting until ordered to stop.—The “pills” we saw are beautiful little objects of vertu and will, no doubt, seriously interfere with the gastronomical arrangements of the in-dwellers at Fort Pickens when forced into their company by a reasonable charge of powder.
City, Weather, &c.—Surrender of Fort Sumter
On Sunday night last this place was visited by a severe storm which blowed down the fine Market House lately erected in our city, and otherwise damaging property all over the parish to a considerable amount. On the same night the building in the Pinewoods known as Parker’s Institute, and at the time occupied by J. S. Calhoun, Esq., as a manufactory for negro clothing, was struck by lightning and destroyed by fire. By this disaster we learn that Mr. Calhoun sustains a great loss. The weather since the storm has been characteristic of high winds but at present it is greatly modified and has become quite pleasant.
The news of the surrender of Fort Sumter by Major Anderson was received in this city with intense delight. The old cannon was brought into requisition and seven “blank cartridges” were fired in honor of the event, and the patriotism (!) of the “intense” was more intense than ever.
The Scientific American
Our Editorial Correspondence
WASHINGTON, April 5, 1861.
Whoever visits Washington in these days is pretty sure to be set down as an office seeker. The hotels are well thronged, and the rivalry for a share in the distribution of the spoils of office appears to be sharp, and ofttimes acrimonious. I called yesterday morning, to pay my respects to the President, and I found such an eager crowd clambering about his wearied and jaded Excellency that I beat a retreat instantly, without accomplishing the object of my call. D’Alembert, a French writer, once declared ‘’that the industry of men was so far exhausted in canvassing for places, that none was left to fulfill the duties of them.” The truth of this remark is well verified by the state of things here. The pressure is so great that patent hinges and patent locks are almost unavailing against the patriotic crowd, who are more than willing to enter the service of Uncle Sam. Radical and sweeping changes in the public bureaus, the sudden removal of old, and the installment of new, officers, necessarily confine business, and one might as well seek to compose the winds as to undertake the prosecution of legitimate business in some of the Departments, without being jostled about considerably. Expectants for office are not the only ones who are trembling upon the verge of solicitude; the fact is equally true of those who are now holding office. In imagination, if not in reality, they see the official guillotine standing at the door, and the political handwriting “Mene mene tekel upharsen,” appears on the wall. An instance of this came under my notice. I was conversing with a gentleman, long connected with one of the departments; he expressed solicitude respecting his position, and I had not left him but a few moments before I heard that the ax of the headsman had done its work in his case. This state of things creates confusion, and it will be some time before the official machine can he regulated to a steady motion. In reference to the Patent Office, in which the readers of the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN feel such a deep interest, such influences are at work more or less, though much less, I think, than in many other bureaus; still, there are many who are seeking to get into this office. Its mysteries attract the curiosity of the curious, and the pressure to pry into them is therefore considerable; and there is a painful anxiety on the part of those who are deeply interested in its successful management, to know what the policy of the office is to be.
Mr. Holloway, the new Commissioner, is in the active discharge of his duties, and all his movements are watched with a degree of solicitude which, in all my experience with the Office, I have never before seen. The political change in the government is radical—it naturally looks to its friends to rally to its support. They do rally,
“In hosts they come, in legions march away.”
And in this critical juncture of public affairs an unusual scrutiny is exercised in making removals and appointments.
The Patent Office ought, in some degree at least, to constitute an honorable exception to an indiscriminate proscriptive policy, and be as free from political influence as possible; its operation may be compared to a delicate piece of machinery that performs well all its functions under the guidance of skillful hands. A clumsy boor comes along and throws chunks of iron into its delicate mechanism, and speedily all its parts are thrown into disorder. To tumble every man out of the Patent Office for mere opinion’s sake would show a reckless disregard of the objects for which it was founded, and demoralize its character; yet it would be equally injurious not to depurate the Office of all such officers as are dangerous to its vital being. Of this class there are a few who arc generally unpopular and objectionable. Mr. Holloway, thus far, is liked very much. He seems to have entered upon the duties of the Office with a full appreciation of their magnitude and importance; but what he will, or will not do, are now matters of mere speculation. He is said to be a good listener, a careful thinker, willing to be advised, slow to promise, but firm to act whenever his judgment is convinced. One thing I feel warranted in saying, viz., that he means to be the inventor’s friend, and will endeavor to maintain the policy of ex-Commissioners Mason and Holt.
