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HISTORICAL SUMMARY OF EVENTS,-NO2.
FROM DECEMBER 27th, 1860, TO MARCH 4th, 1861.
Dec. 27.-Occupation of Fort Sumter, in Charleston Harbor, by Major Anderson. Fort Moultrie is dismantled.
that Lieutenant-General Scott had been appointed Secretary of War, ad interim, produced a thrilling effect and occasioned much indignation among the in favor of extensive military preparations. PostSecessionists, who are fully aware that General Scott master-General Holt is in temporary charge of the War Department, and to-night is attending to the duties there, in company with the Chief Clerk.
-The United States Revenue Cutter Aiken betray-is ed by its commander, Capt. N. L. Coste, into the hands of the South Carolina authorities.
Dec. 28.-South Carolina authorities seize the Custom-house and Post-office. Castle Pinckney and Fort Moultrie occupied by State troops. The Arsenal at Charleston is held by orders of Governor Pickens. Large numbers of troops pouring into Charleston. One body of eighty men received from Georgia. The Palmetto flag flying from the forts, public buildings, &c. The Stars and Stripes only flying from Fort Sumter. A dispatch to a member of the Cabinet, from Charleston, says troops are pouring in from all directions.
-Mr. Holt, the Postmaster-General, sends orders to the Sub-treasury at Charleston, to remit all the balance, $35,000, on the Post-office account in his possession, immediately, to the credit of the department. If this order is not complied with at once, he will demand of the Federal Government to enforce orders. He is also determined, as before suggested, to suppress mail matter to and from South Carolina, if the mails are interfered with in that State.
-The Cabinet broke up to-night, after five hours session, without coming to any conclusion relative to the disposition of troops at Charleston. The impression prevailed that a conflict was inevitable. Secretary Toucey and Mr. Holt, Postmaster-General, urged defense; the others, a further evacuation, if necessary.
Dec. 29.-John B. Floyd resigns his appointment in Mr. Buchanan's Cabinet as Secretary of War. In bis letters of resignation he charges the President with a purpose to inaugurate civil war by refusing
to withdraw Anderson from Charleston harbor entirely. "I cannot consent to be the agent of such a calamity," (civil war,) and therefore tenders his resignation. It was accepted by the President, Dec. 31st, in a very curt and summary note.
-The South Carolina Commissioners make known their mission, by official communication to the President.
Dec. 30.-The President replies at length to the South Carolina Commissioners, declining to receive
Dec. 31.-Reports from Charleston state that strong fortifications are going up in and around the harbor, to resist any reinforcement of Fort Sumter.
-It is announced from Washington that the report which prevailed throughout the city this afternoon
Dec. 31.-Senator Benjamin, of Louisiana, made a powerful secession speech in the United States
Jan. 1, 1861.-The New York Journals of to-day all regard the capital as in danger of seizure. One says: It is now well known that military companies have been organized and drilled for months past in Maryland and Virginia-some of them under the eye of an officer of the regular army-and that the distinct object of their organization is to aid in the seizure of Washington city in the interest of the disunionists, or the prevention by force of Lincoln's inauguration. Some of the less prudent of their leaders boast in private circles that they have five thousand well-armed and organized men ready to strike the blow instantly upon the concerted signal being given."
Jan. 2.-In view of the dangers which threaten the city of Washington, General Scott has taken steps to place the militia of the district under arms. Regulars are also being ordered to the Navy Yard and every precaution is to be taken to avoid a surprise, and to repel any attempt at revolutionary proceedings.
-A dispatch from Georgia states that the election returns indicate that the State has voted, by a large majority, for immediate secession. The State troops are also reported to be in possession of the United States arsenal in Savannah, as well as of Forts Pulaski and Jackson.
-Gov. Ellis, of North Carolina, dispatched troops to-day to seize upon Fort Macon at Beaufort, the forts at Wilmington, and the United States arsenal at Fayetteville. It was done to keep the property from seizure by mobs-so Gov. Ellis wrote to the Department of War.
