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Chapter 8

This webpage reproduces a chapter of
The Secession Movement 1860‑1861

by
Dwight Lowell Dumond

in the
Negro Universities Press edition,
New York, 1968

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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Chapter 10

This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

p171 Chapter IX
The Result of the First Failure at Compromise

Important events occurred with greater rapidity during the three weeks subsequent to the failure of the Crittenden Amendments in the Committee of Thirteen than at any other period during the secession movement. There were elections in Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. Conventions assembled in Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi. Three important transfers of federal troops were made: Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Anderson from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter, Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Slemmer from Barrancas Barracks to Fort Pickens,a and Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Brannan from the mainland to Fort Taylor. The President's Cabinet was disrupted. The reinforcement of Forts Taylor and Jefferson was accomplished and the reinforcement of Forts Sumter and Pickens was attempted. The arsenals at Charleston, Chattahoochee, Mount Vernon, and Baton Rouge were seized by state troops, as were Forts Morgan, Moultrie, Jackson, St. Philip, Livingston,º and Pulaski, and the Pensacola navy yard.

From the beginning of the secession movement there had been an increasing concern over the ultimate disposition of federal property within the limits of the Southern states. As the movement progressed and it became apparent that at least six states would resume their sovereignty, the question of the forts and arsenals became acute. Most p172of them were in a mediocre state of repair and insufficiently garrisoned; but they contained war supplies of great value. The popular mind was excited. Vigilance committees, companies of minutemen, and home guards were being organized in virtually every locality of the slave states. Mob psychology recognizes no legal restraints, and the danger of irresponsible attacks upon the forts was serious enough to cause governors, mayors, and other executive officers grave concern. There was no clear indication of whether the idea of peaceable separation or that of coercion would gain ascendancy at the North, and until that was ascertained it was highly desirable to avoid a collision between the military forces of the federal government and state troops or irresponsible mobs.

Secession sentiment was as strong in many parts of the South as at Charleston, and in many places the populace was more susceptible to sudden disorder; but unfortunately Fort Sumter was a new fort nearing completion, and the strongest on the American continent. Until it should be ready for occupancy the garrison in Charleston harbor was stationed in Fort Moultrie and Castle Pinckney, both easy of attack from the mainland and near enough for a hostile garrison to destroy the city. The engineers found it difficult to retain reliable workmen at Fort Sumter, and the people of Charleston became excited at every evidence of increased activity at the fort. The garrison at Moultrie chafed under the delay and became more apprehensive with each new hostile demonstration. Acting upon the necessity of having responsible and prudent men in command during the crisis, the government placed Major Anderson in charge of the forts.1 p173Captain Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.J. G. Foster of the Engineering Department was sent to undertake temporary defensive arrangements at Fort Moultrie and to promote vigorously the work of repairs on Fort Sumter.2 Meanwhile Governor Pickens tendered a guard of state militia for the arsenal and the offer was accepted by the sergeant in charge.3 Colonel Benjamin Huger was later sent by the federal government to take charge of the arsenal and the state guard was removed. This action on the part of the federal government at once diminished popular excitement at that point.4

Anderson had been told at the time of his appointment that the policy of the government was to avoid a conflict with the people of the state, and that consequently no attempt had been made to increase the forces at Charleston. His instructions, as orally given and subsequently recorded, were to avoid every act which might provoke aggression; to assume no position "without evident and imminent necessity" which might be regarded as the assumption of a hostile attitude; but to retain possession of the forts, and if attacked to defend himself to the last extremity.5

President Buchanan was informed by the South Carolina congressmen, December 8, that in view of the prevailing excitement among the people of the state, any attempt to reinforce the forts would lead to an attack by a lawless mob. They expressed as an honest opinion, however, that the federal forces were in no danger of attack until after the state should secede and send commissioners to treat p174with the government at Washington.6 This opinion was substantiated repeatedly by the official reports from Anderson and Foster.