Mr. Holloway comes from the thriving, populous town of Richmond, Ind., which numbers among its citizens many ingenious mechanics and inventors. He has done much to promote the mechanical, manufacturing and agricultural interests of that place, and is now President of the Board of Agriculture of that State. As a member of the Thirty-fourth Congress, he was chairman of the Committee on Agriculture, and rendered efficient service to that important interest, and has given liberal support to the interest of the Patent Office and the mechanic’s art. He enters upon his duties under favorable auspices. The business before the Patent Office is large, and under the favoring influences of the Patent Law Amendment Act, the number of applications is gradually increasing, thus securing a revenue sufficient for an energetic administration of the duties; and if the policy of the Office is made to conform to the progressive spirit of the times—if it shall meet the inventor in a liberal manner, and adjusts his claim upon that basis —then there will be no trouble. There are, however, powerful and subtle influences in the Office which will be exerted against any such policy; they were sufficiently potent during the recent administration to bring a deserved odium upon it, and it remains to be seen how far Mr. Holloway will tolerate the spirit of crotchety technicalities to bear rule in the Office, and against which Judge Mason and Mr. Holt had to contend with great earnestness.
I am inclined to the opinion that a majority of the present Examiners will be retained for the present, at least. Some changes have already taken place, and some appointments have been made; two or three Assistant Examiners have been removed and one Examiner-in-Chief (Mr. A. B. Little), who has been connected with the Office since the days of Edmund Burke. He was one of the most able and accomplished men in the Office, and his removal is generally regretted. He was connected with the Appeal Board, and under the new law the President appointed Messrs. Hodges, Harding and Theaker. It is understood that Mr. Harding will not accept the appointment, and the greatest anxiety is felt on the part of solicitors here as to who shall fill this vacancy in the Appeal Board. The necessities of the Office requite an experienced person, and if the President fails to realize this important fact, the business of the Board will, for a time, at least, go on very slowly.
Mr. Hodges and Mr. Theaker are here, but have not yet commenced their duties, and cases are rapidly accumulating for the action of the Board.
James M. Blanchard of Indiana, Clifford Arick of Ohio, and D. S. Stewart are appointed Assistant and Junior Assistant Examiners; and it is reported that Professor Hedrick, of New York, has been appointed a Chief Examiner.
Ex-Commissioner Thomas’ Revisory Board still continues to exercise its functions, the practical effect of which is to obstruct the business in the Office, as has been frequently alleged in the Scientific American. It costs the patent fund at the rate of 86,000 a year to maintain this useless appendage. It is thought that when Commissioner Holloway comes to fully understand its nature and operation, he will abolish it. I have consulted with several solicitors here, and they all agreed that the Board was a hindrance to the business of the Office. In my next letter I will give an account of the examining process which applicants for situations in the Patent Office have to undergo.
Beginning of the War.
On Friday, 12th, at 27 minutes past 4 A. M., General Beauregard, in accordance with instructions received on Wednesday from the Secretary of War of the Southern Confederacy, opened fire upon Fort Sumter. Forts Johnson and Moultrie, the iron battery at Cumming’s Point, and the Stevens Floating Battery, kept up an active cannonade during the entire day, and probably during the past night. The damage done to Fort Sumter is stated by the Confederate authorities to have been considerable. Guns had been dismounted, and a part of the parapet swept away.
Major Anderson had replied vigorously to the fire which had been opened upon him, but the Charleston dispatches represent the injury inflicted by him to have been but small. The utmost bravery had been exhibited on both sides, and a large portion of the Charleston population, including five thousand ladies, were assembled upon the Battery to witness the conflict.
Down to our latest advices, the battle had been carried on solely by the batteries of the revolutionists and Fort Sumter. The Harriet Lane, Captain Faunce, the Pawnee, and another United States vessel, were said to be off the harbor, but had taken no part in the conflict. The Harriet Lane is said to have received a shot through her wheel-house.
The opinion prevailed in Charleston that an attempt would be made during the night to reinforce Fort Sumter by means of small boats from the three vessels seen in the offing.
