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Civil War Harper's Weekly, January 26, 1861

Other Pages from this Newspaper Include:

Fortress Moultrie | First Shot of the Civil War | 

Civil War Pictures of Fort Moultrie | 

Shots at the Star of the West | 

Civil War Illustration of Fort Sumter | The Guns of Fort Sumter | Charleston During the Civil War |  Civil War Charleston Story | Civil War Scenes of Fort Sumter

More Civil War News

Below we present a leaf from the January 26, 1861 edition of Harper's Weekly. This leaf presents important news on events leading to the beginning of the Civil War.



JANUARY 26, 1861.]




A Washington correspondent says : " I have just received a dispatch from Governor Pickens, stating that Major Anderson has now uninterrupted mail facilities, and is allowed to send to market for fresh provisions and vegetable, whenever desired. In fact, he has the same facilities that he had when he occupied Fort Moultrie.

"I am authorized to state by the South Carolina Commissioners that all property seized has been declared, by the ordinance of the Convention, to be held subject to an adjustment of accounts between the two Governments here.

"The Tax Bill has not yet passed either House of the South Carolina Legislature. It is utterly false that any special exaction has been made on negro or any other property. The contributions of negro labor have been entirely voluntary on the part of these who have rendered it. It is also the same of contributions of money, which have been very liberal. It is equally false that Governor Aiken, or anybody else, has had any requisition for money or labor made on him. All the appropriations of the money thus far made by the Legislature have been furnished by the State banks in exchange for par, and the principal part coming from the Bank of the State, of which the State is the only stockholder. Commerce goes on as usual without restriction. There is no scarcity of provisions, and the market is at ordinary prices."


A telegram to the Herald, dated Washington, January 17, says : " Colonel Hayne sent his communication to the President today. It is understood that since the arrival of Colonel Hayne, after a free conference with his Southern friends here, he has somewhat changed his original intention and purpose, and instead of making an unconditional demand for the surrender and evacuation of Fort Sumter, he now presents it in the shape of a suggestion. He therefore suggests to the President the propriety of the surrender, in order to avoid bloodshed.

" The firmness of the Administration in dealing with the secession messenger now here caused the prominent secessionists in the city to join in advising the authorities of Charleston to suspend the execution of their threat to take Fort Sumter until after the 4th of March, and Major Anderson is to be provided with provisions from Charleston, providing the South Carolina authorities accept the proposition and Major Anderson accepts the humiliating terms. The South Carolinians may yield, but it is believed that Major Anderson will not consent to go to Charleston for his supplies if his government will not supply him."


The following is an extract of a letter from a reliable gentleman in Charleston to a friend in this city:

"CHARLESTON, Jan. 11, 1861.

"The steamer Star of the West attempted on Wednesday night to come into our harbor to land government troops, but she was driven back by our fortress at Morris Island, and so will any other that may make a similar attempt. We are in every way prepared to keep out any force that may attempt to come here for any such a purpose. There is but one feeling here—the sentiment is unanimous not to submit to the rule of the President that has been elected. It will not be done by South Carolina. This can be relied upon. She will suffer utter annihilation first. She can never be made to submit. It is utterly out of the question. Every man in the State is a soldier, and will fight to death on this question. You can form no idea of the feeling that exists her'. Major Anderson will be driven out of Fort Sumter if it costs 10,000 lives. This is a fixed fact, and in my opinion it will be done very soon. Every preparation is being made to do it. He is in a very strong fortification, and one that it is difficult to take, but it will be done by the force of numbers. There are 10,000 men now anxious to make the attempt, but the authorities want it done with the least possible loss of life, and are so preparing themselves. It may be done before this reaches you. It will be done forcibly, certainly, unless Major Anderson surrenders. And that,  I do not think he will do. He has but about one hundred men, and they are in a state of revolt. They are unwilling to fight in a war of this kind. Many of them have families in Charleston and Sullivan's Island, and it is reported they refused, on the morning that we drove back the Star of the West, to work the guns. Anderson did not fire a single gun on that morning, which, it is said, he would have done if he could have got his men to obey. He has now more than half his force in irons for refusing to obey him on that morning. This we learn from a deserter from his fort."


