The American Civil War, day by day - Page 7 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14978974
January 11, Friday

A fourth state departs from the United States. By vote of 61 to 39 the Alabama State Convention at Montgomery adopts an ordinance of secession, joining South Carolina, Mississippi, and Florida. The vote against secession was considerably larger than in previous votes of other states, but many of those who felt bound in principle to oppose secession state that now that the issue has been decided they will support their state. There had been considerable debate in the convention, especially over a proposed referendum. Northern Alabama, particularly, has strong pockets of anti-secession sentiment. But again, as elsewhere, this night in Montgomery the streets are crowded, rockets blaze, firecrackers pop, and people shout. The Southern Cross and the Lone Star are the emblems of the time, displayed in illuminated transparencies.

South Carolina again demands the surrender of Fort Sumter and is summarily refused by Major Anderson.

Louisiana troops take possession of the US Marine Hospital below New Orleans.

In the North the legislature of New York adopts strong pro-Union resolutions.

Staunch Unionist John A. Dix of New York is appointed Secretary of the Treasury to succeed Philip F. Thomas.

To Republican Congressman James T. Hale of Pennsylvania, President-elect Lincoln writes that he has won the election and “Now we are told in advance, the government shall be broken up, unless we surrender to those we have beaten, before we take the office.” He adds, “If we surrender, it is the end of us, and of the government.”

Mass meetings continue North and South.

Former Secretary of War Floyd in Richmond urges opposition to coercion, while a Federal judge in Mobile announces from the windows of his courtroom that the US Court for the South District of Alabama is “adjourned forever.”
#14978977
At Jackson, Mississippi, the State Convention votes 84 to 15 to secede.

At Tallahassee the Florida State Convention passes an ordinance of secession 62 to 7.

By vote of 61 to 39 the Alabama State Convention at Montgomery adopts an ordinance of secession.

I would imagine that with those votes, a lot of people in South Carolina breathed a big sigh of relief. Sure, the odds were high that other states would secede, but now it's done and South Carolina isn't alone.
#14978980
I would imagine that with those votes, a lot of people in South Carolina breathed a big sigh of relief. Sure, the odds were high that other states would secede, but now it's done and South Carolina isn't alone.

Indeed. But without SC's prompting, the other states might never have dared to go through with it. Revolutions are made by those willing to risk everything on a single throw of the dice.
#14978986
Potemkin wrote:Indeed. But without SC's prompting, the other states might never have dared to go through with it. Revolutions are made by those willing to risk everything on a single throw of the dice.

True, I'm sure we've all been in a group where everyone is looking around, wondering who's going to step forward first. Mind, I doubt anyone was all that surprised that it was South Carolina.
#14979248
January 12, Saturday

Mississippi representatives in Congress withdraw from the House, while back home artillery is ordered to Vicksburg to help control shipping on the Mississippi.

Star of the West arrives in New York after its failure at Charleston.

Florida state troops take over Barrancas Barracks, Fort Barrancas, Fort McRee, and the Pensacola Navy Yard. At the same time they demand the surrender of Fort Pickens, which is refused.

Senator Seward of New York in an important address in the Senate, says, “The alarm is appalling; for the Union is not more the body than liberty is the soul of the nation ... A continuance of the debate on the constitutional power of Congress over the subject of slavery in the Territories will not save the Union. The Union cannot be saved by proving that secession is illegal or unconstitutional.” He dreads civil war and adds, “I do not know what the Union would be worth if saved by the use of the sword.” He proposes that slavery be left alone where it exists and under control of the states, but opposes slavery in the territories.

The Ohio legislature pledges its support to the Union.

An abolitionist meeting in Rochester, New York, is broken up by pro-Union sympathizers.
#14979626
January 13, Sunday

Governor Pickens of South Carolina asks Washington for $3,000 due him as former Minister to Russia; the Treasury sends him a draft on the Charleston Subtreasury, already taken over by the state.