No one had been killed by the fire of Major Anderson, and the casualties among the Confederate troops in the batteries were inconsiderable. There is, of course, no account of the loss, if any, among the garrison of Fort Sumter.
The Right of Secession.
THE State of Virginia has decided not to secede; but has adopted, in Convention, a series of resolutions affirming, among other things, the right of a State to secede from the Union at will. In like manner, the State of Missouri, which is overwhelmingly opposed to secession, and the State of Kentucky, in which no Convention has been called, both declare that in the event of forcible measures being taken by the General Government to resist the dismemberment of the Union, they will take sides with the seceded States.
It seems questionable whether the continued alliance of these States, on these conditions, is an unmixed gain. If this Union of ours is a confederacy of States which is liable to be dissolved at the will of any of the States, and if no power rests with the General Government to enforce its laws, it would seem that we have been laboring under a delusion these eighty years in supposing that we were a nation, and the fact would appear to be that the several States of the Union have really been united by no closer bond than that which connects us with Great Britain and France—a mere treaty stipulation, which any of the parties were at liberty to annul at pleasure.
It is of the essence of nationality that the Government of the whole shall be obeyed by each constituent part, and that the covenants of the nation shall bind each and every section thereof. If any one part can declare itself not bound by the national laws and obligations, then no part is bound, and such laws and obligations are mere idle formalities, dependent for their force on the will of the party bound—in other words, absolute nullities. Such a government would be a mere ridiculous fiction: the sooner exploded the better.
Peaceable secession is organized anarchy. Today, it may be the election of a sectional President; tomorrow, the passage of a bad tariff; next, the conclusion of an unpopular treaty; next, the creation of a large debt; next, the declaration of a doubtful war. If the right of secession be admitted, each or any of these causes may be successfully invoked by any State to justify the repudiation of the laws, treaties, and pecuniary obligations of the government. What is this but organized anarchy?
The question, therefore, which is presented to the people of the Northern States by the people of the border States of Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri is, whether or not they will accept organized anarchy as the normal condition of their political existence, as the price of retaining these States in the Union?
Suppose the Pope, as the sovereign of Rome, and Francis-Joseph, as the sovereign of Venetia, were to say to Victor Emanuel, King of Italy:
“Sire, you are anxious to unite Italy under one head. On certain terms we will confederate with you. You shall give us the benefit of your laws, your army, your navy, your post-office, your national prestige, your power. You shall protect us against the foreign world, so that our citizens shall be safe wherever they go. You shall grant us the benefit of your national credit, so that the money needed for our national public works can be raised. You shall put down robbers and pirates in our midst. In return for this we will give you our allegiance as long as we please; but from the hour we decide to withdraw it you shall have no right to coerce us, or to keep us within your dominion by force.”
An Italian friend suggests that Victor Emanuel: would be likely to reply to this proposal by remarking that it offered him a one-sided bargain ; that a compact which could be shuffled off by one of the parties and not by the other was hardly worth making ; that if Venetia and Rome really sought admission into the kingdom of Italy, they must first admit that Italy was a nation, and that its laws must be enforced throughout its territory ; and that whatever conditions Venetia and Rome sought to make with the parent State, they must not be mentioned until the vital considerations of a stable nationality and a universal acquiescence in the authority of the general laws of the kingdom bad been settled beyond dispute.
This, in our friend’s opinion, is the way the question would be viewed in Italy.
The Troops in Texas.
Another of the transports sent to Texas to bring away the United States troops—the steamer Coatzacoalcos reached this port on 11th. She left here on the 16th of March, and arrived at Pass Cabello Bar on the 21st. She started on her return on the 31st, and touched at Key West on the 4th inst., where she landed two companies of infantry. Being unable to obtain water at Key West, she then proceeded to Havana, whence she sailed on the 6th. She brings one company of infantry and six of cavalry, some of the latter of which will probably be immediately sent to Washington. The troops left in Texas, numbering about one thousand, are reported to be in good health, and abundantly supplied with provisions; and in view of recent occurrences, it may now be considered doubtful whether they will be removed.
