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April 24                        April 26

April 25, 1861

for April 25, 1861

A Chronological History of the Civil War in America

  • Saluria, Tex., surrendered to rebel forces.
  • Legislature of Vermont voted $1,000,000 to equip volunteers.
  • New York 7th Regiment reached Washington.
  • Virginia proclaimed by Governor Letcher to be a member of the Confederate States.

The New York Herald

The News.

We have important news from Washington. Our own gallant Seventh regiment and the Massachusetts Eighth regiment are at last safely arrived in the national capital. Despatches to that effect were received in this city last night. Government has sent special messengers on here, urging the forwarding of troops as fast as possible, and as many field pieces as can be sent. It will be necessary to have the national capital reinforced as rapidly as may be, it being believed that the secessionists have a strong force in the neighborhood, and that there are preparing for an early attack. It is supposed that Gen. Beauregard and Jeff. Davis are both in Virginia, ready to lead the assault. There is great scarcity of food in Washington. In our columns this morning we supply copious details with regard to the state of affairs there. An officer of the Seventh regiment passed through Northeast, Maryland, on his way to this city, last night. It is said he is the bearer of despatches from the government of the utmost importance.

Further accounts continue to reach us of the terrorism reigning in Baltimore and vicinity. No steamers are allowed to leave the city, and railroad travel being cut off, passengers for the North can only proceed by private conveyance. The greatest excitement is said to prevail in the city, and all Northerners are closely watched. We give this morning narratives of different individuals who have arrived North through that city within the past few days.

A member of the New York Seventh regiment, in charge of four sick comrades, arrived in Philadelphia last evening. The men suffered greatly at Annapolis for want of food and water.

A gentleman who left Montgomery, Alabama, on Wednesday of last week, furnishes us with some intelligence from that place. Immense rejoicing took place there on the news, being received of the secession of Virginia. Great anxiety existed to hear from the North, the people there being still unaware of the overwhelming and unanimous Union feeling which has rendered the North as one man since the attack of the rebels on Sumter. Business in Montgomery was almost entirely suspended. It was believed that Jeff. Davis had left for Richmond, Virginia, there, in concert with Gen. Beauregard, to concentrate a strong force for an attack on Washington.

Senator Douglas, on his way to Illinois, was delayed by missing a train, at the town of Bellair, on the Ohio river, opposite Wheeling, on Monday last. As soon as his presence was known a crowd collected in front of the hotel where he was stopping and the Little Giant was called upon for an expression of his feelings in regard to the present rebellion against the national government, to which he responded, taking strong ground in support of maintaining the Union, and especially paying a high tribute to the patriotism of General Scott.

We publish this morning a brief but highly important correspondence between General Leslie Combs, of Kentucky, and a gentleman in this city, in which the former desires to be informed if the Union men of Kentucky can be furnished with arms and money for their defence.

The yacht Edna, Captain Seaman, arrived here yesterday from Wilmington, North Carolina, after a run of four days. Capt. S. has visited all the Southern ports, from Jacksonville, Florida, north and had a very narrow escape at Wilmington. As he was coming out of the harbor he was overtaken by a steamer with a crowd of secessionists on board, who ordered him to lower his flag. Having his family on board, and being sick himself, he struck his colors for the time, at which the soldiers cheered lustily and allowed him to proceed.

The war feeling in the city continues unabated. The rolls are rapidly filling up, and preparations are making by the various regiments for an early departure for the seat of war. We supply details in our news columns of the progress of operations. Colonel Ellsworth’s Fire Zouaves will take their departure for Washington on next Saturday afternoon, and three more regiments—the Seventy ninth, Fifty fifth and Fifth - will probably go on the same day. The Fifth encamped yesterday on the Battery, with instructions to remain there until Saturday morning when orders will, it is thought, be given for their departure to Washington. The Seventy ninth have orders to hold themselves in readiness to leave for the same place within sixty hours. The New York Zouaves, Colonel Hawkins, are at present quartered at Castle Garden.

A letter published in the evening papers from the United States District Attorney, Mr. Delafield Smith, and addressed to the bankers of the city, notifying them not to transmit coin, letters of credit, &c. to banks or individuals of the Southern seceded States, has been withdrawn. In withdrawing the letter, Mr. Smith assures the Southern bankers that their moneys shall be well taken care of here, and we are informed that very large sums are constantly arriving here from Southern merchants.

