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The Declaration of
possession of the Government. | levy war, conclude peace con
It has announced that the South shall be excluded from the common territory; that the judicial tribunals shall be made sectional, and that a war must be waged against slavery until it shall cease throughout the United States.
"The guarantees of the Constitution will then no longer exist; the equal rights of the States will be lost. The slaveholding States will no longer have the power of self-government or self-protection, and
the Federal Government will have become their
"Sectional interest and animosity will deepen the irritation, and all hope of remedy is rendered vain by the fact that public opinion at the North has invested a great political error with the sanctions of a more erroneous religious belief.
We, therefore, the people of South Carolina, by our delegates in convention assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of
The Declaration of
tract alliances, establish com-
"And, for the support of this declaration with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."
In the course of the day's proceedings many very able speeches were made, eliminating points in the Declaration. Among others Messrs. Rhett and Keitt declared the Fugitive Slave law to be unconstitutional, and Mr. Meminger confessed the question to be legally embarrassing.*
December 24th Gov. Pickens, agreeably to the ordinance of secession, issued his proclamation declaring to the world that "South Carolina is, and has a right to be a separate, sovreign, free, and independent State, and, as such, has a right to levy war, conclude peace, negotiate treaties, leagues or covenants, and to do all acts whatever that rightfully apper
our intentions, have solemnly declared that the
STATE OF PUBLIC FEELING
INTEREST IN MAJOR
We cannot more vividly describe the effect of the news of South Carolina's secession than to reproduce a few of the telegraphic dispatches which fairly blazed over the wires from the Southern States:
"PENSACOLA, Dec. 20. "The secession of South Carolina is greeted with immense enthusiasm here. One hundred guns are being fired in honor of the event."
"MONTGOMERY, Dec. 20. "Governor Moore has ordered one hundred guns to be fired at noon to-morrow, in honor of the secession of South Carolina."
"MOBILE, Dec. 20.
"The secession of South Carolina was celebrated here this afternoon by the firing of a hundred guns,
*For assuming the identical position of Mr. Rhett and his followers, the Northern States are declared, with singular want of consistency, to have heaped wrongs and indignations upon the South.
The case is analagous to that referred to, (page 27, note,) wherein the South declares negroes human beings to obtain their Congressionsl representation, and denies that they are human beings when it requires the Constitution to regard them as chattels— thus illustrating the adage that a mule may be a horse, when the king has no horse.
the cheers of the people, and a military parade. There is great rejoicing. The bells are now ringing merrily, and the people are out in the streets by hundreds, testifying their joy at the triumph of secession. Many impromptu speeches are being made, and the greatest excitement everywhere exists."
"NEW ORLEANS, Dec. 21. "A general demonstration of joy on the secession of South Carolina occurred here to-day. One hundred guns were fired, and the Pelican flag unfurled. Impromptu secession speeches were made by leading citizens, and the Marseilles Hymn and Polkas were the only airs played. A bust of Calhoun was exhibited, decorated with a cockade."
"MACON, Dec. 21.
"We are jubilant over the secession of South Carolina. There is a grand procession of Minutemen, and bonfires, bells ringing, cannon firing, and Main street illuminated. Speeches have been made by J. R. Branham, R. A. Smith, C. Anderson, P. Tracy, and others."
"WILMINGTON, Dec. 21.
the secession of South Carolina."
Congress was in session when Mr. Garnett, of Virginia, announced the act of secession. The announcement scarcely attracted attention. The Pacific Railway bill was under consideration at the moment. view of the contingencies likely to arise, Mr. G. declared that his State could not be held responsible for the payment of her share of the bonds necessary to build the road. "Why, sir," he said, "while your bill is under con
“One hundred guns were to-day fired in honor of sideration, one of the sovereign States of this Confederacy has, by the glorious act of her people, withdrawn, in vindication of her “Fifteen guns were fired to-day. The Palmetto rights, from the Union, as the telegraph anflag was displayed at Norfolk."
"PORTSMOUTH, Dec. 21.
nounced at half-past one to-day." This was followed by the clapping of hands from a few Southern members, but no further notice was taken of it, and the bill was put upon its passage. The two remaining Representatives from South Carolina, Messrs. Boyce and Ashmore, arose from their seats, shook hands with their friends, and retired from the Hall-thus leaving the State without a member in the National Congress.
Mr. Lincoln's Views.
The news (it was telegraphed from Springfield) was received calmly by Mr. Lincoln. An editorial article which appeared in the Springfield (Ill.) Journal, understood to speak for Mr. Lincoln, said: "If South Carolina does not obstruct the collection of the revenues, at her ports nor violate another Federal law, there will be no trouble and she will not be out of the Union. If she violates the law then comes the tug of war. The President of the United States, in such an emergency, has a plain duty to perform. Mr. Buchanan may shirk it, or the emergency may not exist during his administration. If not, then the Union will last through his term of office. If the overt act, on the part of South Carolina, takes place on or after the 1st day
of March, 1861, then the duty of executing the laws will devolve upon Mr. Lincoln."
Feelings of the Republicans.