The Atlantic was chartered by the Government, and sailed on 6th with troops and munitions of war. The Baltic and Illinois sailed on 8th with similar freight. Orders were issued on same day by the Navy Department to have the Wabash, Vincennes, and Savannah, at Brooklyn, and the Jamestown, at Philadelphia, fitted for active service with dispatch. The United States ship Pawnee sailed from Norfolk at 6 P.M. on Tuesday, bound South, under sealed orders. There is great activity manifested at the Charlestown Navy-yard (at Boston, Massachusetts), over 800 persons being employed. The brig Bainbridge is ready for sea, and waiting for her crew. The steam-frigates Minnesota, Mississippi, and Colorado are also nearly ready. Commodore Stringham is expected to arrive early next week. Business at the Philadelphia Navy-yard is inactive, and there are frequent discharges of men, only two hundred being now employed there. The United States steamer Water Witch has gone into commission, and sails during the week. Her destination is unknown. Her crew consists of 70 sailors and marines.
Secession of Arizona.
Accounts from New Mexico state that the citizens of Arizona, in convention at Mesilla, have voted that Territory out of the Union.
President Davis Going to Charleston.
Dispatches received from Montgomery state that President Davis was considering the propriety of going to Charleston, being satisfied that Fort Sumter was to be the great strategic point where the issue was to be tried as to the power of the Confederate States Government to maintain itself. He and his friends deemed it his duty to be on the ground.
The Latest from Fort Picikens.
Lieutenant Slemmer has found means of communicating with the Government, in spite of the surveillance exercised by the investing army. He explains why the troops were not landed from the Brooklyn, conformably to the order, issued by the War Department several weeks ago. According to his view, Fort Pickens can withstand any assault which may be made by the force now assembled there, or any which is likely to be collected by Jefferson Davis. He has four months’ provisions, and feels himself fully able to maintain his position and defend himself, without drawing upon the contingent force at his disposal in the ships of war. In case of an attack, which is not feared, notwithstanding all the demonstrative display, the troops could be landed at a signal, just as easily as at this time. The intelligence was received by telegraph.
The Summons to Surrender.
A telegraphic correspondence between the Montgomery War Department and General Beauregard, before the commencement of hostilities, has been published. On April 8 General Beauregard telegraphed that a messenger from President Lincoln had brought word that provisions would be sent to Fort Sumter—peaceably if possible, forcibly if necessary. Mr. Walker, the Secretary of War, replied, on April 10, instructing General Beauregard to demand the immediate evacuation of Fort Sumter, and if this was refused, to proceed to attack the fort in the way he thought best. The demand for surrender was accordingly made by General Beauregard, and Major Anderson replied, April 11, “It is a demand with which I regret that my sense of honor and my obligations to my Government prevent my compliance.” He added, also, “I will await the first shot, and if you do not batter us to pieces, we will be starved out in a few days.” His answer being sent to Montgomery, the Secretary of War telegraphed back that if Major Anderson would state the time at which he would evacuate the fort, it should not be bombarded. To this Anderson would not consent, and upon his refusal hostilities began. The latest of those dispatches, that from General Beauregard to the Secretary of War, bears date April 12, and was received in New York a few hours after it was sent to Montgomery.
Proclamations of Governor T.H. Hicks of Maryland and Mayor Geo. W. Brown of Baltimore.
The Governor of the State of Maryland and the Mayor of Baltimore have united in proclamations to the people of that State and City, urging upon them the duties peculiar to the crisis and responsibilities it imposes upon them. Both the Governor and the Mayor refer to the fact that an opportunity will be soon afforded to the people of the State to express at the ballot box their wishes as to the position which Maryland shall assume. Gov. Hicks says:
I assure the people that no troops will be sent from Maryland, unless it may be for the defence of the National Capital.
It is my intention in the future, as it has been my endeavor in the past, to preserve the people of Maryland from civil war, and I invoke the assistance of every true and loyal citizen to aid me to this end.
The people of this State will in a short time have the opportunity afforded them in a special election for members of Congress of the United States to express their devotion to the Union, or their desire to see it broken up.
The Minor Events of Yesterday.
The Confederate flag was displayed from the Customs House, Hotels and private residences. Eight stars being generally the number of the flag—one having been added for old Virginia.
The Custom House was taken out of the hands of the United States, and placed under the guard of State troops.
The hurrying to and fro of military men gave the city quite a martial aspect.