An enthusiastic meeting of the workmen at the Brooklyn Navy Yard was held yesterday, when resolutions were passed requiring that each man should contribute one day’s pay in aid of the families of such of their fellow workmen as volunteer to sustain the flag of their country in the present contest.

Startling News—Washington in Danger.

By the important telegraphic intelligence which we publish in our columns this morning, we are placed in possession of the startling fact that the federal capital on Tuesday afternoon was in peril of capture, owing to the fact that the expected reinforcements had not arrived from the North in consequence of the interruption of the passage through Maryland, and there is an earnest urgent appeal from Washington for more troops and for field pieces. The Seventh regiment of New York and the Eighth of Massachusetts had arrived after some fighting and much suffering; but as many troops as can be sent forward are needed immediately, and they ought to take their provisions with them. There is not a moment to be lost. It appears that in addition to the Virginia troops in the vicinity of Washington, Jefferson Davis and Beauregard are at Richmond with twenty seven thousand men, and for all we know to the contrary, may now be in possession of the federal capital.

The motive of the obstruction of the Northern troops at Baltimore and other points in Maryland is now fully developed. It is evident that the design was to cause such delay as would enable the invaders to be present in force at Washington before the federal troops could reach the scene of action from the North. It is all a question of time. The city has no natural or artificial strength to enable it to hold out against superior odds and it has so many approaches that a small body of troops cannot effectually protect it long. We learn that the long bridge is well secured by General Scott, and that he has broken down the bridge at Georgetown; but by means of boats, or rafts, it is possible for troops to cross the Potomac higher up, and, perhaps, even below Washington.

So apprehensive of danger was the commander in chief that barricades were constructed for the windows of the public buildings, earthworks were thrown up, women and children, and even men were fleeing. All things indicated an approaching conflict. But if the Southern troops did not succeed in effecting a capture yesterday, they will be met today by a force large enough to keep them at by till fresh troops arrive from the North; and there is a consolation in the case of Washington that, even if it should be taken, it is not such a stronghold as can be retained against superior numbers, and the ability of the North to speedily retake it cannot be doubted.

Now, under these circumstance, what is the duty of the Governor of this State and all other Northern States? It is to send all available troops, regardless of expense, and without waiting for orders. It may not be in the power of the administration to transmit intelligence in time; but it is the part of the Northern Governors to take time by the forelock and forward all the troops they can to Washington without delay, ad if the route by Annapolis is not open to cut their way through Baltimore.

There has been great mismanagement on the part of the government, as well as a want of vigor and determination. The revolutionists have been silently acting, while Messrs. Lincoln, Seward & co. have been writing and talking and vacillating and procrastinating till it is almost, if not altogether, too late to save the capital from capture. We have fighting men and money in abundance, but we appear to have no government. There are half a million of soldiers ready to take the field, and two hundred millions of dollars are on hand if required to sustain them. But where are the men to lead them to action? It is stated that both Chase and Seward have succumbed. Indeed the letter of the Secretary of State to Gov. Hicks is the plainest proof of his caving in, and that he meditates a peaceful separation of the States, while Mr. Lincoln, as is evident from his parleying with the rebel Mayor of Baltimore, has also grown weak n the knees, and does not mean that nay body should be hurt. A million of dollars would be cheap for a President with a backbone—a man after the stamp of Andrew Jackson, who, being first sure he was right would take the responsibility and go ahead, looking danger and death in the eye.

Richmond Enquirer

The Military.

All day yesterday, and up to a late hour last night, the streets were thronged with the gallant volunteers of Virginia who are pouring into the camp at the Fair Grounds near this city, in great numbers. Everywhere the gallant sons of Virginia are responding to the call of the Governor. As troop after troop, company after company, filed by our office, we were struck with the full ranks, the fine appearance, and the soldierly bearing of the men. We cannot particularize any company, where all appeared so well. The volunteer companies, as they arrive, are being mustered into regiments; and, from present appearances, before the week is out, we shall have an imposing army in camp before the city. Who can doubt that the glorious Old Dominion will put herself in the front rank of States in this second struggle for liberty, as she did in that which secured our independence of the Mother country!