The passage of the secession ordinance is said to have given great satisfaction at Mobile. Money was subscribed for the defense of the city. It seems, however, that the members of the Convention are not prepared to sign the ordinance of secession; they have telegraphed their delegation in Congress not to resign their seats. All the ships in Mobile have cleared for foreign ports. On 15th the Legislature met at Montgomery. The Governor's Message urges the necessity that Alabama at once be placed upon the most efficient war footing, and the appointment of a Military Board by the Legislature.


The ordinance of secession was signed on 11th at Tallahassee, amidst the firing of cannon and general enthusiasm. The seizure of the forts was noticed in our last number.


Secretary Toucey has received the following dispatch from Flag-officer Armstrong, commanding Pensacola Navy-yard :"Armed bodies of Florida and Alabama troops appeared before the gate of the Navy-yard and demanded possession. Having no means of resistance, I surrendered, and hauled down my flag. They are now in possession."

Captain Farran, Commander in the Yard, has notified the Department of his resignation. A dispatch to the Florida Senators says : " We repaired down here and captured Fort Barancos and Navy-yard, and then paroled the officers, granting them permission to continue to occupy their quarters. We are now in possession. This move was in consequence of the Government garrisoning Fort Pickens, which has before remained unoccupied. You will propose to the Administration resuming the statu quo ante bellum, and we will immediately evacuate."

It is said at the Department that the Navy-yard contained a hundred and fifty-six thousand dollars' worth of ordnance stores.


This body met last week, and duly organized. On 18th it adopted a resolution declaring—first, that it is the duty of Georgia to secede from the Union ; and second, appointing a committee to prepare an ordinance of secession. The resolution was adopted by a vote of 165 to 130.


An attempt to pass a Convention Bill having failed to pass the Senate of Arkansas, the Arkansas Legislature on 16th unanimously passed a bill submitting the question of calling a Convention to the people on the 18th of February. If a majority favors a Convention, the Governor is to appoint the day.


Mr. Johnson, Chairman of the Committee on Federal Relations, in the Missouri Senate, introduced a bill in the Senate on 16th January, which provides that the Governor shall appoint one Commissioner from each Congressional District to a Consulting Convention of the States, to be held at Nashville, on the 4th of February, to agree upon a common issue, by way of amendment to the Constitution, to be made by the Slave States, and the result to he laid before the Convention called in the third section. To that Convention the Governor is directed to appoint three Commissioners from this State, to meet three Commissioners from each of the thirty-three States—the latter Convention to be held at Wheeling on the 11th of February, for the purpose of adjusting the present difficulties, to preserve the Union, and to avert civil war. The Governor is also required to appoint one Commissioner to proceed to Illinois and request the Legislature to second the movewent, and use its influence with the other Free States to

have conservative men appointed to the Wheeling Convention. The introduction of this bill gave general satisfaction.

The bill was amended by the adoption of a provision similar to that contained in the Virginia bill, submitting the action of the Convention to the people, after which the whole subject was tabled, and a substitute, embracing an entirely new proposition.—asking Congress to call a Convention for the redress of grievances, as provided in the fifth article of the Constitution—was introduced by Mr. Stevenson.

A petition praying for the adoption of the Crittenden propositions by Congress, bearing nearly 6000 names, has been forwarded to the Missouri representatives at Washington.


In the Virginia Senate, on 17th January, the Committee on Federal Relations reported resolutions that, in the opinion of the General Assembly, the propositions embraced in the Crittenden resolutions constitute such a basis of adjustment as would be accepted by the people of this Commonwealth; that Commissioners be appointed to the General Government, also to South Carolina and other seceding States, with instructions respectfully to request the President and the authorities of such States to agree to abstain, tending the proceedings contemplated by the action of this General Assembly, from acts calculated to produce a collision of arms between the States and the General Government. Considerable opposition was manifested, and a substitute offered.

The House has adopted the resolutions reported by the Committee on Federal Relations, contemplating a National Convention at Washington -on the 4th of February, with an amendment that the Commissioners appointed shall be subject at all times to the control of the General Assembly, or if in session, to that of the State Convention. This embraces the approval of Mr. Crittenden's proposition.

On 18th, the Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill appropriating one million of dollars for the defense of the State; also a bill authorizing an issue of treasury notes to that amount, bearing six percent. interest.