The steamships Yorktown and Jamestown, (belonging to the Virginia and New York Steamship Company,) have both been seized and put in charge of Virginia State troops.—The Yorktown was seized at her wharf in this city on Wednesday afternoon, just as she was about to depart for New York with a large amount of merchandize. The Jamestown was seized at City Point, (sixty miles below Richmond.) by troops which had been sent down in a steamer for that purpose. The Jamestown left New York Tuesday afternoon and, we understand, has on board, about $50,000 worth of ordinance and military stores, for Virginia and other Southern States.
A marine vessel was also seized at City Point, called the Argo, by a detachment of volunteers from Richmond. The steam tug William Allison, also arrived at the Richmond wharf last night, with the United States surveying schooner Mason in tow, which had also been levied upon.
These seizures have been made upon the lex talionis, we presume; the vessels being owned chiefly by Northern men.
We have no space for comment. In this week of great events the little incidents here named may be dispatched with Ceasarian brevity.
The Illumination and Torchlight Procession.
The demonstration here last evening in honor of the withdrawal of Virginia from the Abolitionized Union, was grand and enthusiastic. The Main street was brilliantly illuminated for the distance of nearly a mile, nearly every window being lighted up, and bonfires at various points. The procession was extensive and imposing, many of the transparencies beautiful, and most of the mottoes and devices highly appropriate. The side walks and streets were thronged with ladies and gentlemen to the number of thousands, all of whom manifested the liveliest and deepest interest in the scene. The entire city was lighted up, and the whole heart of Richmond was in the demonstration. We shall give details hereafter.
North Carolina for Immediate Session.
We feel perfectly safe in making this announcement. Information from all parts of the State is to the effect that the flag of the Southern Confederacy waves triumphantly over the land of Macon. An immense meeting was held at Raleigh, on Tuesday last, at which speeches were made by Hon. D.M. Barringer, Col. Cameron, J.W. Syme, editor of the Register, Ex-Gov. Manly, and a number of others, embracing every shade of opinion, so far as past issues are concerned. But one sentiment was expressed, but one feeling animated the speakers and their auditors. The universal voice was for immediate secession, and for a warm response to Lincoln’s call to arms! The Union sentiment has heretofore been stronger in Raleigh and its immediate vicinity than in any other part of North Carolina.
Interesting from Norfolk.—News by Telegraph.
Reported for the Richmond Telegraph.
(Special Dispatch to the Richmond Enquirer.)
NORFOLK, April 19—Col. Elzey and Dr. Jones, both from Maryland, and stationed at Old Point, sent in their resignations yesterday. Both of these gentlemen have served in the army with distinction for a number of years, and last in the Mexican war. Dr. Jones has been in the army for 24 years.
An interesting scene occurred when these officers who had resigned reached here with their families from the Navy Yard. Boats with their furniture crossed the Harbor with the officers and their wives and little ones before them.
Every officer in the Navy Yard, except McCauley, has resigned. The finest spirit prevails here. The best houses have been tendered for quarters, when necessary to concentrate troops here. A gallant set of navy officers are eager for duty. The Harbor is obstructed and war vessels can neither enter or depart.
The Baltimore Boat was searched today, by Captain Sinclair. An infamous effort to obstruct the Rail Road with trees was discovered. The offender is from Brooklyn, N.Y. He was apprehended and carried to Suffolk Court House. A company has been ordered to protect the Railroad.
The Norfolk Herald states that the bridge at the fort has been taken up, and all communication between the Fort and the citizens cut off. There are now 300 men, rank and file, in the fort, and all the officers are Black Republicans, with the exception of three who hail from Virginia.
A son of Dr. Banks, of Hampton, was ordered from the fort, where he occupied the position of clerk in the sutlers store, because he would not sympathise with the Black Republican remarks which were daily and hourly uttered in his presence; and the wife of a man who deserted on the same account was summarily ejected from the fort, without any previous notice, but the citizens of Old Point and Hampton immediately took up a subscription to supply her wants and send her further South to join her husband.
The Great Question Decided—Virginia Out of the Union—Our Flag.
The eighteenth of April, one thousand eight hundred and sixty one, will be noted as the most eventful day in Virginia history. On that day Virginia, through her sovereign Convention, dissolved the political bands by which she has been connected with the United States Government from its formation, seventy four years ago.