All honor to the true men who rush to arms at their country’s call.

Capt. Robert E. Lee.

We rejoice, (says the Lynchburg “Virginia,”) that this distinguished officer and worthy son of Virginia, has withdrawn from Lincoln’s army and thrown himself upon the bosom of his native State. It was what we expected of the man. Capt. Maury has done likewise and thus, these two noble men, the very flower of the Army and Navy of the late United States, respond to the call of their glorious old mother. Sparta never had worthier sons. All honor to them and to the State that furnished them. Let no Coriolanus be found in the army of mercenaries that shall besiege the cities of Virginia. If there should be—even though it were a Scott, whose laurelled brow has towered like the sons of Saul, long a conspicuous object amongst his countrymen—the women may no entreat them, but will execrate their memory. Virginia expects every son of hers, no matter where he has been in the past, to do his duty now in this her hour of trial. If they be true Virginians they will act like Lee and Maury and Forrest have done.

The Alexandria “Gazette,”of Saturday last, and before the fact of Col. Lee’s resignation had transpired, thus referred to him:

It is probable that the secession of Virginia will cause an immediate resignation of many officers of the Army and Navy from this State. We do not know, and have no right to speak for or anticipate the course of Col. Robt. E. Lee. Whatever he may do, will be conscientious and honorable. But if should resign his present position in the Army of the United States, we call the immediate attention of our State to him, as an able, brave, experienced, officer:—no man his superior in all that constitutes the soldier and the gentleman—no man more worthy to head our forces and lead our army. There is no one who would command more of the confidence of the people of Virginia, that this distinguished officer; and no one under whom the volunteers and militia would more gladly rally. His reputation, his acknowledged ability, his chivalric character, his probity, honor and—may we add, to his eternal praise—his Christian life and conduct—make his very name a name of strength.—It is a name surrounded by revolutionary and patriotic associations and reminiscences.

Arrival of Troops from South Carolina.

Brigadier General M.D. Bonham, at the head of five hundred troops from South Carolina arrived here last evening by the Southern train. A large crowd of citizens and an escort of Virginia troops awaited them at the depot. Cheer after cheer greeted the representatives of the gallant Palmetto State. As we looked along their ranks, we were struck with their bold and manly appearance. Every man of them looked a hero; dark and sunburnt from exposure, their fine countenances lighted up with martial ardor, their fine physique, their perfect equipments, all denoted an invincible and heroic race of men. The Virginians cheered South Carolina, and the South Carolininans, in return , heartily cheered for the Old Dominion.

Gen. Bonham and staff have taken up their quarters at the Exchange Hotel. Their troops, we understand, are provided with comfortable accommodations at the new alms House, but recently erected.

A Proclamation by the Governor of Virginia


WHEREAS, in the emergency which was supposed to exist during the past week, arising from information that an invasion of the rivers of the State was about to be made, and the movements of the vessels of the United States with troops into the waters of this Commonwealth and the usual destruction of public property by the agents of that Government, both at Harper’s Ferry and at the Gosport Navy Yard, gave ample reason for such beliefs and whereas, under such circumstances, sundry vessels in the waters of the James River, the Rappahannock, York and Potomac Rivers, and their tributaries, have been seized and detained by the authorities of the State, or officers acting under patriotic motives without authority, and it is proper that such vessels and property should be promptly restored to the masters in command or to the owners there of; therefore I, JOHN LETCHER, Governor of the Commonwealth, do hereby proclaim that all private vessels and property so seized or detained, with the exception of the steamers Jamestown and Yorktown, shall be released and delivered up to the said masters or owners. Proper officers of the State Navy have been assigned to each of the rivers herein mentioned, with orders to release such vessels and property, and give certificates for damages incurred by the seizure and detention.