At the extraordinary session of the Kentucky Legislature, in Frankfort, Governor Magoffin, in his Message transmitted on 17th, asks the Legislature to express their approbation of Crittenden's resolution ; says that eight States will have seceded before their deliberations close: and that Tennessee has referred the whole subject to her people; Virginia and North Carolina are discussing the propriety of a similar course ; Missouri seems likely to adopt a similar policy—it submits to the Legislature the propriety to provide for the election of delegates to a Convention, to assemble at an early day, to determine the future interstate and Federal relations of Kentucky. Mean-while, he would leave no experiment untried to restore fraternal relations between the States ; he recommends a Convention of the Border Slave States, to meet early in February at Baltimore. The Governor says the hasty and inconsiderate action of the seceding States does not meet our approval, but Kentuckians will never stand by with folded arms while those States, struggling for their constitutional rights, are being subjugated to an Anti-Slavery Government. He asks the Legislature to declare, by a re-solution, the unconditional disapprobation by Kentucky of the employment of force in any form against the seceding States, and asks appropriations for arming and equipping a volunteer militia.


A correspondent of the Petersburgh Express writes from Waco, Texas, under date of January 2:

"General Sam Houston addressed the people here yesterday in a highly conservative speech. He declared that he felt it to be his solemn duty to warn the people of his State against the extremities into which the politicians of South Carolina and other States would hurry them. He declared emphatically that he would not give his official sanction to the call of a Convention, except upon condition that the people of Texas should afterward pass judgment upon its action. He was listened to with attention and respect while speaking, but it was perfectly obvious that the crowd was against him in sentiment; and after the close of his remarks the voice of bitter denunciation was heard in every private circle. 'Old San Jacinto,' however, bears the abuse heaped upon him with great equanimity. He says he is right, and that time will convince his present assailants of the wrong they are inflicting upon the country. His old companions in arms, the 'early settlers' of Texas, are generally with him on the absorbing issue of the day—at least, such is the case with those I have seen in this quarter."


 The inauguration of Governor Curtin, of Pennsylvania, took place at Harrisburg on 15th. The Gubernatorial Message pledges the State Administration to stand by the Constitution and the Union, and says there is nothing in the life or acts of Mr. Lincoln to warrant the idea that his policy will be inimical to any section; that nothing has occurred to justify the present excitement: that if Pennsylvania has passed laws obstructing the fulfillment of the National compact, they ought to be repealed ; that when prostrated by the legislation of the General Government adverse to her interests, she has patiently waited for redress ; that by her action in the late election she had no design to interfere with the rights of other States; that no State can secede or absolve itself from the obligations of the Union ; that it is the first duty of the Federal Government to stay anarchy and enforce the laws; and that amendments to the Constitution, made in a constitutional manner, will be deliberately considered by the people as the importance demands.


The Wisconsin Legislature met and organized on 10th, and Governor Randall's Message was delivered at noon. It commends the subject of military affairs to the wisdom and discretion of the Legislature, and says the signs of the times indicate that there may arise a contingency in the condition of the Government when it will become necessary to respond to the call of the national Government for men and means to maintain the integrity of the Union and thwart the designs of men engaged in organized treason. On the subject of secession he says this is not a league of States, but a government of the people. The general Government can not change the character of a State Government, or usurp any power over it not delegated, nor can any State change the character of the United States Government, restrict or increase its jurisdiction, or impair any of its rights. He argues that the election of Mr. Lincoln was legal, and is no just cause for complaint from any quarter. He says the Constitution makes no man a slave. Slavery can not go into free territory under the Constitution, neither can it exist outside of local law; therefore the Personal Liberty laws are found, or should be, upon the statute in every State. Every living human being has the right to a legal test, whether he is a free man or a slave. Should the Legislature think the Personal Liberty Bill of Wisconsin in conflict with the United States Constitution, then it should be made to conform therewith, but no fear and no hope of a reward should induce a free people to break down the walls of their protection. We will make a sacrifice of our feeling to conciliate, but no sacrifice of our principles. The right of a State to secede can never be admitted. Once in the Union, a State must remain until the Union is destroyed.

The Message gives great satisfaction.