Nothing of importance occurred at Charleston until December 17 when Captain Foster removed forty muskets from the arsenal to Fort Sumter. The state convention was assembling in Columbia, and the removal created intense excitement in Charleston. Secretary of War Floyd ordered the arms returned and the incident might have ended had not Governor Pickens seized the opportunity to force the issue of a surrender of the forts to the state. He sent a special messenger to Washington with a confidential letter to Buchanan. Professing to believe that the forts were being prepared for warfare against the state, he urged that no further work be done, and that no reinforcements be sent. As a palliative for the public excitement, he requested that state troops be allowed to occupy Fort Sumter as had been done previously at the Charleston arsenal.7

Buchanan prepared an answer to this letter in which he stated that he had done and would continue to do everything in his power to prevent a collision, and for that reason had refused to send reinforcements to Charleston harbor; that his action had been prompted by repeated assurances that South Carolina would make no attack p175upon them previous to sending commissioners to treat with Congress; but that he possessed no power to surrender federal property and had not authorized the guarding of the arsenal by state troops. Realizing the seriousness of the situation created by this precipitate action of Governor Pickens, the South Carolina congressman and Assistant Secretary of State Trescott intervened and secured the withdrawal of Pickens' letter, thus forestalling the necessity of a reply from Buchanan.

Two days after South Carolina passed her ordinance of secession, R. W. Barnwell, J. H. Adams, and James L. Orr were appointed as commissioners to negotiate with the government of the United States concerning the surrender of government property within the limits of the state, an apportionment of the public debt and division of the public property, and arrangements for future peaceable relations between the two governments.8 The commission proceeded to Washington and obtained an interview with President Buchanan for December 27. Within a few hours, however, news from Charleston was received which terminated negotiations. Anderson had transferred his garrison from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter.

The transfer was regarded by South Carolina authorities as an act of war and state troops seized Fort Moultrie, Castle Pinckney, and the arsenal.9 Buchanan maintained that this was an act of war against the federal government and refused to withdraw the forces from Charleston harbor. The South Carolina commissioners declared that the transfer was an unauthorized act on the part of Anderson, and that Buchanan was under obligation to disavow the p176act and reassure them of his good faith in the matter by removing the forces before they would continue their negotiations.10 Secretary of War Floyd, who was on the eve of dismissal for suspected complicity in the defalcation of a million dollars in Indian bonds, seized the opportunity to make a graceful escape by charging Buchanan with inconsistency, and the War Department was immediately placed under the jurisdiction of Postmaster General Holt. Meanwhile, Buchanan had notified the South Carolina commissioners that he was willing to communicate to Congress any proposal which they might have to make with reference to future relations between South Carolina and the federal government; but that he possessed no power either to surrender federal property or recognize the dissolution of the Union.11

Momentarily, at least, Buchanan was forced to abandon his policy of pacification by the threatened disruption of his Cabinet. In fact, to prevent the resignation of Black, he was forced to submit to having reinforcements sent to the Southern forts.12 The steamship Star of the West was loaded secretly with supplies and reinforcements and sent to Charleston harbor. Orders were sent to Lieutenant Slemmer, who was in charge of the forts in Pensacola harbor, to coöperate with Commodore Armstrong at the Pensacola navy yard in preventing the seizure of the government posts at that place.13 Captain Brannan, in command at Key West barracks, was ordered to transfer his command to Fort Taylor and defend it to the p177last extremity;14 and a force of sixty-two men under the command of Major Arnold was ordered from Fort Independence to Fort Jefferson. Slemmer had anticipated an attempt to occupy the forts at Pensacola and had transferred his company and provisions from Barrancas Barracks to Fort Pickens, an almost impregnable island fortress which commanded the entrance to the bay. The order for Brannan to transfer his forces from the mainland to Fort Taylor did not reach him until January 26, but he had also acted upon his own responsibility and effected the transfer on January 14.15 The apprehension of the government that an attack was to be made upon Fort Jefferson by an expedition from Charleston was without foundation. Arnold arrived at the post on January 18, and immediately strengthened its defenses with arms secured from Fort Taylor.16