I feel it my duty further more, to advise the people of the Commonwealth, (not in the Military service of the State,) to return to their usual avocations, in connection with the trade and commerce of the country, assuring them protection and defence. If War is to be inaugurated by an attempt to invade this Commonwealth, or to use Coercion against the Southern Confederated States, a contingency dependent on the action of the Government of the United States, it shall be met, and conducted by this Commonwealth upon principles worthy of civilized nations and of this enlightened age. I appeal to all our people not to interfere with peaceable, unoffending citizens or others who preserve the peace and conform to our laws, and I do hereby especially discountenance all acts of seizure of private property without authority of law, and require that order shall be restored, and that all the laws be administered and executed by the tribunals especially assigned for the purpose.

Given under my hand as Governor and under the seal of the

{L. S.} Commonwealth at Richmond, 24th April, 1861, and in the 85th

year of the Commonwealth.JOHN LETCHER.

By the Governor:


Secretary of the Commonwealth.

The following officers of the State Navy are assigned to the duties required by this proclamation:

For James River—Captain Cocke and Commander Tucker.

For Potomac River—Captain Forrest and Lieutenant Semmes.

For Rappanannock River—Lieutenant Lewis.

For York River—Commander J. L. Henderson and Lieut. J. S. Maury.

A Proclamation by the Governor of Virginia.



The Convention of the Commonwealth of Virginia, having adopted, on the 17th day of April, 1861, an ordinance repeal the ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America, by the State of Virginia, and to resume all the rights and powers granted under said Constitution; and by the schedule thereto annexed, required polls to be opened for the ratification or rejection of the same by the people of this State, on the 4TH THURSDAY IN MAY next: Now, therefore, I, JOHN LETCHER, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, do hereby proclaim that the annexed is an authentic copy of the said Ordinance and schedule, and that all officers designated therein are required to conform to its provisions, in every respect.

Given under my hand, as Governor, and under the seal of the

{L. S.}Commonwealth, at Richmond, this 24th day of April, 1861, and

in the 85th year of the Commonwealth.


By the Governor, GEORGE W. MUNFORD,

Secretary of the Commonwealth.



The people of Virginia in their ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America adopted by them in Convention, on the twenty-fifth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, having declared that the powers granted under the said Constitution were derived from the people of the United States and might be resumed whensoever the same should be perverted to their injury and oppression, and the Federal government having perverted said powers, not only to the injury of the people of Virginia, but to the oppression of the Southern slaveholding States.

Now, therefore, we, the people of Virginia, do declare and ordain, that the Ordinance adopted by the people of this State in Convention on the twenty- fifth day of June, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, whereby the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified.; and all acts of the General Assembly of this State ratifying or adopting amendments to said Constitution, are hereby repealed and abrogated; that the Union between the State of Virginia and the other States under the Constitution aforesaid, is hereby dissolved, and that the State of Virginia is in the full possession and exercise of all the rights of sovereignty which belong and appertain to a free and independent State. And they do further declare that said Constitution of the United States of America is no longer binding on any of the citizens of this State.

This Ordinance shall take effect and be an act of this day, when ratified by a majority of the votes of the people of this State, cast at a poll to be taken thereon, on the fourth Thursday in may next, in pursuance of a schedule hereafter to be enacted.

Done in Convention in the city of Richmond, on the seventeenth day of April, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and one, and in the eighty-fifth year of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

A true Copy, JNO. L. EUBANK,

Secretary of Convention.

The Charleston Mercury

What has the South done to the North!

Since the foundation of the world, we do not suppose there has been a more wicked and causeless war than that proposed by the Northern upon the Southern States.

