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timschochet

The American Civil War Timeline- 150th Anniversary

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Yankee, I agree with your post with the exception of the last paragraph. What I should have written was: nowhere in the Constitution is it DIRECTLY written: A state cannot secede. Obviously, since I believe that secession is illegal, I agree with your interpretation of the Constitution.

With regard to your last paragraph, I take issue. I fail to see any difference between your argument and "might makes right". I'm not sure there is such a thing as an "honorable criminal". For me to argue that these men are honorable (and I think they were) then they cannot be criminals. Or traitors. And furthermore, your last sentence: trying to twist obvious words and intent of the Constitution to legitimize something that would make the Constitution as worthless as the AoC. seems to hint that there is a disingenousness in the Southern argument for secession- only dishonest people attempt to twist words. Honorable people, even when misguided, interpret words honorably. I don't believe these men were disingenous.

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The men who voted to secede in South Carolina were not traitors or criminals, but they were misguided.

I have already established that I believe it was illegal to secede. Putting aside the issue of traitors for a moment, I realize that it will seem illogical to many that I do not regard the decision to secede as criminal. The reason for this is pretty simple: at the time of the secession of South Carolina, no law regarding this one way or the other had been established. The South Carolinians believed they had the right to secede. IMO, they were wrong about this, but since it had not been established legally that this is so, they are therefore not criminals for doing so. On the other hand, if a state today were to decide to secede from the Union, the men and women who made that decision would be criminals, because the law and precedent has been established.

Obviously I disagree.

Was the secession of 1860 an act of disloyalty or treachery to the government of the United States?

Yes. Without question or equivocation.

Was there any attempt to overthrow the United States Government by the secessionists of 1860?

I actually argue Yes. By the very nature of the civil war any result other then the one that occurred meant the end of the republic and the overthrow of the Constitutional system. It wasn't a direct overthrow as you seem to be relying on definition wise, but the actions taken had consequences. The consequence of a southern confederacy was almost certainly the end of the government in Washington DC whether sooner or later.

Did the secessionists of 1860 attempt to impair the well-being of the government to which they owed allegiance?

Yes. In simple respnse, they shot at federal troops and took command of federal holdings. In more elongated response their acts mutated policy, taxing authority, law enforcement, foreign policy and every other act of the government.

Did the secessionists of 1860 give aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States?

They tried to every day of the war until they surrendered.

_____________

Again, I don't find the need to clarify and extend remarks here to be able to give the leaders of the rebellion some form of honorable cover. They were criminals and traitors. They were no better then Washington, ADams and Franklin who were criminals and traitors themselves.

The more interesting question is what would Lincoln have done had he lived and had he been required to bring the leaders to justice. I'm pretty sure he would have made an example of Jefferson Davis if he had to, but I'm willing to bet that beyond some form of law outlawing the leaders ability to enter publi office again, on either the state or federal level, that he likely would have not had many treason trials or punishments. That line about healing the nations wounds wasn't political hyperbole.

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Yankee, I agree with your post with the exception of the last paragraph. What I should have written was: nowhere in the Constitution is it DIRECTLY written: A state cannot secede. Obviously, since I believe that secession is illegal, I agree with your interpretation of the Constitution.

With regard to your last paragraph, I take issue. I fail to see any difference between your argument and "might makes right". I'm not sure there is such a thing as an "honorable criminal". For me to argue that these men are honorable (and I think they were) then they cannot be criminals. Or traitors. And furthermore, your last sentence: trying to twist obvious words and intent of the Constitution to legitimize something that would make the Constitution as worthless as the AoC. seems to hint that there is a disingenousness in the Southern argument for secession- only dishonest people attempt to twist words. Honorable people, even when misguided, interpret words honorably. I don't believe these men were disingenous.

You need to get over this. In a very real political sense might does make right. Especially in terms of things such as war and the legitimate acts of the warriors. The winers writing the history books isn't just a comedic thought. It's human reality. The revolutionaries in this country were right, in many respects, because they won. Had they lost, they would have been hanged as traitors and criminals and the history books would record them as so.

