Saturday, April 30, 2011

US troops evacuate Indian Territory

Fort Washita, Indian Territory
  • Under orders from President Lincoln, US troops evacuate the forts in Indian Territory, leaving the Five Civilized Nations – Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks, and Seminoles – virtually under Confederate jurisdiction and responsibility. US Col. William H. Emory evacuates Fort Wachita and marches to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas./1861
  • John Archibald Campbell. Library of Congress d...Image via Wikipedia
    Justice J.A. Campbell
  • US Supreme Court Justice John Archibald Campbell of Georgia, who had acted as a mediator between the Confederate peace commissioners and Secretary of State William Seward and who had been a leader in the Washington Peace Conference, resigns today from the U.S. Supreme Court to serve as Assistant Secretary of War for the Confederacy./1861 
  • The Tennessee State Legislature convenes in secret session in Nashville. Rumors say they have adopted a secession ordinance, which they will announce after an attack on Washington that is expected to take place on May 4./1861
  • Confederate diplomats Pierre Rost and William Lowndes Yancey arrive in London, joining Ambrose Dudley Mann who arrived April 15th. Immediately they begin meeting with those in the British Government who are sympathetic to the South./1861 
  •  The New York City Yacht Club votes to volunteer its vessels to the Federal Navy if needed to put down the insurrection in the South./1861

Friday, April 29, 2011

Maryland rejects secession

Maryland State House
  • In a dramatic moment in Annapolis, the Maryland House of Delegates votes on whether to call a secession convention. If approved, the District of Columbia would be left as an island surrounded by seceded states, Virginia to the south, Maryland to the other three points of the compass, and the Federal capitol would be forced to relocate north, possibly New York or Philadelphia. At the end of debate, the House of Delegates votes 53-13 to reject a secession convention, dashing the hopes of a sizable pro-secession group in Maryland, but the secession movement in Maryland, especially on the Eastern Shore, continues to be strong./1861
  • The Second Session of the Provisional Confederate Congress convenes in Montgomery, Alabama, and President Jefferson Davis announces that all the seceded states have ratified the Provisional Constitution. Davis also explains the reasons for secession, saying, “We protest solemnly in the face of mankind that we desire peace at any sacrifice save that of honor and independence.”/1861

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Lincoln thanks 7th New York

  • President Lincoln addresses and thanks the Seventh New York Infantry on this Sunday afternoon at their quarters – the unfinished chamber of the United States House of Representatives./1861

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lincoln suspends writ of habeas corpus

Page one of Proclamation 94,
Page 1 of Lincoln Proclamation 94 suspending writ
    Page two of Proclamation 94, Image via Wikipedia
    Page 2 of Proclamation 94: Suspension of writ
  • In a bold offense to inalienable human rights and affront to the Constitution, President Lincoln suspends the writ of habeas corpus in an area stretching from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Washington, D.C., to protect troops from pro-Confederate mobs.   This suspension will continue until after the war even though a Supreme Court case rules against it on May 27.  He assigns General Winfield Scott to supervise incidents arising from the suspension. This area has had much secessionist turmoil centered in Baltimore, Maryland, and has caused severe disruption of troops moving into Washington./1861
  • In addition, Lincoln extends the naval blockade to the ports of Virginia and North Carolina./1861 
  • With the need to establish the national allegiance of all members of the US Army in light of the numbers of resignations by Southern officers, all United States Army officers are required to take the oath of allegiance to the United States. Lincoln also makes several department appointments in the Army: Brig, Gen. Benjamin Franklin Butler, Massachusetts militia, is assigned to the command of the Department of Annapolis, Maryland. US Col. Joseph K. F. Mansfield, is assigned to command the Department of Washington, D.C., and Maj. Gen. Robert Patterson, to the Department of Pennsylvania. For fear of the secession of Maryland, the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., is ordered to be removed to Fort Adams, Rhode Island./1861