The Southern States, in common, with the Northern States, won, by a seven years’ war, their independence of the British Crown. In the treaty of peace extorted from Great Britain, they were each of them acknowledged to be free, sovereign and independent States. On account of their weakness amongst the nations of the earth, the union of the States, begun in the war, was continued after the war ended, and was afterwards modified by the present Constitution of the United States. From the commencement of the Government, the Northern States used the Constitution of the United States, and the common Government it established, for their enrichment at the expense of the South. They obtained bounties to make their fisheries profitable. They established a monopoly of the whole coasting navigation, to encourage their shipping interests. No foreign vessel could take a cargo from one portion of a State to another, or from one State to another. They used the power given to Congress to lay duties on foreign importations—designed only to raise revenue—to prohibit importations by the heavy duties imposed;—and thus to force the people of the South to consume their substituted productions, thereby virtually exacting enormous tribute from the people of the South. They seized the money in the Treasury thus unconstitutionally and iniquitously levied, to promote their interests in various ways—by pensions; by internal improvements; by profligate contracts; enriching their cities, and aggrandizing their section of the Union, by the expenditures of the Government.—They used the funds of the common Government to establish centres of credit at the North. By these means they made their section of the Union the great region of commerce and manufactures. The South, in all its sources of trade, became tributary to them. Our cities ceased to grow, or lingered in their prosperity mere suburbs to the cities of the North. The Southern States, to all intents and purposes, became colonies to the Northern States. With this state of things, one would suppose the Northern States would have been satisfied. But they were not satisfied. Our submission only fostered their impertinence and intermeddling arrogance. We became not only the subjects of their commercial gain, speculation and cupidity, but of their philanthropic, humanitarian intervention; and their consciences being burdened with our iniquities, they proposed to relieve them by the purifying process of insurrection and blood. For thirty years have they been making war on our institutions. Our political association with them has been one continual strife—they assailing us, and we endeavoring to defend ourselves—until, at last, they unite as a section upon the issue of a continuance of our domestic institutions, and seize the Government of the United States to overthrow them. We withdraw from a political association with them. We take nothing from them. Their property, their liberties, their lives are unassailed by us. We simply separate ourselves from them, and keep our own, and for daring to do this they muster their hosts together to conquer and subdue us. We, in South Carolina, send two Commissions to seek a peaceable adjustment of our relations with them. The Confederate States send also Commissioners, by peaceable negotiation, to settle every claim of interest or of honor they may have upon us. Our Commissioners are rejected and treated with indignity. They avow the determination to seize and keep the fortresses in the South, erected for our defence against foreign powers—to harass and subjugate us by military violence. And now, the President of the United States calls forth seventy thousand men to carry out these flagitous and unhallowed purposes. We resist them. We will resist them to the last. We have broken the chains of our ignoble vassalage to the North; at last, we are once more free; and will meet their wanton and insulting hostility with an energy and devotion, worthy, we trust, of the great cause of Independence and Liberty. But where in history can there be found a more causeless, wicked and detestable war than that which the North now proposes to wage upon the South? It has scarcely its parallel for ingratitude, perfidy and folly in the annals of the world. It is hideously unique.

Memphis Daily Appeal

The Ladies of Germantown.

Editors Appeal: We, the ladies of Germantown and vicinity, in consideration of the troubles that are brooding over our native land, have resolved to aid to the best of our ability our relatives and friends who shall engage in the approaching conflict. We, therefore, offer to the soldiers of Germantown all the assistance in our power with our needles, and promise also to aid in the care and sustenance of their families during their absence. And should the war approach our own homes, we will watch over the sick and wounded (though strangers) as our own brothers or fathers.

Mrs. Maria L. Pettit, Mrs. E. B. Cornelius, Mrs. Mills, Mrs. Moliter, Mrs. Morgan, Mrs. Rhodes, Mrs. Harris, Mrs. Hicks, Mrs. Boardman, Mrs. Burnley, Mrs. Goode, and many others.

Arkansas True Democrat

(Little Rock)

Public Meeting in Pope County.

Norristown, Ark., April 16, 1861.

The citizens of this and surrounding vicinity on hearing of the commencement of the contemplated and attempted reinforcement of Fort Sumter, and at the same time of its bombardment and fall into the hands of the Confederate States, met in mass meeting to give vent and expression to their feelings, which was done in the following manner: First, the erection of a pole with a large flag of the Confederate States floating proudly to the breeze. This was done in the public square amidst the roar of platoons and thunders of applause. This being done, a large company of ladies and gentlemen repairing to a suitable house decorated for the occasion by mottoes and emblems indicative of our feelings and sympathies for the southern confederacy.

From Johnson County.

Clarksville, Ark., April 20, 1861.