Two envoys arrive in Washington. One, Lieutenant J. Norman Hall, carries messages from Major Anderson regarding the demand for the surrender of Fort Sumter and Anderson’s refusal. The other, J.W. Hayne, Attorney General of South Carolina, represents the governor and demands surrender of the fort. Thus there seems to be a sort of temporary truce set up between Anderson and Governor Pickens, until Anderson can get further instructions. This truce embarrasses Buchanan, but he later claims this arrangement ends February 5 with Washington informing the South Carolina commissioner that Fort Sumter would not be surrendered under any circumstances. Each side appears to misunderstand the other in this matter.
#14979854
January 14, Monday

The House of Representatives Committee of Thirty-Three, like the Senate Committee of Thirteen, is unable to agree on any compromise proposals. In fact, they are unwilling to act for or against. Finally Chairman Thomas Corwin of Ohio is authorized to report the main proposals to the House. On January 14 Corwin submits a proposed constitutional amendment which would protect slavery where it exists, and rule out any other amendment concerning slavery except by approval of the slaveholding states. Also he proposes repeal of the personal liberty laws, and execution of the fugitive slave laws, but urges admitting fugitive slaves to jury trials. Others of the committee oppose this report. Little comes of it except that the amendment protecting slavery will be passed by Congress but never ratified by the states.

Louisiana state troops seize Fort Pike, Louisiana, near New Orleans.

Federal troops garrison Fort Taylor at Key West, Florida, in a move that perhaps prevents seizure, and provides the Union with a vital base for supplying and coaling blockaders and other vessels throughout the war. Without such bases on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, the blockade and many military operations would be impossible.
#14979987
One Degree wrote:https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corwin_Amendment

Interesting side note, the Corwin amendment was reintroduced in 1963.

It wasn't exactly reintroduced, since it's never been taken out of circulation--if it was to by ratified by 38 states, it would become part of the Constitution. Not that it would mean anything, the amendment it was designed to prevent have been a part of the Constitution for 150 years and there isn't any drive to pass amendments to interfere with other state institutions. These days, to amend the Constitution all you need to to get enough judges to declare that your alteration has been a part of the Constitution all along.
#14979991
Doug64 wrote:It wasn't exactly reintroduced, since it's never been taken out of circulation--if it was to by ratified by 38 states, it would become part of the Constitution. Not that it would mean anything, the amendment it was designed to prevent have been a part of the Constitution for 150 years and there isn't any drive to pass amendments to interfere with other state institutions. These days, to amend the Constitution all you need to to get enough judges to declare that your alteration has been a part of the Constitution all along.



I probably should have been more specific. It was introduced in the Texas legislature for ratification in 1963.
#14980085
January 15, Tuesday

Demands that Fort Pickens be surrendered to Florida are refused by the Federal commander once more.

Talk is increasing throughout the South of a new confederation of Southern states and plans are being laid for a convention.
#14980396
January 16, Wednesday

The Crittenden Compromise is effectually killed in the U.S. Senate. The Senate adopts a resolution that the Constitution “needs to be obeyed rather than amended.” Six Southern senators who refuse to vote and the votes of Republicans defeat Crittenden once more. For most of the month the Senate has been debating compromise in general with many fine words, many ideas, and some heat, but no working conclusion has been reached.

The Arkansas legislature completes a bill calling for a referendum on secession.
#14980398
Doug64 wrote:January 16, Wednesday

The Crittenden Compromise is effectually killed in the U.S. Senate. The Senate adopts a resolution that the Constitution “needs to be obeyed rather than amended.” Six Southern senators who refuse to vote and the votes of Republicans defeat Crittenden once more. For most of the month the Senate has been debating compromise in general with many fine words, many ideas, and some heat, but no working conclusion has been reached.

The Arkansas legislature completes a bill calling for a referendum on secession.

By this stage, no political compromise was possible or even desirable. The Senate was correct.
#14980405
Potemkin wrote:By this stage, no political compromise was possible or even desirable. The Senate was correct.