    Tuesday, April 26, 2011

    Va. alliance proposed, NC Gov calls special session

    Alexander Stephens.Image via Wikipedia
    VP A.S. Stephens
    • President Davis in Montgomery has sent Vice President Alexander Hamilton Stephens to "get Virginia" and today Stephens proposes a military alliance with Virginia. Meanwhile, Major General Robert E. Lee of the Virginia Militia assigns Maj. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston to the command of Virginia State forces in and about Richmond hours after he arrives in town after having resigned from the US Army on April 22. One of Johnston's officers, Major Thomas J. Jackson, unhappy with his assignment from Virginia Governor as Major of Topographical Engineers, contacts the man who helped him get an appointment to West Point, J.M. Bennett, who has known him since boyhood. Bennett informs Governor Letcher and some members of the Virginia Convention of Jackson's resume -- a West Point graduate with honorable service in the Mexican War. This is good information for Governor Letcher who had only known Jackson as a professor at Virginia Military Institute./1861 
    • Georgia Governor Joseph Brown repudiates all debts by the State of Georgia or any of its residents which are owed to any Northern person or company by any of his citizens, the state itself, or any of its agencies./1861
    • NC Gov. John Ellis
      In Raleigh, North Carolina,Governor John Ellis, who had already rejected Lincoln’s levy for troops, calling it unconstitutional and “a gross usurpation of power," today issues a proclamation about Lincoln's “high-handed act of tyrannical outrage” calling a special session of the State legislature to consider secession. Ellis says that Lincoln's order for 75,000 troops was “conceived in a spirit of aggression unparalleled by any act of recorded history,” reminding North Carolina citizens that their “first allegiance is due to the sovereignty which protects their homes and dearest interests, as their first service is due for the sacred defence of their hearts, and of the soil which holds the graves of our glorious dead. United action in defence of the sovereignty of North Carolina, and of the rights of the South, becomes now the duty of all.”/1861
    • In the White House, President Lincoln addresses the "Frontier Guard, under the command of Senator [James H.] Lane of Kansas." The Frontier Guard's soldiers assist in defending the "neighborhood of the Executive Mansion." Lincoln remarks, "I have desired as sincerely as any man . . . that our present difficulties might be settled without the shedding of blood. . . . But if the alternative is presented, whether the Union is to be broken in fragments and the liberties of the people lost, or blood be shed, you will probably make the choice, with which I shall not be dissatisfied."/1861

    Monday, April 25, 2011

    Illinois militia steal from St. Louis arsenal

    • Much to President Lincoln’s relief, New York's 7th Regiment arrives in Washington, having gone around Baltimore by boat. Lincoln considers the monstrous anti-Constitutional act of sending US troops to prevent the Maryland Legislature from meeting and potentially arming the people of that state against the United States, but he concludes it would not be justifiable./1861
    • Governor John Letcher proclaims Virginia a part of the Southern Confederacy./1861
    • U.S. Arsenal, St. Louis, Missouri
      Missouri is on the verge of secession, and St. Louis has one of the largest federal arsenals west of the Appalachian mountains. No wonder President Davis has been urging Missiouri governor Claiborne Jackson to seize it. Others also had their eye on that St. Louis arsenal. In a daring nighttime theft to damage Missouri secessionists, Illinois militiamen led by Captain James H. Stokes of Chicago, secretly steam on the Mississippi River from Alton, Illinois, to St. Louis, Missouri, and by theft remove 10,000 muskets from the Federal Arsenal with the help of federal troops there. In his return to Alton, Illinois, the next morning, he supplies munitions to the Illinois state militia./1861
    • Brig. Gen. Edwin Vose Sumner is appointed commander of the Department of California, replacing Col. Albert Sidney Johnston, who resigns to become a full General commanding Confederate Department No. 2, which encompasses most of the western Confederacy./1861
    • Battle of Indianola, Texas. Major C. C. (Caleb Chase) Sibley surrenders 420 United States Infantry troops to Confederate forces capture at Saluria, Texas./1861