-Private accounts from Charleston state that a thousand negroes are engaged in the erection of fortifications in the harbor, and that the channels leading to Fort Sumter have been obstructed by sunken vessels, and the buoys removed. Also, that Gov. Pickens has received the offer of 10,000 volunteers
from without the State, who hold themselves in readiness to march at a minute's warning.
-Senator Baker, of Oregon,concluded his response to Mr. Benjamin's speech, in the United States Senate. It was pronounced a "masterly effort."
Jan. 2.-Mr. Baker was followed by Mr. Douglas, | meets. Ex-Secretary Floyd and United States Senwho charged upon the Republican party the present ator Mason are both in Richmond, and both urge a troubles. He declared for compromise, and for giv-policy looking to co-operation with South Carolina. ing the South any necessary Constitutional guarantees.
Jan. 3.-The Florida Convention met at Tallahasse.
-The South Carolina Commissioners return home, having failed of recognition by the Federal government, They wrote insulting letters to the President, prior to their departure.
-The War Department rescinded the order for the shipment of guns from Alleghany Arsenal to the unfinished forts in the South. This news gave great satisfaction to the loyal people of Pittsburg.
Jan. 4.-Fast day, by proclamation of the President. It is quite generally observed in the Northern States and in the Border Slave States, but is not regarded in the Gulf States.
-The South Carolina Convention nominated as delegates to the proposed Southern Confederate Congress: Hon. T. J. Wither, L. M. Keitt, W. W. Boyce, James Chesnut, junior, R. B. Rhett, junior, R. W. Barnwell and C. G. Meminger.
-The United States' Arsenal, at Mobile, seized. It contained large quantities of munitions and arms, Fort Morgan, at Mobile, was also seized and garrisoned, by order of Governor Moore.
Jan. 5.-Enrolment of volunteers going on in several Northern cities, to be offered to the President to enforce the laws.
-Great Workingmen's meeting in Cincinnati. Resolutions passed declaring that the Union must be preserved in its integrity by the enforcement of the laws in all parts of the Union by any necessary means. An immense meeting was also held in Philadelphia in honor of Anderson and the Union. Resolutions were passed, demanding the President to enforce the laws. All parties took part in the proceedings.
-A despatch from Washington says:-"The Alabama and Mississippi delegations held a conference last night, and afterward telegraphed to the Conventions of their respective States advising them to secede immediately, saying there is no prospect of a satisfactory adjustment. They resolved to remain there, awaiting the action of their States."
-The Florida Legislature and Convention assemble.
-The steamer Star of the West sailed secretly from New York with supplies and reinforcements for Fort Sumter. Governor Hicks, of Maryland, publishes his address to the people, stating, at length, his reasons for not convening the Legislature. He reiterated strong Union sentiments.
-It is rumored in Washington that the President is firm in carrying forward his new policy of resistance to further encroachments, so far as lies in his power. Companies of Federal troops are being quietly concentrated in and around the Capital, for its defense.
Jan. 7.-Alabama Convention meets.
-Tennessee Legislature meets.
-Toombs, of Georgia, made a very violent and treasonable speech in the United States Senate.
Jan. 8.-Salutes very generally fired throughout the Northern cities in honor of the battle of New Orleans, Major Anderson and the Union.
Jan. 8.-The South Carolina Commissioners address the Alabama State Convention.
-The South Carolina and Alabama Commissioners address the Florida Convention.
-The South Carolina and Alabama Commissioners invited to seats in the Mississippi Convention.
-Secretary Thompson resigns his seat in the Cabinet, urging, as the cause, that, against positive promises to the contrary, troops had been sent to Major Anderson.
-Agents for the purchase of arms for the Southern States are busy in New York and Philadelphia. Large orders are being filled by Colonel Colt, for pistols and rifles for the South.
-The President sends a special message to Congress.
Jan. 9-A dispatch from Washington states that the Cabinet is in session, deliberating upon the propriety of arresting Senators Toombs and Wigfall, for high treason.
-The steamer Star of the West, with supplies, and 250 troops for Fort Sumter, is fired into from Fort Moultrie and a battery on Morris' Island. She is struck by a shot and puts to sea again, without communicating with the fort.