We have reports of a terrible state of affairs on the Mississippi River. It is stated that the Mississippi secessionists have planted cannon at various points along the banks of the river, that one steamboat has been denied passage, while others have been overhauled, and that several respectable persons have been compelled to return to the places from whence they started. These reports are partially verified by a member of Congress.


On Monday, 14th, Judge Smalley delivered an important charge to the Grand Jury in the United States Circuit Court, on the law of high treason. He told them that the seizure of United States property and firing on the United States flag by persons owing allegiance to the United States, constituted high treason by levying war; that no

State could absolve citizens from their allegiance to the General Government; and that neither South Carolina nor any other State could legally protect citizens of other States in waging war against their Government. He laid down the legal definition of treason, and declared it to be the duty of all good and true citizens to do every thing in their power to suppress rebellion, expose treason, and bring traitors to justice.


The Legislature has offered the President all the militia of New York. On 17th, the Governor transmitted the following communication from President Buchanan, in response. The original of the President's letter is all in his own handwriting:

" WASHINGTON CITY, Jan. 14, 1861. " His Excellency, Edwin D. Morgan, Governor of New York :

"SIR,—I have bad the honor to receive your communication, covering the resolutions which have passed the Legislature of New York, on the 11th inst., tendering to the President of the United States the military force of the State ' in support of the Constitution and the Union ;' and shall give them that respectful consideration to which they are entitled, from the importance of the subject, and the distinguished source from which they emanated.

"Yours very respectfully,



The following appears in the Washington correspondence of the Baltimore Sun:

" The leaders of the Southern movement are consulting as to the best mode of consolidating their interests into a confederacy under a provisional government. The plan is to make Senator Hunter, of Virginia, Provisional President, and Jefferson Davis Commander-in-Chief of the army of defense. Mr. Hunter possesses in a more eminent degree the philosophical characteristics of Jefferson than any other statesman now living. Colonel Davis is a graduate of West Point, was distinguished for gallantry at Buena Vista, and served as Secretary of War under President Pierce, and is not second to General Scott in military science or courage."


The Tribune correspondent says: "As Major Anderson's correspondence with Governor Pickens has been subjected to some comments, it is proper that certain important facts should be known to the public. In consequence of his communication being cut off, he had no means of correspondence with the War Department, to know its purposes or convey his own views, except by accidental and unfrequent opportunities. It was decided here, after his removal to Fort Sumter, and the departure of the South Carolina Commissioners, to send reinforcements, and four companies of artillery, from Fort Monroe, were ordered to the Brooklyn for that purpose. These orders were afterward countermanded, and Major Anderson's brother carried him the intelligence of that decision. Regarding it as conclusive, he could and did not expect to be reinforced. He had no knowledge whatever concerning the movements of the Star of the West or of her transports. The first intimation that reached him was the booming of cannon from Morris Island and Fort Moultrie. When he saw the national flag hoisted at her mast-head, and heard the firing repeated, his batteries facing Fort Moultrie and the ship channel were unmasked, manned, and the gunners stationed with matches in their hands, waiting the signal to fire. The steamer turned and put to sea, and thus the bloody reckoning was averted. This statement will explain the general terms of his first letter to Governor Pickens concerning the firing upon the flag, as he had none of the information concerning the steamer which was familiar to every body else. Had he known her mission, fort Moultrie would have been battered down."


Henry S. Lane was inaugurated Governor of Indiana on 14th, and was on 16th elected United States Senator by the Legislature. He has resigned the Governorship. O. P. Morton, the Lieutenant-Governor, appeared and was sworn in as Governor.

Mrs. Lincoln, wife of the President-elect, is now in this city, and, it is said, will remain here for a few days, in order to make some needful purchases for the White House.




A PRELIMINARY meeting of Jews of England, France, Italy, and America, has been held at the Mansion House, London, for the purpose of concerting new efforts for the restoration of the child Mortara to his parents.



The Paris Moniteur says Lord Cowley confined himself on New-Year's Day to presenting to Napoleon the respects and congratulations of the diplomatic corps, in whose name he spoke. The Emperor replied : " I thank you for the wishes which you have expressed to me. I regard the future with confidence, being convinced that the friendly understanding between the Powers will maintain peace, which is the object of my desires."