    Sunday, April 24, 2011

    Lincoln nervous, Lee takes Virginia command

    White House in 1861
    • In Washington, President Lincoln continues to worry about the security of the District as Maryland teeters near secession. Fearful that Washington may be left in a sea of secessionism, Lincoln readies a steamer on the Potomac River to be used immediately in the event that President and Cabinet must flee the city. With only a few military units having arrived in Washington, Lincoln says to the wounded of the 6th Massachusetts, “I don’t believe there is any North. The Seventh Regiment is a myth [units which have arrived] are the only Northern realities.” Mistakenly fearing the Southern states will invade Washington, he says to US Senator Reverdy Johnson (Maryland), "I have no purpose to invade Virginia . . . I have no objection to declare a thousand times that I have no purpose to invade Virginia or any other State, but I do not mean to let them invade us without striking back."/1861
    • Around Arlington Heights, Virginia, Virginia Major General Robert E. Lee takes command of 5,000 Virginia Militia./1861

    Saturday, April 23, 2011

    Lee to command Virginia militia

    Maj Gen RE Lee, Virginia Militia
    • Nominated by Governor Letcher of Virginia and approved by the Assembly yesterday, Robert E. Lee assumes command of Virginia's militia and naval force, commissioned major general of Virginia forces--the highest rank of the Virginia Militia. Meanwhile, the Virginia secession convention ratifies a temporary union with the Confederacy and ratifies the Confederate Constitution, subject to approval by a May 23rd public referendum of the Virginia Ordinance of Secession./1861 
    • Arkansas State Militia, sent by Governor Henry M. Rector, arrives in Fort Smith, Arkansas, to seize the U.S. army post there, but find that U.S. troops have already abandoned it./1861
    • President Jefferson Davis urges Missouri Governor Claiborne Jackson to seize the Federal arsenal at St. Louis, one of the largest west of the Appalachian Mountains, then join the Confederacy./1861
    • George McClellan is appointed Major General of the Ohio militia./1861
    • At San Antonio, Texas, Confederate forces under Colonel Earl Van Dorn arrest the officers of the 8th United States Infantry as prisoners of war while Confederates commanded by James Duff capture a company of 8th US Infantry formerly commanded by US Colonel Robert E. Lee near San Antonio./1861

    Friday, April 22, 2011

    Lincoln: "What is to become of the revenue?"

    Governor Hicks, though himself a slaveholder, ...Image via Wikipedia
    Gov. T.H. Hicks
    • Maryland Governor Thomas Holliday Hicks calls a session of the Maryland legislature to consider secession. Unrest in Baltimore continues to threaten the security of the District of Columbia as troops go through Maryland on their way to Washington. President Jefferson Davis, communicating with Virginia Governor John Letcher, indicates his hope that he will be able to “sustain Baltimore if possible.”/1861
    • Pres. Lincoln
      President Lincoln meets at the White House with a distinguished delegation of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) of Baltimore led by Rev. Dr. Fuller of the Baptist Church of Baltimore. According to the Baltimore Sun, Fuller endeavors to impress on the President his unique responsibility and privilege to foment fratricidal war or a lasting peace. Lincoln asks, “But what am I to do?” Fuller urges him to recognize that the Southern States have formed a government of their own and they will not come back. Without referring to the constitutionality of secession, Fuller suggests he can simply recognize the Confederacy and both North and South can be relieved of their great anxieties and move forward in pursuit of peace. Lincoln responds, “And what is to become of the revenue? I will have no government, no resources,” reflecting the underlying reason for Lincoln’s great vision for preserving the Union – the fact that the Southern States provided a majority of Federal government revenue. As the conversation turns to the offense of troops coming through Baltimore to “subdue the South,” Lincoln insists that he has called the troops only for defense of the Capitol, not for invasion of the Southern States. “And,” Lincoln says, “I must have the troops, and mathematically, the necessity exists that they should come through Maryland. They can’t crawl under the earth, and they can’t fly over it, and mathematically they must come across it. Why sir, those Carolinians are now crossing Virginia to come here and hang me, and what can I do?” Despite Fuller’s pleading for a peaceful course, Lincoln remarked that there “would be no Washington in that, no Jackson in that, no spunk in that!” Dr. Fuller hoped that Lincoln would not allow spunk to override patriotism, but Lincoln said there was no way that he or Congress would recognize the Southern Confederacy. After the YMCA delegation departs the White House, they “agreed on the hopelessness of their errand and the sad prospect that any good thing from such a source, and the exclamation was actually made, ‘God have mercy on us, when the Government is placed in the hands of a man like this!”/1861
    • Following the destruction of the Norfolk Navy Yard, the Washington Navy Yard has become indispensible. But there are personnel problems. Today Commandant Capt. Franklin Buchanan resigns to serve with the South. The Chief of Navy Ordnance, George Magruder, flees to Canada for the duration of the war, and the entire yard has dwindled to 150 men./1861
    • The Clarksburg (present-day West Virginia) Convention calls for an anti-secessionist convention to be held in May, 1861./1861
    • Illinois state militia garrisons Cairo, Illinois, on the Mississippi River./1861
    • Arkansas Governor Henry M. Rector refuses to send troops to support Lincoln’s quota to suppress secession, stating, “the people of this commonwealth are freemen, not slaves, and will defend to the extremity their honor, lives, against Northern mendacity and usurpation.”/1861
    • North Carolina state militia assumes control of the Federal arsenal at Fayetteville, North Carolina./1861