-The Virginia House of Delegates, of Virginia, adopts the Convention Bill, and names February 4th, as the day of election of delegates.
-Fort McHenry, at Baltimore, is occupied by a company of United States troops.
-The Mississippi Convention passes the ordinance of secession by a vote of 84 to 15.
Jan. 10. The Florida Convention passes the ordinance of secession by a vote of 62 to 7.
Jan. 11.-The Alabama Convention passes the ordinance of secession by a vote of 61 to 30.
-Mr. Thomas, Secretary of the Treasury, resigns. -The Arsenal at Baton-Rouge, Louisiana, seized by the State authorities. Forts Jackson and St. Philip, at the mouth of the Mississippi river, and Fort Pickens, at the Lake Ponchartrain entrance, seized by State troops, by order of Governor Moore.
-A detachment of United States troops occupied the Post-office, Custom-house and Sub-Treasury at St. Louis, as a precaution against their seizure by the mob.
-General John A. Dix, of New York, is appointed Secretary of the Treasury, in place of Mr. Thomas, of Maryland, resigned.
-Lieutenant Talbot, as bearer of despatches from Major Anderson, arrives at Washington. He reports
-Special Session of the Virginia Legislature the Major able to hold out for about two months,
with the supplies of food on hand. He has a pass-nary for a settlement. He is not received by the port from Governor Pickens. A long Cabinet meet- President in any official capacity, but is requested ing followed. to state to the War Department, in writing, his propositions.
-The Florida Ordinance of Secession passed. -Resolutions pass the New York Legislature, tendering the President of the United States aid in support of the Constitution and the Union.
Jan. 12.-Mr. Seward speaks in the Senate. His position as the prospective Secretary of State in the Lincoln Cabinet, gave his words the weight of authority. His speech is pronounced to be "eminently conciliatory."
-A despatch from Springfield, Illinois, says: The conviction now prevails, in Presidential circles, that the day of compromise is past, and that nothing but force will bring rebellious States back into the Union."
-Lieutenant Hall, on the part of Major Anderson, and Colonel Hayne, as bearer of the ultimatum of the South Carolina Government, leave for Washing
Jan. 13.-The Virginia Legislature resolves to call a State Convention on the 13th of February.
-The Navy Yard and Fort Barrancas, at Pensacola, surrendered to the Florida and Alabama troops, by Commander Armstrong. Fort Pickens, under command of Lieutenant Slemmer, bids defiance to Armstrong's orders, and will hold out to the last. Lieutenant Slemmer withdrew from Fort McRae to occupy the stronger post of Pickens.
Jan. 14.-An act passes the South Carolina Legislature declaring that "any attempt by the Federal
Government to reenforce Fort Sumter will be regarded as an act of open hostility and a declaration of war; also approving of the act and promptness of the military in firing on the Star of the West, and promising to support the Governor in all measures of defense."
Jan. 16.-The Crittenden Resolutions lost in the United States Senate by the adoption of Mr. Clark's substitute to the effect that the Constitution is good enough-only wants to be obeyed; that secession is a dangerous remedy, against which all the energies of government should be directed.
-The Majority Reports of the Committees of Thirty-three and Thirteen are published.
-The Arkansas Legislature unanimously passes a bill submitting the question of calling a Convention to a vote of the people, February 28th.
-The State Convention bill passes the Missouri Legislature. The election of delegates to be held February 18th-the Convention to assemble February 28th. The voters for delegates are to say "yes" or "no" on their ballots to decide whether or not the ordinance of secession if passed shall be submitted to the people for ratification.
Major-General Sandford tenders to the Governor and through him to General Scott the service of the first Division of the New York State militia, numbering seven thousand thoroughly armed and disciplined men, "for any service which may be required of them."
Legislature report that the exigencies of the times Jan. 17.-Military Committee of South Carolina demand that South Carolina be placed on a war footing. The plan for submarine telegraph lines to all the fortifications was adopted.
In the Virginia Legislature the Committee on Federal Relations report the Crittenden resolutions as a proper basis of adjustment: that Commissioners be appointed to South Carolina and to Washington, requesting non-action of a belligerent character until Virginia can act, &c., &c., for compromise.