The expedition to Charleston harbor failed because the South Carolina military forces fired upon the vessel and forced it to turn back.17 Anderson immediately notified Pickens that, unless the act was disavowed by him, it would be regarded as a declaration of war; and that he would destroy any vessel of South Carolina which came within reach of his guns. Pickens replied that South Carolina had resumed her independence; that any attempt by the government of the United States to reinforce the p178troops at Fort Sumter or to resume possession of the other forts within the limits of South Carolina could be regarded in no other light than an attempt at coercion; that the Star of the West had been warned to stop by a shot fired across its bow and had disregarded the warning; and that Anderson must judge of his own responsibilities with regard to his threat to fire upon the vessels of South Carolina.18

The temporary departure of Buchanan from his previous policy cost him the confidence of the Southern people and accelerated the secession movement. They were fully conscious of the fact that he never had admitted the constitutional power of the people of a state, meeting in convention, to emancipate themselves from the authority of the federal government; and they regarded the sudden activity in the War Department as preliminary to attempted coercion. The news dispatches from Charleston and Washington so increased the popular excitement that only by prompt action on the part of the regularly constituted authorities could the precipitation of bloody collisions be averted. Moreover, the election of a secession majority to the Georgia convention removed any existing doubt concerning the secession of the Gulf states and the formation of a Southern confederacy. State conventions were to assemble in Florida on January 3, in Mississippi and Alabama on January 7, in Georgia on January 16, in Louisiana on January 23, and in Texas on January 28. Elections to the state conventions in the two latter states were to be held on January 7 and January 8, respectively. Prudence dictated that the deliberations of these conventions be free from the influence of the proximity of armed forces of the federal government; and self-preservation p179demanded the removal of hostile forces after the resumption of state independence.19

The election of delegates to the Georgia state convention took place on January 2, and Governor Brown immediately ordered the occupation of Fort Pulaski by state troops. He then telegraphed to the governors of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana concerning the action he had taken, urging them to do likewise. At ten o'clock that night two hundred Alabama troops quietly embarked at Mobile and proceeded to Fort Morgan. They took possession of the post at three o'clock the following morning, its only occupants being an ordnance sergeant and two laborers.20 At the same time another detachment of state troops proceeded to Mount Vernon arsenal, forty-five miles north of Mobile, and occupied before the garrison of seventeen men knew of their presence.21 Florida troops took possession of the arsenal at Chattahoochee, of Fort Marion at St. Augustine, and of Fort Clinch at Fernandina on January 4, concurrently with the seizure of Fort Pulaski in Georgia and of Fort Morgan and Mount Vernon arsenal in Alabama. Because of the geographical location of Pensacola harbor, the reinforcement of the forts at that point was of more serious consequence to Alabama than to Florida. Moreover, the detachment of Florida troops in west Florida was too small to occupy and hold the forts at that point, and Alabama troops could reach them more quickly than troops from east Florida. Governor Perry, consequently, appealed to Governor p180Moore to occupy those posts with Alabama troops.22 The inability of the Alabama convention to arrive at a decision prevented immediate action, and Colonel Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Chase with his detachment of troops did not arrive at Pensacola until January 12.23 Several hundred Alabama and Florida troops, under the command of Colonel Lomax, surrounded the navy yard at Pensacola on the morning of January 13. Commodore Armstrong surrendered without resistance and was allowed to depart on the revenue cutter Wyandotte. Two days later Chase demanded the surrender of Fort Pickens, with the understanding that Slemmer's command would be allowed to return to Barrancas Barracks, and that the fort would be returned to the federal government if the union should be reconstructed.24 The demand was refused, and no attempt was made to capture the fort although Mississippi troops had increased the Southern forces to more than seventeen hundred men. Mail deliveries and supplies continued to be received at the fort in the usual manner, and every effort was exerted by both commanders to prevent open hostilities.