The announcement of the withdrawal of the glorious old State from the abolitionized Government of the once United States, will be celebrated with bonfires and illuminations by her true hearted sons from the Chesapeake to the Ohio, and from her Northern to her Southern borders. The friends of free Government throughout the world will give one thousand cheers for old Virginia, the mother of States and of Statesmen.
The Convention still sits with closed doors and the injunctions of secrecy have not been removed from its proceedings, except as to the simple fact announced above. Yesterday morning the flag of the Southern Confederacy with eight stars was displayed over the Capitol in which the Convention sits, and it still there. The understanding is that a straight-out Ordinance of Secession has been passed with but few dissenting voices. Its submission to the people will be a matter of form and not of contest.
The day breaks, and the sun of Peace tinges the black clouds of War.
Before the Battle of Fort Sumter, war between the South and North seemed to be inevitable. Surely but steadily, by the policy of inaction, the South was kept divided, and the two sections of the late United States were drifting to deadly conflict. With the seven Cotton States alone out of the Union of the United States, the attempt to subdue them by military force, and thus to coerce them back into a union with the Northern States, was certain of realization. There was no hope—not the slightest—of a peaceful adjustment of our relations with the Northern States, consistent with the independence of the Confederate States.
When South Carolina seceded from the United States the great problem to be solved by the statesmen of South was, how shall the other Slaveholding States be brought to unite their destiny with her in the formation of a Southern Confederacy? On the solution of this problem, depended the issue of peace or war. If all the Slaveholding States united their power together, the folly of attempting coercion was too flagrant to be anticipated.
Would inaction produce this result? The condition of a large portion of the Slaveholding States, rendered such a policy fatal to the union of the South. Men do not change their government but from the strongest motives. To accomplish revolutions, the passions of men must be aroused, as well as their understandings be informed. Events soon showed the only course by which the cooperation of the Slaveholding States could be obtained; and these events arose not from the wisdom of the South, but from the attempted coercion of the North. Major ANDERSON took possession of Fort Sumter. It gave us Georgia and Louisiana. The Star of the West came to provision Fort Sumter, and it gave us Texas. Lastly, the Government of the United States informs us that it intends to reinforce Fort Sumter with supplies and men, and it gives us Virginia; and, (we trust, soon to follow) all the Southern Frontier States. At each successive step of collision, Southern union was advanced; and at each successive step of advancement to union in the South, the probabilities of a peaceful termination of our separation from the Northern States have been increased. Let the great end of a union of the fifteen Slaveholding States be accomplished, and war by the North upon the South is a flagrant absurdity. Paradoxical as it may seem, the avoidance of fighting was certain war, and fighting was the only way to obtain peace. Hence, we longed for collision in our bay, as opening the only avenue to peace.
The press and the people of the North appear to be furious for war. The Abolition Government at Washington appear determined to conquer the South. These are necessary for peace, because they are necessary to arouse and unite the South. The more decided the demonstrations of hostility from the North, the better for the great cause of Southern redemption and independence. Heretofore we have been too slow in action—too forbearing—for Southern union; but now, that the Frontier States are aroused, we must await their coming. The Confederate States should be, in their preparations for war, equal to the United States; but they should not precipitate conflict with the United States, unless in counsel with the Frontier States, where the conflict must rage. Virginia signalizes her independence with her wonted bravery. She seizes Harper’s Ferry and the Custom Houses, and will soon make the gleam of her bayonets tell her determination. Give the illustrious Old Commonwealth time to wake up her strength and rage. Let her glorious daughter, Kentucky, shake the bloody land with her marital tread; and the steady columns of Tennessee, which marched on in the streets of Monterey, when swept through with grape, without a pause in their step, have time to form. Maryland, in the streets of Baltimore, forbids Federal troops from passing over her soil. The work goes bravely on. The South will soon be invincible by a union of the South, and command peace by her invincibility. We repeat, ‘The day breaks, and the sun of Peace tinges the black clouds of War.’
Help For Virginia.
South Carolina will aid Virginia with two regiments of her victorious troops to maintain the bold position which she has assumed against Federal usurpation. We understand that the regiment of Col. MAXCY GREGG, and the regiment of Col. PETTIGREW, have been selected for this service. Of course these regiments will have an opportunity of voting for or against the service, but no one doubts the result. Both regiments will be en route, in a few days for the scene of their future laurels.