    Thursday, April 21, 2011

    Upper South in turmoil

    Professor Thomas J. Jackson, VMI
    • Pro-secessionist riots continue in Baltimore, Maryland as President Lincoln meets at the White House with Baltimore Mayor Brown and General Winfield Scott to find ways to stop the violence./1861
    • Colonel Thomas J. Jackson, professor at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia, attends chapel with the cadets this Sunday morning, then summons stagecoaches in the afternoon to the train station where he will lead nearly the entire school to travel to Richmond to enlist to defend Virginia, the Confederacy, and their homes./1861
    • In Wheeling, western Virginia, Monongahela County hosts Pro-Union delegates from the northwestern countries of Virginia in the Virginia Union Convention to pass resolutions against secession and elect a provisional government that in 1863 will become the new state of West Virginia. Senator Andrew Johnson, of Tennessee, is mobbed and treated rudely by a large crowd at Lynchburg, Virginia, as he passed through on his way from Washington to Tennessee. The Richmond Dispatch reported, “A large crowd assembled and groaned him, and offered every indignity he deserved, including pulling his nose.”  The conductor and others intervene, and Johnson is eventually able to continue on his way.”/1861 
    • Robert Breckinridge supported Abraham Lincoln ...Image via Wikipedia
      J.C. Breckenridge
    • Kentucky Senator John C. Breckinridge (and former US Vice President and future Confederate general and Confederate Secretary of War) rightly denounces Lincoln’s proclamation calling for troops as illegal and unconstitutional unless Congress approves a declaration of hostilities./1861
    • Louisiana Governor Moore asks the citizens of his state for 5,000 more infantry volunteers./1861
    • Colonel Earl Van Dorn assumes command of Confederate forces in Texas./1861
    • The Lincoln Administration, in a move to secure Washington, assumes government control of the Philadelphia and Baltimore Railroad. Manufacturers of Sharp’s rifles and Colt revolvers announce they will halt sales to the Southern states./1861
    • North Carolina militia seizes the United States mint at Charlotte, N. C./1861