On the morning of January 9 Colonel Pickett of the United States Army arrived in New Orleans on his way to assume the position of consul at Vera Cruz. He was the bearer of sealed orders for the commander of the naval squadron at that place; and rumors immediately spread through the city that the squadron was being ordered home for the purpose of blockading the city. On the same day telegraphic dispatches from Boston informed p181the people that the government at Washington had chartered the steamer Joseph Whitney, and that it was being loaded with troops and provisions at Fort Independence for reinforcing the forts off the coast of Florida.25 Mayor Monroe wired to Governor T. O. Moore that there was no longer doubt of the government's intention to reinforce the fortifications at Tortugas and strengthen the garrisons in the neighborhood of New Orleans. He added that if the forts below New Orleans were strongly garrisoned the commerce of the city could be completely destroyed and Louisiana forced into submission to the federal government; and he emphatically stated that excitement in New Orleans was so intense that only immediate occupation of the forts by state troops would prevent their seizure by irresponsible organizations.26 On the morning of January 10, Senators Benjamin and Slidell telegraphed to Daniel W. Adams, chairman of the newly created military board of Louisiana, that the government was continuing its efforts to garrison Southern forts secretly, and there was special danger from the Gulf squadron.27 Slidell telegraphed to Governor Moor that the danger was not from St. Louis but from the Gulf.28

There were no fortifications above the city of New Orleans, but the people of the city did not fear an attack from that direction. Batteries placed at strategic positions would be ample protection against the possibility of hostile forces reaching New Orleans. The newspapers boasted that not even the famous steel-plated frigates of p182the French navy could run the gauntlet. There were, however, many approaches to the city from the Gulf. Major Beauregard reported to the War Department in 1859 that there was not a seaport on the continent more easy of approach, and consequently, none more difficult to defend. The water approaches from the Gulf were six in number.29 A seventh approach, in some respects the best, was by way of the Mexican Gulf Railroad which led directly up from Lake Borgne over the Metairie Ridge into the city.

Orders were issued by Governor Moore during the evening of January 9 for state troops to proceed to Baton Rouge and occupy the federal arsenal. Six companies from New Orleans left immediately by steamer and reached Baton Rouge the following morning. Their number was increased to more than six hundred by forces from other parts of the state, and a demand was made upon Major Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Haskin to surrender the arsenal.30 It was useless for the garrison of ninety men to offer resistance to superior numbers led by veteran officers, and the arsenal and barracks were turned over to the state officials. The garrison was given thirty-six hours to leave the state, p183and departed by steamer for Cairo.31 On January 11 troops from New Orleans took possession of Forts Jackson, St. Philip, and Pike.32 Fort Macomb and the quartermaster's stores at New Orleans were not seized until January 28.33 Governor Moore, in his message to the legislature on January 23, explained his reasons for ordering the occupation of the forts. He was convinced by the changing attitude of federal administration, by the speeches of the Republican members of Congress, and by the official acts of the governors and legislatures of the Northern states, that an effort would be made to preserve the Union by force of arms. The refusal of President Buchanan to withdraw the troops from Fort Sumter, the attempt to reinforce Forts Sumter and Pickens, and the recall of naval vessels from foreign waters indicated a determination to occupy and hold military posts within the boundaries of states which were about to declare themselves independent commonwealths. Secret information indicated the danger of an early attack upon New Orleans; and restlessness within the state made the danger of collision between the federal forces and irresponsible parties a standing menace to law and order.34 In order to insure the defense of the state against attacks by way of the upper Mississippi, Moore turned over to Governor p184Pettus of Mississippi large quantities of arms and ammunition from the Baton Rouge arsenal. Fort Hill, a short distance above Vicksburg, was occupied by Mississippi troops on January 12, and a battery was planted in position to prevent United States troops from passing down the river.

The unfortunate result of the disruption of the President's Cabinet and the secret attempt to reinforce Southern forts was that the positions of the extremists in both sections of the country were strengthened. Nothing could have been better calculated to promote the purposes of the radicals in the Republican party. They were endeavoring to turn the attention of the country away from compromise of the slavery question by discussing the preservation of the federal authority, and had indicated an intention of justifying civil war on the ground of protecting the federal property. Buchanan had attempted to secure congressional action for a friendly adjustment of the critical political situation. He had successfully avoided an armed conflict until the conservative forces of the country might have time to act. The incidents in Charleston harbor tended to popularize the position of those who had thwarted all attempts at peaceable adjustment by congressional action, and made more difficult future efforts in that direction. It is a grave error, however, to suppose that the issue of civil war turned upon the incidents of those two days. Buchanan had never admitted the right of the executive department to surrender federal property or to acknowledge a separation of the states. The South Carolina commissioners finally would have had to deal with Congress, and would have failed to reach a satisfactory adjustment. It may well be doubted if that body would have entered into negotiation with them, and p185the forcible seizure of the forts in the Southern states, however delayed, doubtless must have come eventually.