Messrs. Editors: This has been a glorious day for Johnson county. By appointment the people from the country flocked into town in large numbers; the ladies were all out, the business houses were closed; in short, every body and his family were out to see the presentating of a large and handsome southern flag by Miss Sallie Robinson, who represented the ladies, to Dr. J. P Mitchell, the representative of the people of Johnson county. After the presentation of the flag of the Confederate States of America was hoisted to the masthead of a pole one hundred and two feet high, and was greeted with the enthusiastic cheers of the people—the salutes of the military and the firing of anvil artillery.—Patriotic speeches were delivered by our legislators, Ward, Robinson and Cravens, and by our delegates, Batson and Floyd, amidst the waving of handkerchiefs and hats, three hearty huzzas were given for the Southern Confederacy. Soon afterwards dispatches were received announcing that Virginia had seceded, and that Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee and Missouri had emphatically refused to furnish a single man, or any number of men, to fight under the black flag of abolitionism. I never have seen people so deeply excited—cheers loud and long rent the air, the artillery was again brought out and round after round was fired until the sky was almost darkened with the smoke.—One more star was added to the flag and it was again sent home, where it waves over people who are determined to “do or die.”

Making Uniforms

The ladies we understand have taken up the cause in earnest. They were up till on o’clock Tuesday night making uniforms for the Prairie company, who came in about twelve o’clock on Monday, on their way to Fort Smith. Fifty jackets had to be bought, cut and made; and though they were not finished in time, as they had left at eleven, yet they were sent up on the first boat.

Daily Advocate

(Baton Rouge, LA)

Military—A Suggestion.

The war spirit manifested in our noble little parish is highly creditable to its patriotism. Recruiting goes on rapidly. The Pelican Rifles now overnumber the quota required to fill a company. And the Creole Guards will complete its ranks in a few days. Capt. Rauhman’s (German) company of National Guards are drilling regularly and receiving accessions to their numbers. This company is composed entirely of our adopted citizens, and in a short time will be ready to prove, on the tented field, their devotion to the land of their adoption. In the next battle the Baton Rouge boys will give the Yankees a taste of their valor which they will remember for many a long day.

Notwithstanding this cheering display of eagerness to aid their country’s cause, manifested among our citizens of all classes, a more fervid impulse would be infused in the military movement if some reliable arrangements could be made to support the families of poor men during their engagement in the service of their country. We have heard of quite a number of this class, ardent to partake of the patriotic duties of a campaign, but restrained, on account of the daily necessities of their families, to enlist. Their daily labor is the only support of their wives and children. They cannot go to the wars and leave those they love best to starve or subsist upon uncertain charities. While anxious to serve their country, the dearest ties known to the human heart bind them to the ministries of household needs. Now, in order to allow such a participancy in the labors of patriotism, to the same extent enjoyed by their wealthier fellow-citizens, let some special, certain and reliable fund be set aside for the support of their families. And the best and quickest way of raising such a fund is for our Police Jury to assemble as soon as possible and appropriate a suitable account, say $20,000 out of the general treasury of the parish. The fund might be raised by private subscription, but that method would be very slow, uncertain and unequal. If the parish assumed guardianship over poor soldiers’ families, its charities would be sure, punctual and ennobling; if from private hands unreliable and probably vexatious to all concerned. Besides, the public source of relief would be replenished by a fair and impartial assessment. In fact, it would be derived from a general taxation, which is the surest and most equitable mode of creating a fund for a purpose so purely public and necessary as this.

Diary of a Yankee in the Patent Office

by Horatio Nelson Taft

THURSDAY, APRIL 25, 1861.—The 7th Regt is at last here, came at 12 o’clock and created much enthusiasm. We breathe a little free now. Self and wife attended the funeral of Mr Danl Douglass at 4 o’clock and then went to the Ave and took an Onibus and went to the Capitol. The Mass Regt were drilling in the East grounds. There were many spectators on foot and in carriages. The Prests Carriage with Mrs Lincoln and Mr Seward with himself, wife & son. On our return we saw the whole 7th Regt drawn up on the Ave near the National. We stoped at Gautiers and took tea. Got home at 9 c.

A Rebel War Clerk’s Diary

by John Beauchamp Jones

April 25th — Ex-President Tyler  and Vice-President Stephens are negotiating a treaty which is to ally Virginia to the Confederate States.

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The first volume, with four issues, was published in 2004. Each issue contained a variety of articles, poems, and images, with no particular focus other than the American Civil War. 

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