Jan. 18.-In the Massachusetts Legislature a series of resolutions was passed by a unanimous vote, tending to the President of the United States such aid in men and money as he may require, to maintain the authority of the General Government. The preamble to the resolution declares that the State of South Carolina, in seizing the fortifications of the Federal Government, the Post-office, Custom-house, moneys, arms, munitions of war, and by firing upon a vessel in the service of the United States, had committed an act of war.
-The Virginia Legislature passes a bill appropriating $1,000,000 for the defense of the State, and a bill authorizing the issue of treasury notes to that amount, bearing six per cent. interest.
-The Georgia State Convention, in secret session, adopted resolutions, first, declaring the right and duty of Georgia to secede; and, second, appointing a Committee of Seventeen to report an Ordinance of Secession, by a vote of yeas 165, nays
Jan. 19.-Secession Ordinance passed by the Georgia State Convention. Yeas 208, nays 89.
-The Committee on the Confederacy of the Mississippi Legislature has reported resolutions to provide for a Southern Confederacy, and to establish a provisional Government for seceding States and States hereafter seceding. The proposed Southern Convention will meet at Montgomery on the 4th of February.
-A despatch from Washington says:--" Despatches from high sources in Charleston show that the authorities there feel disappointed that Lieutenant Talbot, who reached there to-day, did not bring back evidences that the United States Government was ready to surrender to their demands at once. A gloom hangs over the city."
--The Tennessee Legislature calls a State Convention to assemble February 25th. Election of Delegates to be held February 9th. The Ordinance of Secession, if passed, is to be submitted to the people for ratification or rejection.
Jan. 20.-The Alabama Delegation in Congress withdrew, having received official notice of the secession of their State.
fecting the defences of Fort Pickens from the land | and Pensacola side is being pushed forward with great vigor by Lieut. Slemmer who, it would appear, is determined to hold out to the last.
Feb. 9.-A Provisional Constitution is adopted by the Southern Congress at Montgomery, as a basis for a Provisional Government. The United States Constitution is used, with slight variation. Jefferson
Jan. 23.-The Georgia delegation withdraws from Davis, of Mississippi, elected President, and AlexCongress.
-Hon. Emerson Etheridge, of Tennessee, makes a speech in the United States House of Representatives, declaring secession to be rebellion, which the government must suppress.
ander H. Stephens, of Georgia, Vice-President of the "Confederate States of North America."
Feb. 11.-Mr. Lincoln, President-elect, starts for Washington, via Indianapolis, Cincinnatti, Columbus, Pittsburg, Cleveland, Buffalo, Albany, New York City, Trenton, Philadelphia, Harrisburg and BaltiJan. 24. The Arsenal at Augusta, Georgia, seized more. He was the guest of all these cities, by action by the State authorities. of the authorities and State Legislatures. His jour
Jan. 25.-The Rhode Island State Legislature re-ney was by special trains, and was one grand ovation peals its Personal Liberty law. at all stopping points.
-The Louisiana State Convention passes an ordinance of secession. Yeas, 113; nays, 17.
Jan. 26.-Alabama State Convention adjourned to March 4th.
Feb. 12.-Reports from Tennessee indicate that the State has voted, by over 20,000 majority, against a State Convention.
Feb. 17.-A dispatch from Washington says but little hope is entertained of any beneficial result from the Peace Convention. The Northern Comsub-missioners are persistent in their refusal to agree to the Southern demands.
Jan. 28.-Texas State Convention meets at Austin. Jan. 30.-The Legislature of North Carolina mits the question of holding a Convention to a vote of the people, February 28th.
-Ex Secretary Floyd indicted by the Grand Jury of Washington on two counts; 1st, for malfeasance; 2d, for conspiracy with Bailey and Russell, to defraud the government.
Jan. 30.-The Revenue Cutters Cass and MeClelland betrayed by their commanders-the last named by Capt. Breshwood into the hands of the Louisiana State authorities, the first by Capt. J. J. Morrison,
into the hands of the Alabama authorities. Secretary Dix's Special agent had authority to shoot down the first man who attempted to haul down the American flag, but he did not succeed in gaining possession of either vessel.