Major Anderson's position.
next steps which South Carolina might take The general opinion prevailed that nothing of an offensive character would transpire until the Commissioners named had visited Washington and learned the purposes of the President; but, the report gained currency that Fort Moultrie was in danger of assault at any moment, and the interest in Anderson's position became hourly heightened. It was reported that Anderson had orders to surrender if the proper State authorities should demand it; but this was authoritatively denied by the Secretary of War, Dec. 22d. It was necessary to make the denial, since public opinion was assuming an unmistakable tone of exasperation at the conduct of the President and Secretary of War.
A leading New York journal, in its issue of the 21st, commenting on the Republican sentiment, in regard to the crisis, said: "Never, in any habitual excitement, or in any public crisis, have we seen such calmness, steadiness, and firmness, among the masses of the people, as now prevail through the Free States. * * From Maine to Kansas the freemen are quiet, yet resolved. Their feelings and wishes are expressed in the recent speech of Senator Wade. They have done no wrong, and have no apologies to offer. They stand by the Constitution and the Union, and are not yet ready to repudiate the Fourth of July or to trample on the Star-Spangled Banner. In all history a more admirable spectacle was never witnessed than is now afforded by this great people, unalarmed at the clamor, and determined only that the controversy of which it is a feature shall now be finally settled, so that it cannot be revived again by the fools, fanatics and demagogues of a future day." It is certain, however, that a most powerful excitement prevailed among a large class of citizens, who, in Union meetings, and by communications to the press, expressed their wishes for compromise. To allay the storm they were willing to make every sacrifice of partizan and personal preferences, if not of principles, in order to restore the country to its late state of peace and commercial prosperity. This class embraced heavy merchants and manufacturers, whose interests had been injured by the excitement and cessation of trade, together with the Douglas and Breckenridge Democrats generally, and a few nominal Republicans; but, as stated by the journal above quoted from, it was true that the vast majority of the Republicans were firm in their resolves not to compromise, at the expense of a jot of their principles. They entered into Union meetings in the spirit of Unionists rather than to concede aught to the Disunonists. were satisfied with the Constitution as it yet were desirous, apparently, of peace, if it could be won without a compromise of their convictions of political and social right.
Every attention was now directed to the
them has been built. The one completed is formed of solid masonry. In constructing the other, however, a framework of plank has been substituted. Against the inside of this wooden outwork loose bricks have been placed. Both bastionettes are armed with a small carronade, and a howitzer point
"Fort Moultrie is an enclosed water battery, having a front on the South, or water side, of about 300 feet, and a depth of about 240 feet. It is built with salient and re-entering angles on all sides, and is admirably adapted for defense, either from the attack of a storming party, or by regular ap-ed laterally so as to command the whole intervening proaches. moat by a cross-fire.
"In the hurried execution of these extensive improvements, a large force-about 170 men-are constantly engaged. Additions are daily made to this number, and the work of putting the post in the best possible condition for defense, is carried on with almost incredible vigor.
"A few days ago Colonel Gardner, who for years had held the Commandant's position, and whose courtesy and bearing had won the friendship of all who knew him was relieved in the command by Major Robert Anderson of Kentucky. Major Anderson received his first commssion as Brevet 2d Lieutenant, 2d Artillery, July 1st, 1825, was acting Inspector-General in the Black Hawk War, and re
his successful conduct in the Florida war.
The other officers are: Captain Abner Doubleday, Captain T. Seymour, Lieutenant T. Talbot, Lieutenant J. C. Davis, Lieutenant N. J. Hall-all of the First Regiment Artillery.
"The outer and inner walls are of brick, capped with stone, and filled in with earth, making a solid wall 15 or 16 feet in thickness. The work now in progress consists in cleaning the sand from the walls of the fort; ditching it around the entire circumference, and erecting a glacis; closing up the postern gates in the east and west walls, and, instead, cutting sally-ports, which lead into strong outworks on the south-east and south-west angles, in which 12pounder howitzer guns will be placed, enabling the garrison to sweep the ditch on three sides with grape and canister. The north-west angle of the fort has also been strengthened by a bastionette, to sustain the weight of a heavy gun which will command the main street of the island. The main entrance has also been better secured, and a trap-ceived the rank of Brevet Captain, August, 1838, for door, two feet square, cut in the door for ingress and egress. At this time, the hight of the wall from the bottom of the ditch to the top of the parapet is 20 feet. The ditch is from 12 to 15 feet wide at the base, and 15 feet deep. The nature of the soil would not seem to admit of this depth being increased, quicksand having been reached in many places. The work on the south side is nearly finished. The counterscarp is substantially built with plank, and spread with turf. The glacis is also finished. It is composed of sand, and covered with layers of loam and turf, all of which is kept firmly in place by the addition of sections of plank nailed to uprights sunk in the sand, and crossing each other at right angles, making squares of ten feet each. The purpose of the glacis, which is an inclined plane, is to expose an attacking party to the fire of the guns, which are so placed as to sweep it from the crest of the counterscarp to the edge of the beach. On the north side all the wooden guncases have been placed close together on the ramparts, apparently for the purpose of securing it against an escalade, but possibly as a screen for a battery of heavy guns. A good many men are engaged in clearing the ramparts of turf and earth, for the purpose of putting down a very ugly-looking arrangement, which consists of strips of planks 4 inches wide, 1 inches thick, and 6 or 8 feet long, sharpened at the point, and nailed down, so as to project about 3 feet horizontally from the top of the walls.
