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people, of all parties, had declared that the election of an Abolitionist to the Presidency would be a virtual declaration of war against the South on the part of the North, and that Virginia and every other Slave State ought to resist it as such. The Legislature that assembled a few weeks after Lincoln's election declared in effect, with only four dissenting voices, that the interests of Virginia were thoroughly identified with those of the other Southern States, and that any intimation, from any source, that her people were looking to any, combination in the last resort other than union with them, was unpatriotic and treasonable.
The sovereign Convention of Virginia, elected on the 4th of February, 1861, for a long time lingered in the hope that the breach that had taken place in the Union might be repaired by new constitutional guaranties. Nevertheless, that body, before it had yet determined to pass an ordinance of secession -while it was, in fact, hopeful that the Union would be saved through the returning sanity of the Northern people-adopted unanimously the following resolution:
“The people of Virginia recognize the American principle, that government is founded in the consent of the governed, and the right of the people of the several States of this Union, for just cause, to withdraw from their associ. ation under the Federal government, with the people of the other States, and to erect new governments for their better security; and they never will consent that the Federal power, which is, in part, their power, shall be exerted for the purpose of subjugating the people of such States to the Federal authority."
The entire antecedents of Virginia were known to Mr. Lincoln and his Cabinet. They knew that she was solemnly pledged, at whatever cost, to separate from the Union in the very contingency they had brought about-namely, the attempt to subjugate her sister States of the South. They knew that the original “Union men,' as well as the original Secessionists, were committed beyond the possibility of recantation to resistance to the death of
coercive measure of the Federal government. Nevertheless, Mr. Lincoln and his advisers had the temerity to make a call upon the State of Virginia to furnish her quota of seventy-five thousand men to subjugate the seceded States. They had but littie right to be surprised at the course taken by the State, and still lese to charge it with inconsistency or pertidy.
any and every
It was 'expected that Maryland might follow the heroio course of Virginia, and but two days after the secession of the latter State, there were indications in Maryland of a spirit of emulation of the daring and adventurous deeds that had been enacted South of the Potomac. On the 19th of April the passage of Northern volunteers, on their way to Washington, was intercepted and assailed by the citizens of Baltimore, and for more than two weeks the route through that city was effectually closed to Mr. Lincoln's mercenaries. The Baltimore “riot,” as it was called, was one of the most remarkable collisions of the times. A number of Massachusetts volunteers, passing through Baltimore in horse cars, found the track barricaded near one of the docks by stones, sand, and old anchors thrown upon it, and were compelled to attempt the passage to the depot, at the other end of the city, on foot. They had not advanced fifteen paces after leaving the cars when they found their passage blocked by a crowd of excited citizens, who taunted them as mercenaries, and flouted a Southern flag at the head of their column. Stones were thrown by a portion of the crowd, when the troops presented arms and fired. The crowd was converted into an infuriated mob; the fire was returned from a number of revolvers; the soldiers were attacked with sticks, stones, and every conceivable weapon, and in more than one instance their muskets were actually wrung from :heir hands by desperate and unarmed men. Unable to withstand the gathering crowd, and bewildered by their mode of attack, the troops pressed along the street confused and staggering, breaking into a run whenever there was an opportunity to do so, and turning at intervals to fire upon the citizens who pursued them. As they reached the depot they found a crowd already collected there and gathering from every point in the city. The other troops of the Massachusetts regiment who liad preceded them in the horse cars had been pursued by the people along the route, and the soldiers did not hesitate to stretch themselves at full length on the floors of the cars, to avoid the missiles thrown through the windows. The scene that ensued at the depot was terrific. Taunts, clothed in the most fearful language, were hurled at the troops by the panting erowd who, almost breathless with running, pressed up to the windows, presenting knives and revolvers, and cursing up in the faces of the soldiers. A wild cry was raised on the plat form, and a dense crowd rushed out, spreading itself along the railroad track, until for a mile it was black with the excited, rushing mass. The crowd, as they went, filled the track with obstructions; the police who, throughout the whole affair, had contended for order with the most devoted courage, followed in full run removing the obstructions; as far as the eye could reach, the track was crowded with the pursuers and pursued, a struggling and shouting mass of luman beings. In the midst of the excitement the train moved off; and as it passed from the depot a dozen muskets were fired by the soldiers into tlie people that lined the track, the volley killing an estimable citizen who had been drawn to the spot only as a spectator. The results of the riot were serious enough: two of the soldiers were shot; several of the citizens had been killed, and inore than twenty variously wounded.