We read in the correspondence to the London Herald: "The great topic of conversation to-day is an incident which took place last night at the Theatre du Cirque Imperial during the first performance of the ' Massacres de Syrie,' a melodrama which, though produced under an-other author's name, is well known to be the work of M. Mocquard, the Emperor's Secretary and Chef du Cabinet. You may easily form an idea of the plot—the Drums are represented in the blackest colors, and the Maronites are the very embodiment of persecuted innocence ; the french army are heroes, avengers, liberators, etc. Thee is much expenditure of gunpowder, but the glory," greatness,' and ' disinterestedness' of France settle every thing satisfactorily by the end of the fifth act. The authorship of the piece being well known, and the Emperor having intimated his intention to ' assist' at the first performance, a great number of diplomatists had taken boxes, end the remainder of the audience was made up of Senators, functionaries, journalists, police spies, and gamins. The Emperor arrived at about eight o'clock, when the first act was over, and was loudly applauded on his entrance. The four last acts are literally crammed with allusions to the `beneficent' influence of France, which invariably brought down the house, all turning their eyes on the Emperor, who looked on with an appearance of grim satisfaction. But matters came to a climax when, in the middle of the third act, the actor re-presenting Abd-el-Kader, gave utterance to the following sentence : ' The Eastern question can only be solved by the sword of Napoleon III.' The audience rose in a state of frantic enthusiasm, shouting, ' Vive l' Empereur !' ' rive la Questione d'Orient!' His Majesty appeared to appreciate the compliment, for he rose and advanced to the front of the box, bowing repeatedly, while the members of the corps diplomatique looked extremely blue. In Paris to-day this incident was spoken of as a political manifestation, and at the Bourse particularly it produced a very painful impression."



A telegram from Cape Race announces the death of the King of Prussia.' His Majesty King Frederick William IV., son of Frederick William III., was born on October
15, 1795. The very greatest care was bestowed upon his education, and some of the most distinguished men of the day were his instructors. The late monarch was present at most of the great battles fought in 1813, 1814, and 1815, although he was not intrusted with any command. He
was called to the throne in 1840 by the death of his father, and distinguished his accession by repairing several of the injuries which had grown out of his predecessor's system of government. But the liberality that marked the early part or King Frederick William's reign was not kept up.

The Constitution, promised in 1815, was long delayed and, after it was granted, the King, on more than one occasion, sought the aid of the Chambers to release him from the provisions that guaranteed representative Government. During the Crimean war, the King in endeavoring to keep friends with either party, lost the regard of both. He showed himself to be time-serving, vacillating, and in-sincere. With all his faults, however, Fred( rick William was a sincere friend of science and the arts. He surrounded his throne with eminent men. His Majesty had been in exceedingly bad health and often insane for several years, during which time the Government of the Kingdom was administered by his brother, the late Prince-Regent, but now Frederick William V. The new King is generally regarded as an absolutist, and opposed to popular representation. It has been predicted that, upon his ascending the throne, Prussia would have a strong government or undergo a revolution. He is exceedingly ambitious—resolute and determined in his views—and has made Frederick the Great a model for all his conduct. His Majesty's eldest son married the Princess Royal of Ent) gland.



The Austrian Ministry has drawn up a bill relative to the liberty of the Protestant Church in the Hungarian Provinces. Several enactments of it are absolutely contrary to the stipulations of the Concordat.


A telegram dated Pesth, Sunday, January 6, says : "Yesterday disturbances took place at Keerekrempt Hungary, which necessitated the intervention of the garrison. The soldiers were compelled to make use of their fire-arms, and five persons were severely wounded."



The rumored departure of the French fleet from Gaeta has been contradicted. It is now stated that a Russian frigate, fully armed, has anchored off Gaeta, and suspicion is of course awakened that this event is the first symptom of the rumored intention of Russia to supply the protection France is about to withdraw. It seems, however, somewhat premature to draw any decided inference from the bare fact as at present stated. It is said that the Queen of Naples has left Gaeta, in consequence of the approach of her confinement.