Some Carolina Coincidences.
There are some curious coincidences in South Carolina history, between past and present, which deserve remembrance. South Carolina was the first of the Colonies to declare an independent State Constitution in the days of the Revolution. South Carolina was the first State to secede from the late Confederacy and declare an independent Constitution. South Carolina was the first State in the Revolution of 1776 to beat the enemy. This was done in Charleston harbor. South Carolina was the first of the seceding States in 1861 to obtain a triumph over the Abolition invader and usurper, and again in Charleston harbor! All the fights in the Revolution in 1776—Lexington and Bunker Hill—were American defeats. That of Fort Moultrie was a victory! Fort Moultrie in 1776 set fire to the British vessels. The same fortress had a large part in firing Fort Sumter. South Carolina at the close of the Revolution, had been so liberal that she was the largest creditor State in the Confederacy at the end of the war. At the present moment her expenditures far exceed those of any one State in the Southern Confederacy, and this without including those large annual expenditures for ordnance and arms which she began in 1832, and which, perhaps, has found her, in the present conflict, better prepared for battle than any of her sister States.
There is one point of great importance, in which the coincidence utterly fails. In 1776, her people, half of whom were born in Great Britain, and had only recently come to this country, were nearly equally divided. Now, she stands erect, ready to meet the enemy, with united columns; her people all feeling and prepared as one man! In 1776, she could only bring, all told, about 12,000 men into the field; now she can bring 60,000.—And such men! a land fight would show; and, if our brave boys do not utterly drive the invaders into the sea, we shall be greatly disappointed in the souls and sinews that now keep guard over our islands. A more wanton invasion, more brutal, without right and reason, was never exhibited in history! And our boys are defending their homes, their firesides, their women and children, against a foe who has been slandering, reviling, and robbing us for more than thirty years! If we do not give a good account of these wretches now, it will be because they will be chary to offer us the opportunity. We have to revenge the wrongs of thirty years. And the brood of MOULTRIE, MARION, SUMTER and PICKENS, will furnish us with new coincidences!
Latest by Telegraph.—News from Washington.
WASHINGTON, April 19.—The Alexandria Gazette of this morning confirms the rumor, prevalent here yesterday, to the effect that a body of Virginia troops were marching upon Harper’s Ferry this morning.
About 400 Pennsylvania troops and Sherman’s battery of flying artillery arrived here tonight.
The Proclamation of Gov. LETCHER, of Virginia, denouncing LINCOLN’S course, acknowledging the independence of the Confederate States, calling out the whole volunteer force of the State to be ready for immediate service, and refusing to furnish any quota to LINCOLN’S coercion army, has caused a great sensation here.
The rapid increase in the number of the Southern resignations is very perplexing to the Administration.
The Old Dominion.— A Proclamation.— By the Governor of Virginia.
Whereas seven of the States formerly composing a part of the United States, have, by authority of their people, solemnly resumed the powers granted by them to the United States, and have framed a Constitution and organized a Government for themselves, to which the people of those States are yielding willing obedience, and have so notified the president of the United States by all the formalities incident to such action, and thereby become to the United States a separate, independent and foreign power. And, whereas, the Constitution of the United States has invested Congress with the sole power declare war, and until such declaration is made, the President has no authority to call for an extraordinary force to wage offensive war against any foreign power; and whereas on the 15th inst., the President of the United States, in plain violation of the Constitution, has issued a proclamation calling for a force of seventy five thousand men, to cause the laws of the United States to be duly executed over a people who are no longer a part of the Union, and in said proclamation threatens to exert this unusual force to compel obedience to his mandates; and whereas the General Assembly of Virginia, by a majority approaching to entire unanimity, has declared at its last session, that the State of Virginia would consider such an exertion of force as a virtual declaration of war, to be resisted by all the power at the command of Virginia; and subsequently the Convention now in session, representing the sovereignty of this State, has reaffirmed in substance the same policy, by almost equal unanimity; and whereas the State of Virginia deeply sympathizes with the Southern States, in the wrongs they have suffered, and in the position they have assumed; and having made earnest efforts peaceably to compose the differences which have severed the Union, and have failed in that attempt through this unwarranted act on the part of the President; and it is believed that the influences which operate to produce this proclamation against the seceded States will be brought to bear upon this Commonwealth, if she should exercise her undoubted right to resume the powers granted by her people, and it is due to the honor of Virginia that an improper exercise of force against her people should be repelled: Therefore I, John Letcher, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, have thought proper to order all armed volunteer regiments or companies within this State forthwith to hold themselves in readiness for immediate orders, and upon the reception of this proclamation to report to the Adjutant General of the State their organization and numbers, and prepare themselves for efficient service. Such companies as are not armed and equipped will report that fact, that they may be properly supplied. (L.S.) In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the Commonwealth to be affixed, this 17th day of April 1861, and in the 85th year of the Commonwealth.