Feb. 1.-The United States Mint and Custom house in New Orleans seized by the State authorities.
-Texas Convention passes ordinance of Secession-yeas 166, nays 7.
Feb. 4.--The Virginia Conference, or, as it is called, the "Peace Convention," assembles in Washiugton. It is composed of five delegates from each State, appointed by the Governors, to consider some plan of adjustment. Most of the Northern, and all of the Border States, are represented.
-The Congress, or Conference, of Southern seceded States, meets at Montgomery.
Feb. 19.--Mr. Lincoln receives a magnificent reception in New York city. Two hundred thousand people turns out to swell the throng on the streets. He held a Levee at the City Hall February 20th.
Feb. 22. Mr. Lincoln leaves Harrisburg abruptly and secretly, by night, for Washington-hav ing evidences of a plot in Baltimore to create a riot upon his appearance on the 23d, as set down in the published programme of his progress. Arrives at the Capitol early on the morning of the 23d.
Feb. 25.-It is ascertained that Brigadier-Gen. Twiggs, commanding in the Department of Texas, has betrayed his command and turned over all the posts, United States property in arms, munitions, horses, and equipments, &c., to the Texan State authorities.
Feb. 26-March 3.-Extensive preparations for the inauguration of Mr. Lincoln. The Military, under Feb. 5.-Ex-President Tyler, of Virginia, elected command of Generals Scott and Wool, is to be disPresident of the Peace Convention.
Feb. 8.-Colonel Hayne departs for Charleston, unable to obtain any recognition from the Federal Government.
tributed throughout the city. Mr. Buchanan lends his influence to a happy and peaceful introduction of his successor to office.
The Minute Men.
SOCIETIES IN THE SOUTHERN STATES.
ORGANIZATIONS known as "Minute Men," "Defense Committees," "Brotherhood" and "Vigilance" and "Southern Rights" Associations, &c., &c., are occasionally referred to in the news of the day; but the public generally is not aware of the extent of these organizations, nor of the very important part they have played in carrying out the scheme of secession. Their active formation commenced immediately after the Presidential election, though they had existed for some time previous. That of the "Minute Men," in particular, was instrumental in disseminating extreme views for many months prior to the election. This body was, avowedly, organized for home protection against insurrections, but, in reality, had for its object the arrest and punishment of white "emissaries" who might be regarded as "suspicious characters—which meant, of any person obnoxious to any Southern man. With out ceremony or law, the "Men" proceeded to their work, and the occasional accounts, which would find their way to the press, of outrages and lynch law perpetrated on white persons of Northern birth, proved that they were the self-constituted guardians of Southern society whose bare suspicions it was dan-ator from Texas had told gerous to incur. Something of their self-ar-him that a great many of these free debaters rogated powers and duties may be inferred were hanging from the trees of that country," from the news given on pages 47-48, regu- he simply stated a well-accredited fact; and, lating the operations of a "Vigilance Associ- that the speaker was not candid enough to ation," from which we may report: confess, from his own personal knowledge, that, in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, the same sight might be witnessed, proves him to have been capable of a feeling of shame.
"The Association is pledged to put down all negro preachings, prayer-meetings, and all congregations of negroes that may be considered unlawful by the patrol.”
That the officers "have full power to decide all cases that may be brought before them, and their decisions shall be final and conclusive."
"That the patrol companies have the power to correct and punish all slaves, free negroes, mulattoes and mastizoes as they may deem proper."
"The patrol have power to arrest all suspicious white persons, and bring them before the Executive Committee for trial.”
It will scarcely be credited by foreigners that such an organization could exist in any other than a disorganized state of society, where courts were powerless, and where violence was the rule; but, that they did exist throughout all the Gulf States and South Carolina during the fall and winter of 1860– 1861, is attested by the almost innumerable and authenticated accounts of atrocities and outrages perpetrated on Northern men and women, as well as on free negroes. If the story ever is told, of the men being hung, tarred and feathered, whipped, driven off, it will excite a feeling of incredulity.
When Mr. Iverson stated in the Senate "that a Sen
Men hanging from