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011

    Lee resigns, Norfolk Navy Yard burned

    R.E. Lee's resignation from the US Army
    • Robert E. Lee resigns his commission, only a few weeks old, as Colonel of the United States Army, showing his loyalty to and love for his gallant State of Virginia and his beloved Southland./1861
    •  President Jefferson Davis, in his Post Sumter Address to Congress today, says: "All we want is to be left alone."/1861 
    • In a move to prevent naval property from falling into the hands of the Confederacy, Federal troops under orders from Commandant Charles S. McCauley scuttle ships and set fire to the Federal Gosport Naval Yard and evacuate Norfolk, Virginia, hauling out the U.S.S. Cumberland. McCauley’s instructions are to destroy what could not be saved, which results in several ships being burnt at their moorings. One of them is the USS Merrimac. She is partly burned, then sunk. She will rise again, under as the ironclad CSS Virginia. McCauley’s action angers Union officials because it makes more difficult the implementation of the naval blockade./1861
    • President Lincoln issues a military order for regiments coming to Washington to bypass Baltimore, Maryland, because of the civil unrest there as Federal troops begin to pour into the Washington, D.C., region. In Maryland, Confederate sympathizers destroy several railroad bridges on the Northern Pennsylvania Railroad to prevent the passage of troops to Washington as well as wires and tracks in Delaware and Pennsylvania. The 4th Mass. Regiment commanded by Brig. Gen. Ebenezer W. Pierce arrives at Fortress Monroe, Virginia, to protect Washington from attack, since it is only accessible by water now as the rail line from Harper’s Ferry, Virginia is controlled by Virginia troops and Maryland secessionists have burned the railroad bridges from Baltimore. General Butler's command arrives at Annapolis, Maryland./1861
    • Confederate sympathizers in Missouri seize the United States arsenal at Liberty, Missouri./1861
    • A secession meeting attended by several local militia companies and a large number of county residents in the town of Guyandotte (now West Virginia), an island of secessionism in far western Virginia near Ohio, calls for the state to approve the secession actions of the Virginia legislature and secession convention. A newly sewn state flag was raised by two of the town's oldest citizens "amid the enthusiastic applause of the multitude and the rejoicing of the ladies, a large number of whom were present." One of many speeches given that day was interrupted by the arrival of a steamer, which brought the official news of Virginia's break with the Union. The already upbeat mood turned jubilant, and salutes were fired to the Confederacy and to President Jefferson Davis. Albert Jenkins, who had given up his congressional seat, arrived and led some of the volunteer companies to his farm at Greenbottom, where they began drilling in preparation for war. Known as the Border Rangers, these local men soon joined a Confederate force at Camp Tompkins in the Kanawha Valley./1861

    Gods and Generals - I Will Not Lead Them
    Tags: Gods and Generals - I Will Not Lead Them

    Tuesday, April 19, 2011

    Naval blockade, Baltimore massacre

    • In Washington, President Lincoln in another of his infamous warmongering actions and without a Constitutionally required Congressional declaration of war, surprises many and proclaims a bold naval blockade of all Southern ports. The Blockade will become a major part of Winfield Scott’s Anaconda Plan. The primary reason the President gives for the blockade is that “the laws of the United States for the collection of the revenue cannot be effectually executed therein.” In response to Jefferson Davis’ April 17 offer to authorize Southern privateers, Lincoln’s proclamation also declares that all privateering would be considered piracy. The Department of the Navy finds itself under immediate orders to place ships at all critical ports of the Confederacy. The blockade is initially spotty since the navy has 42 usable ships, 555 guns, and 7,600 sailors scattered around the world to block 3,500 miles of Atlantic and Gulf coastline.   However, it will be increased to 264 ships, 2,557 guns, and 22, 000 sailors by the end of 1861 and increase steadily thereafter until at the end of the war it will have 626 ships and 51,500 sailors. The US Supreme Court will later hold that Lincoln’s Blockade is the legal beginning of the War, giving further evidence that Lincoln, not the seceded states, fomented this war. /1861 
    • From Baltimore, Maryland, an important city for supply and defense of Washington, D.C., Mayor George W. Brown informs President Lincoln "that it is not possible for more soldiers to pass through Baltimore unless they fight their way at every step. In Baltimore, Southern sympathizers cut telegraph lines and bridges to Washington, D. C. Carrying Confederate flags, they attack the 6th Massachusetts Regiment as they pass through the city toward Washington. The 6th Massachusetts responds by opening fire on the crowd. When the dust settles, four soldiers and between nine and eleven civilians are dead and many wounded, 17 from the 6th Massachusetts. They are among the first casualties of the War Between the States, and earning the incident the sobriquet of the Baltimore Massacre. The 6th Massachusetts then proceeds to the District and is quartered for the night in the U.S. Senate Chamber. The US Navy will now be employed to ferry troops from Philadelphia and Annapolis to Washington, bypassing Baltimore./1861
    • Virginia State Militia assumes command of the destroyed Federal Arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia./1861
    • ·         The Northern States, misunderstanding that the South seceded because they wanted to be left alone, are shocked by fearful rumors. False reports circulate concerning a Southern troop movement toward Washington. Troops from Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and the New England states begin to assemble. Even Quebec sends 600 men. Federal marshals seize the records of telegraphs sent from major Northern cities, leading to the arrest of Southern sympathizers. President Lincoln assigns Maj. Gen. Robert Patterson, Pennsylvania militia, to military command of the States of Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and District of Columbia. The city of brotherly love, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, appropriates $1,000,000 to equip volunteers and support their families to subdue the South./1861