Exciting News from Baltimore.
Latest by Telegraph.
THE FIRST BLOODSHED.
Resistance to Northern Troops, etc., etc., etc.
BALTIMORE, April 19.—A terrible conflict has occurred this afternoon between the people of this city and a portion of the soldiers of the New York Seventh Regiment.
Several have been killed and wounded.
The whole volunteer military force of the city is under arms, and Governor HICKS has proclaimed martial law.
The city was considerably excited yesterday afternoon by the above rather meager despatch, which appeared upon the bulletin boards. Owing to the wires having been cut or otherwise disarranged, no further particulars of this exciting news was sent to us by the agent of the Associated Press, but from a number of conflicting private despatches, which have been kindly furnished us, we glean the following information:
It appears that such detachments of the New York Seventh Regiment as were willing to become the tools of Coercion (the Regiment, as a whole, being opposed to such a cause) reached Baltimore today. An excited mob met them upon their arrival at the President Street Station, and began throwing stones at the car containing them. The newly arrived companies abstained from resenting the attack, and thanks to their own prudence, combined with the efforts of the police, succeeded in reaching the Camden Station, whence they were to start for Washington.
A Massachusetts Regiment arriving about the same time was also stoned, and in reply fired upon the populace, killing a number of citizens, and among others several highly esteemed in the community. We hear that Mr. DAVIS, of the firm of DAVIS, PAYNTER & CO., was among those killed. At the last accounts the firing was till going on. The number of the killed is variously stated from twenty to two hundred.
The city volunteers, who sympathize with the South, had immediately mustered, and Governor HICKS had proclaimed martial law.
JOHN W. GARRETT, the President of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, had issued orders that the trains upon the Company’s road were, upon no pretext, to transport troops either to or from Washington.
The populace had torn up the railroad track to prevent the passage of the trains, and there is reason to believe that the telegraph wires were cut—both those connecting with the North and with the South
We have received no further intelligence of the outbreak up to the moment we go to press.—EDITOR MERCURY.
Diary of a Yankee in the Patent Office
by Horatio Nelson Taft
SATURDAY 20—A fine pleasant day. No troops today, all stoped beyond Balt. Bridges destroyed, track torn up and the Steam Ferry Boat over the Susquehannah scuttled and sunk. Balt in the hands of the mob. A critical time for Washington. A large body of Rebels at Alexandria and an attack upon the City may be expected any hour. I went to the Depot and to the Capitol again tonight. The Mass. Regnt marched out and through Pa Ave to 15 st making a fine appearance and being cheered frequently by the people. The Hotels are full and all seem agreed that Balt is a doomed City. 12 o’c.
A Rebel War Clerk’s Diary
by John Beauchamp Jones
April 20th— The news has been confirmed. It was a brickbat “Plug Ugly” fight — the result of animal, and not intellectual or patriotic instincts. Baltimore has better men for the strife than bar-room champions. The absence of dignity in this assault will be productive of evil rather than good. Maryland is probably lost — for her fetters will be riveted before the secession of Virginia will be communicated by the senseless form of ratification a month hence. Woe, woe to the politicians of Virginia who have wrought this delay! It is now understood that the very day before the ordinance was passed, the members were gravely splitting hairs over proposed amendments to the Federal Constitution!
Guns are being fired on Capitol Hill in commemoration of secession, and the Confederate flag now floats unmolested from the summit of the capitol. I think they had better save the powder, etc.
At night. We have a gay illumination. This too is wrong. We had better save the candles.
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