"A noticeable fact in the bastionettes to which we have above alluded, is the haste in which one of
"Captain J. G. Foster and Lieutenant G. W. Snyder, of the Engineer Corps.
Assistant-Surgeon S. W. Crawford, of the Medical
"The force under these gentlemen consists of two companies of Artillery. The companies, however, are not full, the two comprising, as we are informed, only about seventy men, including the band. A short time ago two additional companies were expected, but they have not come; and it is now positively stated that there will be for the present, at least, no reinforcement of the garrison.
While the working men are doing wonders on the outside, the soldiers within are by no means idle. Field pieces have been placed in position upon the green within the fort, and none of the expedients of military engineering have been neglected to make the position as strong as possible. It is said that the greatest vigilance is observed in every regulation at this time, and that the guns are regularly shotted every night. It is very certain that ingress is no longer an easy matter for an outsider, and the visitor who hopes to get in must make up his mind to ap proach with all the caution, ceremony and circumlo
THE ACTION OF THE SOUTHERN STATES.
cution with which the allies are advancing upon the | in advance, in that arsenal, the quotas of muscapital of the Celestial Empire.
kets to be assigned to several Southern States? Fort Sumter, the largest of our fortresses, is It will be found only one of many acts evia work of solid masonry, octagonal in form, pierced dencing direct complicity with the revolutionon the north, east and west sides with a double row ists on the part of Mr. Floyd, from an early of port-holes for the heaviest guns, and on the south or land stage of the conspiracy, that 70,000 stand of arms were placed in that arsenal and turned side, in addition to openings for guns, loop-holes for musketry, stands in the middle over for safe keeping to the revolutionists themselves. of the harbor, on the edge of the ship channel, and Whatever justification the secession is said to be bomb-proof. It is at present without leaders may urge for their refusal to obey the any regular garrison. There is a large force of laws, it will be found impossible to justify workmen - some one hundred and fifty in all the duplicity and treason practiced by cabibusily employed in mounting the guns and otherwise net officers who used their high positions and putting this great strategic point in order. The arsworn authority to betray their confiding mament of Fort Sumter consists of 140 guns, many constituents. If Mr. Floyd, or Mr. Cobb, or of them being the formidable ten-inch ColumbiMr. Thompson, even thought secession, they ads," which throw either shot or shell, and which had no right, as honorable and just men, to
have a fearful range. Only a few of these are yet in position, and the work of mounting pieces of this calibre in the casemates is necessarily a slow one. There is also a large amount of artillery stores, consisting of about 40,000 pounds of powder, and a proportionate quantity of shot and shell. The workmen engaged here sleep in the fort every night, owing to the want of any regular communication with the city. The wharf or landing is on the south side, and is of course exposed to a cross fire from all the openings on that side.
The fortress most closely commanding the city and its roadstead is Castle Pinckney, which is
located on the southern extremity of a narrow slip of marsh land, which extends in a northerly direction to Hog Island Channel. To the harbor side the so-called castle presents a circular front. It has never been
considered of much consequence as a fortress, although its proximity to the city would give it importance, if properly armed and garrisoned. From hasty observation, we find that there are about fifteen guns mounted on the parapet; the majority of them are eighteen and twenty-four pounders. Some “Columbiads" are, however, within the walls. There are also supplies of powder, shot, and shell. At present there is no garrison at the post; the only residents are one or two watchmen, who have charge of the harbor light. Some thirty or forty day laborers are employed repairing the cisterns, and putting the place generally in order." The arsenal in Charleston was already lost to the Government by direct orders of Secretary Floyd-having been, early in December, turned over to the Governor's care under plea of keeping it safe from mob seizure. Why were not the arms transported, in October, to Fort Moultrie? Why had the Secretary placed,
remain a single day in the cabinet. That they did remain, to scheme and plot against the government which was paying them their salaries, which they had sworn solemnly to uphold and defend, from which they had received all their honors and political position, cannot fail to attach a stigma to their names which no historian may efface, let the result of the Revolution be what it may. Benedict Arnold's treason was not more odious to mankind because of its failure-its success would have equally rendered his name a synonym of moral turpitude.
Secretary Thompson paid Secretary Thomp- a hurried visit to North son's Complicity. Carolina (December 18th), to induce the State Legislature to act on the question of a cooperation of States in the Secession movement. The Secretary was understood to be entirely committed to the plans of the Seceders in disrupting the Union; but, like most of the Conservatives in the Gulf States, preferred that there should be cooperation among the States, thus to render the safety of the act more assured, and the formation of a Slave Confederacy more expeditious. The Secretary acted as the Commissioner of Mississippi to North Carolina. The Crisis Committee of Thirty-three, on Monday, (December 17th,) received from Mr. Rust, of Arkansas, a proposition which he assumed was the ultimatum of the South. It was, in substance, the extension of the Missouri Compromise line to the Pacific,
The Crisis Committee.