The excitement in Baltimore continued for weeks; the bridges on the railroad to the Susquehanna were destroyed ; the regular route of travel broken up, and some twenty or twenty-five thousand Northern volunteers, on their way to Washington, detained at Havre de Grace, a portion of them only managing to reach their destination by the way of Annap»olis. On the night of the day of the riot, a mass-meeting was held in Monument Square, and was addressed by urgent appeals for the secession of Maryland, and speeches of defiance to the Lincoln government. Governor Hicks, alarmed by the display of public sentiment, affected to yield to it. He addressed the crowd in person, condemning the coercive policy of the government, and ending with the fervid declaration, “I will suffer my right arm to be torn from my body before I will raise it to strike a sister State.” The same man, in less than a month thereafter, when Maryland had fallen within the grasp of the Federal government, did not hesitate to make a call upon the people for four regiments of volunteers to assist that government in its then fully declared policy of a war of invasion and fell destruction upon the South.
In the city of St. Louis there were collisions between the citizens and soldiery as well as in Baltimore; but in Missouri the indications of sympathy with the South did not subside or allow themselves to be choked by spectral fears of the "crucial
experiment of secession"—they grew and strengthened in the face of all the Federal power could do.
The riots in Maryland and Missouri were, however, only inci dents in the history of the period in which they occurred That history is occupied with far more important and general crents, indicating the increased and rapid preparations, North and South, for war; the collection of resources, and the policy and spirit in which the gathering contest was to be conducted.
Mr. Lincoln had, on the 19th of April, published his proclamation, declaring the ports of the Southern Confederacy in a state of blockade, and denouncing any molestation of Federal vessels on the high seas as piracy. The Provisional Congress at Montgomery had formerly recognized the existence of war with the North, and letters of marque had been issued by the Confederate authority. The theatre of the war on land was indicated in Virginia. General Lee, who had resigned a com: mission as colonel of cavalry in the old United States army, was put in command of all the Confederate States forces in Virginia.
That State was the particular object of the rancor of the government at Washington, which proceeded to inaugurate hostilities on her territory by two acts of ruthless vandalism. On the 19th day of April the Federals evacuated Harper's Ferry, after an attempt to destroy the buildings and machineshops there, which only partially succeeded—the armory buildings being destroyed, but a train to blow up the machineshop failed, and a large quantity of valuable machinery was uninjured. On the succeeding day, prepan.tions were made for the destruction of the Navy Yard at Norfolk, while Federal reinforcements were thrown into Fortress Monroe. The work of vandalism was not as fully completed as the enemy had designed, the dry-dock, which alone cost several millions of dollars, being but little damaged; but the destruction of property was immense, and attended by a terrible conflagration, which at one time threatened the city of Norfolk.
All the ships in the harbor, excepting the old frigate the Cnited States, were set fire to and scuttled. They were the Pennsylvania, the Columbus and Delaware, the steam-frigate Merrimac (she was only partially destroyed), the sloops Ger mantown and Plymouth, the frigates Raritan and Columbia,
and the brig Dolphin. The Germantown was lying at the wharf under a large pair of shears, which we thrown acioss her decks by cutting loose the guys. The ship was nearly cut in t:vo and sunk at the wharf. About midnight an alarm was given that the Navy Yard was on fire. A sickly blaze, that seemed neither to diminish nor increase, continued for several honrs. Men were kept busy at night transferring every thin? of value from the Pennsylvania and Navy Yard to the Pawnou and Cumberland, and both vessels were loaded to their lower ports. At length four o'clock came, and with it flood-tide. A rocket shot up from the Pawnee, and then, almost in an instant, the whole front of the Navy Yard seemed one vast sheet of flame. The next minute streaks of flame flashed along the rigging of the Penpsylvania and the other doomed ships, and soon tliey were completely wrapped in the devouring element. The harbor was now one blaze of light. The remotest objects were distinctly visible. The surging flames leaped and roared with mad violence, making their hoarse wrath heard at the distance of several miles. The people of IIampton, even those who lived beyond, saw the red light, and thought all Norfolk was on fire. It was certainly a grand though terrible spectacle to witness. In the midst of the brilliance of the scene, the Pawnee with the Cumberland in tow, stole like a guilty thing through the harbor, fleeing from the destruction they had been sent to accomplish.
The Lincoln government had reason to be exasperated towards Virginia. The second secessionary movement, commenced by that State, added three other States to the Southern Confederacy. Tennessee seceded from the Union, the 6th of May; on the 18th day of May, the State of Arkansas was formally admitted into the Southern Confederacy; and on the 21st of the same month, the sovereign Convention of North Carolina, without delay, and by a unanimous vote, passed an ordinance of secession.
The spirit of the rival governments gave indications to discerning minds of a civil war of gigantic proportions, infinite consequences, and indefinite duration. In every portion of the South, the most patriotic devotion was exhibited. Transportation companies freely tendered the use of their lines for transportation and supplies. The presidents of the Southern rail