    Monday, April 18, 2011

    Lee offered US Army command, VA militia takes Harper's Ferry

    Col. Robert E. Lee, USA, 1861
    • Major Robert Anderson and his Fort Sumter garrison arrives in New York to a hero’s welcome while President Lincoln in Washington listens to an eyewitness account from Mr. Wiley of New York of what he saw in Charleston Friday night, April 12, 1861, during the battle of Fort Sumter. Lincoln then retires early but upon being awakened by John Hay, his assistant secretary, to inform him of a possible plot against his life, Lincoln grins./1861
    • F.B. Blair, Sr., presents orders to Colonel Robert Edward Lee, USA, from General of the Army, Winfield Scott. On personal orders from President Lincoln, Scott offers command of the entire US Army to Colonel Robert E. Lee to coerce the South, and a terrible dilemma confronts Lee: Fame or Service to his State. /1861
    • Virginia militia under command of Brig. Gen. William H. Harman chases out of Harper's Ferry, Virginia, the Union garrison under command of Lieutenant Jones who destroys as much as possible beforehand to prevent its falling into the possession of the Confederate or Virginia governments./1861 
    • Colonel Cake with 400 men, four companies, of the Twenty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers arrives in Washington, D. C., the first volunteer troops to enter the city for its defense. On the way, the companies must change trains in Baltimore, Maryland, and march through the city where pro-secession flags fly from buildings on Federal hill. Southern sympathizers cat call, sneer, and make rude remarks. But the tension in Baltimore is decidedly rising./1861
    • Claiborne Fox JacksonImage by Allen Gathman via Flickr
      Missouri Gov. C.F. Jackson
    • Governor Claiborne F. Jackson, of Missouri, in rejecting President Lincoln’s demand for a state quota of troops to fight the seceded states, declares the requisition is “illegal, unconstitutional, revolutionary, inhuman, diabolical and cannot be complied with.”/1861
    • Georgia Governor Joseph E. Brown, in response to the Federal call for troops, calls on all Georgia men to volunteer for military service with this statement, “Let us all, with one accord, prepare to welcome the invaders with "bloody hands to hospitable graves." We have to deal with an enemy wily and treacherous, base, malignant and full of hate. It is impossible to know what are the full designs of Lincoln and his black band. Of one thing we may be assured: they will strike any and all the harm they have the power to do. Therefore we can lose nothing by being fully and thoroughly prepared at every point, and for any emergency. Now we recommend that every man capable of bearing arms, regardless of age, and every boy sixteen years old and upwards, begin immediately to train and drill. ..../1861
    • Arkansas troops seize U.S. stores at Napoleon, Arkansas./1861