Only if you think military occupation is preferable to allowing voluntary secession. Personally, I don’t see this morally justifiable.
#14981055
January 18, Friday

President Buchanan names Joseph Holt of Kentucky as Secretary of War to succeed John B. Floyd, who had resigned under fire. Holt, a strong supporter of the Union, had been Postmaster General and effective in bolstering the President’s position.

The U.S. Army garrisons Fort Jefferson on Dry Tortugas, Florida, off Key West. Though not as useful as Key West, the fort will become famous as a prison for political prisoners during the war.

Florida again requests the surrender of Fort Pickens and again is turned down.

The legislature of Massachusetts offers the President aid in man and money in order to maintain the authority of the nation.
#14981286
January 19, Saturday

Georgia becomes the fifth state to depart from the Union as its State Convention at Milledgeville votes 208 to 89 in favor of an ordinance of secession. Prior to Lincoln’s election it appeared that a majority of Georgians favored the Union to some extent. But the election followed by the secession of South Carolina and other deep South states have swayed many. There still, however, is a strong moderate group led by Alexander H. Stephens, Herschel V. Johnson, and Benjamin H. Hill opposing secession. Such men as Howell Cobb, Thomas R.R. Cobb, and Francis S. Bartow lead the secessionists. Again the great throng outside the hall, the thundering cannon, the illumination at night, and the cheers. Moves to postpone placing the ordinance into effect are defeated. But despite the celebration there are many, particularly from the uplands and interior, who doubt the wisdom of the step.

While the Mississippi legislature calls for a convention of representatives from the seceding states, the Virginia General Assembly passes a resolution inviting the states to send representatives to a peace convention in Washington February 4, and Tennessee invites slaveholding states to another convention.
#14981571
January 20, Sunday

Forces of Mississippi take Fort Massachusetts and the other installations on Ship Island in the Gulf off Mississippi. Two other groups had visited the island and demanded its surrender, but they left. This time Ship Island, potentially important as a staging and supply point, is finally taken by the secessionists.
#14981584
Doug64 wrote:January 20, Sunday

Forces of Mississippi take Fort Massachusetts and the other installations on Ship Island in the Gulf off Mississippi. Two other groups had visited the island and demanded its surrender, but they left. This time Ship Island, potentially important as a staging and supply point, is finally taken by the secessionists.

The Civil War has already begun, but so far is merely a war of manoeuvre. Things are getting interesting....
#14981746
January 21, Monday

In a dramatic and moving scene in the United States Senate, five senators from Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi leave the chamber. Their farewell speeches show reluctance, determination, sorrow, and disappointment. David L. Yulee indicates his path lies with his state of Florida; Stephen R. Mallory of Florida tearfully calls for reason and justice over party and passion; Clement C. Clay, Jr., of Alabama, pointed to the years of trial that has led to the present crisis; Benjamin Fitzpatrick of Alabama acknowledges his loyalty to his sovereign state. Then rises Jefferson Davis of Mississippi. Because of the secession of his state “my functions are terminated here.... I concur in the action of the people of Mississippi, believing it to be necessary and proper, and should have been bound by their action if my belief had been otherwise.... I am sure I feel no hostility to you, Senators from the North. I am sure there is not one of you, whatever sharp discussion there may have been between us, to whom I cannot now say, in the presence of my God, I wish you well; ... Mr. President, and Senators, having made the announcement which the occasion seemed to me to require, it only remains for me to bid you a final adieu.” Ill, having passed a sleepless night, Davis gravely gives his farewell to the Senate he has served so well. Unshed tears are in his voice, which at first faltered. He is listened to in deep silence, broken by some applause, which Davis depreciates. “Inexpressibly sad he leaves the chamber, with but faint hope,” his wife writes. That night she hears him pray for peace.

Rumors continue to fly everywhere; this time the Brooklyn Navy Yard is to be attacked.

In Boston abolitionist Wendell Phillips addresses the Congregational Society, says he is a disunion man, is glad that the Southern states are leaving, and that he hopes all the slave states will leave and soon.

The New York legislature in a series of resolutions pledges to support the Union.
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXkAgHj15ss

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