Two days after the Star of the West fiasco a state commission endeavored to persuade Anderson to surrender Fort Sumter. He refused to do so and suggested that a joint commission be sent to Washington to lay the proposal before the government of the United States. Anderson's previous instructions would have justified a peremptory refusal to surrender without further negotiation; and the experience of the previous South Carolina commission to Washington should have been sufficient evidence to Pickens that Buchanan would not withdraw the federal forces. Both parties seem to have entered upon the agreement as the only honorable escape from instituting open hostilities, and Attorney General Hayne and Lieutenant Hall left for Washington on January 12. Hayne was the bearer of a letter to Buchanan in which Pickens made a formal demand for the surrender of Fort Sumter, with a pledge to fully compensate the federal government for the value of the property.35 After Hayne had held an informal conversation with Buchanan, but before he had presented the communication from Pickens, the senators from the six Gulf states intervened to prevent its delivery. These senators impressed upon Hayne the fact that the states they represented had also asserted their independence or were about to do so, and would unite their destiny with that of South Carolina.36 They argued that they ought to be consulted in any action which might tend to alter the possibility of peaceful relations between their states and the government of the United States. They p186admitted that the continued occupation of Fort Sumter by federal forces was a just cause for apprehension on the part of South Carolina; but they claimed to have substantial evidence that the fort was being held as property which Buchanan felt it was his duty to protect, and not with any unfriendly purpose toward South Carolina.

They proposed, therefore, that President Buchanan and South Carolina enter into an agreement to maintain the existing status in Charleston harbor until a new Southern confederacy, which was certain to be formed early in February, might "devise a wise, just, and peaceable solution of existing difficulties." They offered to submit their proposal to Buchanan and urged Hayne to do the same with regard to Governor Pickens.37 Hayne agreed to the plan, and the correspondence between the senators and Hayne was submitted to Buchanan by Slidell, Fitzpatrick, and Mallory.38 Buchanan replied, through Secretary Holt, that he was obliged to protect the public property and could enter into no agreement, nor give any assurance that reinforcements should not be sent to Fort Sumter. He admitted that no necessity existed for sending reinforcements immediately, but stated emphatically that if future necessity required it they would be sent. He stated, furthermore, that Congress possessed the power to make war and he had no right to say that they would not exercise that power against South Carolina. In conclusion, he said:

Major Anderson is not menacing Charleston; and I am convinced that the happiest result which can be obtained is, that both he and the authorities of South Carolina shall remain p187on their present amicable footing, neither party being bound by any obligations whatever, except the high Christian and moral duty to keep the peace, and to avoid all causes of mutual irritation.39

Hayne replied that the presence of a garrison in Fort Sumter placed it in greater jeopardy than if it were surrendered to South Carolina with a pledge of full compensation; that the occupation of a fort by armed forces with guns trained on every part of the harbor, and under the orders of a government whose authority was no longer recognized, was not conducive to the preservation of peace; and that the continued occupation of the fort was the worst possible means of securing a "peaceful solution of existing difficulties short of war itself." He assured the senators, however, that their suggestions would carry great weight with the authorities of South Carolina.40 He expressed similar sentiments in a communication to Buchanan, together with the statement that the security of his state required a definition of the President's position.41

This communication evoked a further statement from Holt in which he reiterated his previous contention that the President had no constitutional power to sell or otherwise dispose of public property. He stated further that Fort Sumter was a military post, held by the federal government for the purpose in which it had been constructed: the defense of Charleston against a foreign enemy. The garrison was small, under orders to act upon the defensive, and "the government and people of South Carolina p188must well know that they can never receive aught but shelter from its guns, unless, in the absence of all provocation, they should assault it and seek its destruction."42