The Paris correspondent of the London Star says : " The secret of the maintenance of the French fleet before Gaeta is thought to be discovered in the appearance of a Russian vessel, well armed and equipped, alongside of the French ships, which confirms the announcement made some time ago in the chancelleries of the various Russian embassies, that should the Emperor Napoleon withdraw his protection the Emperor Alexander would take his place. The arrival of the Russian ship hat created a singular sensation here—something between hope and fear—and, moreover, a sudden enlightenment as to the subject of the secret conferences of Warsaw."


A telegram dated Naples, Friday, January 4, says: "A conspiracy of the Bourbon party has been discovered, but it is without importance. Four Royalist Generals have been arrested, with some of the agents of King Francis II., who had come from Gaeta. Prince Carignan is expected here on the 15th inst. Several Neapolitan officers have been arrested."


The Paris correspondent of the London Herald says: "I am informed that negotiations are still being attempted for the sale of Venetia. They are, according to private letters from a well-informed source at Vienna, mere waste of time. The Austrian government, it is moreover stated, has sent a note to Paris and London, intimating that she will only give up Venetia when driven out of the quadrilateral by fore of arms. We may, therefore, consider war in the spring as inevitable. According to private letters, from Berlin, one hundred and twenty rifled guns are being made for the Austrian government. One half of the order is to be completed and delivered by the 15th of January, and the remainder by the 1st of March."



The China Telegraph says: "The prize-money taken in the Emperor's Summer Palace, situated some miles nut of Pekin, amounts (for the troops engaged there) to about £23,000, and is made up by a sum of £14,000 in sycee silver, which the French handed over in accordance with the terms of the treaty) as the British share, of what they had found in the Imperial Treasury, and by one of £9,000, realized by the sale by auction in the camp of articles which English officers had looted, and which Sir Hope Grant made them give up, declaring on their words of honor that they had done so; the articles brought large prices, and as Sir Hope Grant and his two generals of divisions, Napier and Michel, gave up their shares, it, allowed for the army the following kale: First-class field officers £60; second-class field officers, £50; chaplains, £40; lieutenants, £30; ensigns, £20; sergeants, etc., £7 10s; privates, .L'5. The prize-money would have been very considerable had the French not had possession of the palace for two days prior to our troops coming up to it. The French, it is supposed, had some private information. General Montauban is said to have realized £50,000 as his personal share."




We read in the Mexican Extraordinary, of Mexico City, December 28th:

"Neither time nor space admit of our going into lengthened details of the fall of the clergy rule in this capital. Suffice it to say, that after the fall of Guadalajara, on the 30th of October, General Ortega, principal military chief of the Constitutional forces, lost no time in marching his troops in this direction.

" Miramon left Mexico with the greater part of his troops, to attempt to carry out his plans, and the first news we had of the result was brought here by himself on Sunday morning, the 23d. He arrived here, accompanied only by two or three adjutants. The story was soon out. He had lost every thing. Consternation was at once depicted upon the faces of all his partisans, and hiding-places were to demand."

The account of the battle is thus briefly given by General Ortega:



"On this day, alter a hard fight, the forces under my command have entirely defeated the troops of the enemy, who, in strength of eight thousand men, with thirty pieces of artillery, were headed by D. Miguel Miramon, Marquez, Velez, Negrete, Ayesteran, Cobos, Valle, and Joaquin Miramon. They abandoned fit its their trains, artillery, and anmmnition and thousands of prisoners. The fight commenced at eight o'clock in the morning on the heights of San Miguel Calpulalpan, and was finished a little after ten o'clock the same morning. Those of our troops who took part in the action were the divisions front Zacatecas, San Luis Potosi, Morelia, Guanajuato and one brigade from Guadalajara. To the valor of these we owe this important triumph, which has undoubtedly secured the pacification of the republic.   -

"I beg your Excellency to congratulate his Excellency the President for tithe success, advising him tint probably the day after to-morrow the Federal army will be in the capital of the republic; and in the name of the army I beg his Excellency the President to come as seen as possible to that city, in order to act more promptly in behalf of the constitutional order.

" HACIENDA OF SAN FRANCISCO, December 22, 1860."

Early on the morning of the 25th the forces of Aureliano entered and took possession of the city gates, and early in the day the Constitutional forces commenced pouring in. General Ortega entered about noon, without any pomp or display, and took up his quarters in the National Palace. President Juarez and his Cabinet are expected here with in a few days.



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