The government of the Confederate States, in the process of formation at the time of this last communication from the War Department, took over the responsibility of negotiating with the government a Washington concerning the forts and other public property, and friendly relations continued in Charleston harbor. The garrison in Fort Sumter continued its regular purchase of meat, vegetables, etc., in the Charleston markets. Anderson was again cautioned to use the utmost care to prevent a collision, and both sides strengthened their position in the forts which they respectively held.43


The Author's Notes:

1 Cooper to Anderson, November 12, 1860, Official Records . . . Armies, Series I, Vol. I, 72; Special Order, No. 137, November 15, 1860, ibid., 73.

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2 Foster to De Russy, November 14, 1860, ibid., 73.

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3 Humphreys to Craig, November 12, 1860, ibid., 72.

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4 Huger to Craig, November 20, 1860, ibid., 74.

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5 Buell, "Memorandum of Verbal Instructions to Major Anderson, First Artillery, Commanding at Fort Moultrie, S.C." (December 11, 1860) in ibid., 89‑90.

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6 "Summary of Messrs. Miles and Keitt of what transpired between the President and the South Carolina Delegation," in ibid., 125. Buchanan to Barnwell, Adams, and Orr, December 31, 1860, ibid., 115‑118.

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7 Anderson to Cooper, December 18, 1860, ibid., 94‑95; Foster to De Russy, December 18, 1860, ibid., 95‑96; Humphreys to Foster, December 18, 1860, ibid., 96; Foster to Humphreys, December 18, 1860, ibid., 97; Foster to De Russy, December 19, 1860, ibid., 97‑98; Foster to De Russy, December 20, 1860, ibid., 100‑101; Pickens to Buchanan, December 17, 1860, in Nicolay and Hay, Abraham Lincoln: A History, III, 2‑3.

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8 "The State of South Carolina, by the Convention of the People of the said State, to Robert W. Barnwell, James H. Adams, and James L. Orr," in Official Records . . . Armies, Series I, Vol. I, 111.

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9 Pickens to Anderson, January 9, 1861, ibid., 135.

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10 Barnwell, Adams, and Orr to the President of the United States, December 28, 1860, ibid., 109‑110.

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11 Buchanan to Barnwell, Adams, and Orr, December 31, 1860, ibid., 115‑118.

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12 Auchampaugh, James Buchanan and his Cabinet, 160‑172.

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13 Lay to Slemmer, January 3, 1861, Official Records . . . Armies, Series I, Vol. I, 334.

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14 Lay to Brannan, January 4, 1861, ibid., 345.

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15 Brannan to Thomas, January 14, 1861, ibid., 342; Brannan to Deas, January 15, 1861, ibid., 343; Brannan to Thomas, January 31, 1861, ibid., 344.

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16 Arnold to Thomas, January 19, 1861, ibid., 345‑346; Arnold to Thomas, January 23, 1861, ibid., 346‑347; Arnold to Cooper, January 18, 1861, ibid., 346.

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17 For the various details concerning the expedition, see Scott, "Memorandum of Arrangements," in ibid., 128‑129; Thomas to Scott, January 5, 1861, ibid., 131; Thomas to Woods, January 5, 1861, ibid., 132.

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18 Pickens to Anderson, January 9, 1861, ibid., 135‑136.

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19 A. B. Moore to Buchanan, January 4, 1861, ibid., 327‑328.

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20 The New Orleans Bee, January 8, 1861; The Daily True Delta, January 6, 1861; Patterson to the Adjutant General, January 5, 1861, Official Records . . . Armies, Series I, Vol. I, 327.

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21 The New Orleans Bee, January 8, 1861; Reno to Maynadier, January 4, 1861, Official Records . . . Armies, Series I, Vol. I, 327.

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22 Maxwell and Perry to Watts, January 8, 1861, in Smith, op. cit., 49; Moore to Brooks, January 8, 1861, ibid., 52.

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23 For the debates in the Alabama convention on the expediency of sending troops outside the state, see ibid., 50‑74.

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24 Chase to Slemmer, January 15, 1861, Official Records . . . Armies, Series I, Vol. I, 337‑338.

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25 The New Orleans Bee, January 10, 1861.

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26 Monroe to Moore, January 9, 1861, in The Daily Delta, January 10, 1861.

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27 Benjamin and Slidell to Adams, January 10, 1861, Official Records . . . Armies, Series I, Vol. I, 496.

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28 Slidell to Moore, January 10, 1861, ibid., 496.

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29 The water approaches included: (1) the main channel of the Mississippi, defended by Fort Jackson on the right bank and Fort St. Philip on the left, seventy miles below the city; (2) Barataria Bay, used by the oyster boats, hunters, and fishermen in reaching the New Orleans markets, and defended by Fort Livingston (half completed) on Grande Terre Island; (3) the Rigolets, a narrow strait connecting Lake Borgne and Lake Pontchartrain, used by the Mobile mail steamers and defended by Fort Pike; (4) the South Pass, also connecting Lake Borgne and lake Pontchartrain, and defended by Fort Macomb; and (5) bayous Bienvenue and Dupré, emptying into Lake Borgne, and nearly connecting with the Mississippi River a few miles below only, and defended by Battery Bienvenu and Tower Dupré.

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30 Moore to Haskin, January 10, 1861, Official Records . . . Armies, Series I, Vol. I, 490.

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31 Haskin to Cooper, January 10, 1861, ibid., 489; Haskin to Cooper, January 11, 1861, ibid., 490; "Articles of Agreement between Thomas O. Moore, Governor of the State of Louisiana, and Bvt. Maj. Joseph A. Haskin, U. S. Army, commanding the Barracks at Baton Rouge, La.," ibid., 490.

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32 Smith to Cooper, January 11, 1861, ibid., 491.

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33 Wilber to Cooper, January 31, 1861, ibid., 492; Myers to Cooper, January 28, 1861, ibid., 492‑493; details of the various expeditions, by accompanying reporters and participants, are to be found in The New Orleans Bee, January 10, 1861.

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34 "Moore to the Louisiana State Legislature, January 23, 1861," Official Records . . . Armies, Series I, Vol. I, 493‑496; The New Orleans Bee, January 24, 1861.

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35 Pickens to Buchanan, January 12, 1861, House Ex. Docs., 36 Cong., 2 Sess., IX, Doc. 61, 13‑14.

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36 Four states had resumed their independence at the time this letter was written: South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, and Alabama.

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37 Wigfall, Hemphill, Yulee, Mallory, Davis, Clay, Fitzpatrick, Iverson, Slidell, and Benjamin to Hayne, January 15, 1861, House Ex. Docs., 36 Cong., 2 Sess., IX, Doc. 61, 2‑3.

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38 Hayne to Wigfall, Hemphill, etc., January 17, 1861, ibid., 3‑4; Slidell, Fitzpatrick, and Mallory to Buchanan, January 19, 1861, ibid., 4‑5.

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39 Holt to Slidell, Fitzpatrick, and Mallory, January 22, 1861, ibid., 5‑6; Official Records . . . Armies, Series I, Vol. I, 149‑150.

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40 Hayne to Wigfall, Yulee, and others, January 24, 1861, House Ex. Docs., 36 Cong., 2 Sess, IX, Doc. 61, 8‑9.

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41 Hayne to Buchanan, January 31, 1861, ibid., 8‑14.

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42 Holt to Hayne, February 6, 1861, ibid., 14‑17; Official Recordsº . . . Armies, Series I, Vol. I, 166‑168.

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43 See, especially, Holt to Anderson, February 23, 1861, ibid., 182‑183; Anderson to Pickens, February 13, 1861, ibid., 171‑172; and Foster to Totten, February 13, 1861, ibid., 172‑173.


Thayer's Note:

a The full details of the standoff at Fort Pickens are interestingly told by Edwin C. Bearss, "Civil War Operations in and around Pensacola".


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