And I do believe they were disengenuous and have been pretty clear on that. They were willing to work within the confins of the Constitution so long as policy benefitted them and they got what they wanted. But the second that they started actually having to concede a little like everyone else does in policy and government then all of the sudden the system was illegal and being forced upon them by an unjust illegal central tyrant. And all of this over slavery and to a lesser extent one tarrif.

If the argument for secession is we want our slaves and will do anything to keep them, damn all else - fine. No disengeuous stance there. Saying or doing anything else - which is basically the last stance of the supporters of the south these days since they lost - does have a part of disengenuousness in it. Because, again, there doesn't need to be a legal argument to support an act based on something that is extralegal to begin with.

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That is what is so maddening about the supporters of the south in the history books and talks here. They didn't need any legitimate argument under the Constitution to do what they did if they beleived it was the right thing to do. There was a higher more important "law" to adhere to. There was a foreign government enforcing unjust law no different then the crown to the colonies in 1776. Frnakly, staying under that banner is more legitimate and easily defended then trying to twist obvious words and intent of the Constitution to legitimize something that would make the Constitution as worthless as the AoC.

If it makes you feel any better, while I do think they had a right to secede, whether they did or not is irrelevant. They felt it was what needed to be done and they did it.I don't like the motives that drove these politicians to exercise their "right" to secede, but I feel they had that right.

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That is what is so maddening about the supporters of the south in the history books and talks here. They didn't need any legitimate argument under the Constitution to do what they did if they beleived it was the right thing to do. There was a higher more important "law" to adhere to. There was a foreign government enforcing unjust law no different then the crown to the colonies in 1776. Frnakly, staying under that banner is more legitimate and easily defended then trying to twist obvious words and intent of the Constitution to legitimize something that would make the Constitution as worthless as the AoC.

If it makes you feel any better, while I do think they had a right to secede, whether they did or not is irrelevant. They felt it was what needed to be done and they did it.

I don't like the motives that drove these politicians to exercise their "right" to secede, but I feel they had that right.

And that is a clearly acceptable position to take. But you and I understand each other on this anyway. I've said in just about every one of these threads that this argument is the better one and it could actually be one that, in the end, I support. The black mark on the higher law argument, though, is slavery.

The shark move for the south would have been to issue a proclamation the day after each state signed on to the rebellion stating that all slaves are declared free, and then still fought for the higher law. That would have been a very very interesting struggle.

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The common men and women of South Carolina were not traitors or misguided; in fighting for the Confederacy, they acted as patriots, and many of them were heroes.

This is my last point to make, and after this I'll return to the narrative and let others argue over these issues if they want.

Even if I were to accept Yankee's arguments that the men who voted for secession were criminals and traitors, I still don't see how this can apply to the common soldier in South Carolina, or indeed any of the Confederate states. If your state government, and your entire community, and everyone you know considers themselves at war with the Yankees, are you really supposed to say, "No, that would be an act of treason. I'm going to act against my neighbors and state government." Wouldn't THAT be the real act of treason? I think it would. I believe it is a complete misuse of the term to call these people traitors. They were heroic and tragic figures, caught in a struggle which they did not create, and they attempted, honorably for the most part, to win the struggle because it provided the best means for them to protect their families, neighbors, homes from destruction. For the Confederate soldiers to have behaved any way other than how they did would have been dishonorable, IMO.

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The common men and women of South Carolina were not traitors or misguided; in fighting for the Confederacy, they acted as patriots, and many of them were heroes.

This is my last point to make, and after this I'll return to the narrative and let others argue over these issues if they want.

Even if I were to accept Yankee's arguments that the men who voted for secession were criminals and traitors, I still don't see how this can apply to the common soldier in South Carolina, or indeed any of the Confederate states.

I agree.

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I'm still in the proces of catching up with the WWII thread, looking forward to this one :thumbup:

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Tim, your disagreement with Y23 really boils down to a difference of opinion of the definition of the word 'criminal.' To Y23, this word merely means someone who has broken a law. That's it. But you apply some kind of morality to it, as in someone who is a bad person and must be punished primarily for that reason.

On a technical level, every person in the South who took up arms against the North was a criminal. They also were taking up arms against the rightful government of these United States without a legal reason to do so, i.e. they were traitors. That doesn't mean they were immoral or 'bad' people for doing so. I think you're basically trying for a sort of jury nullification ... trying to exempt these people from application of these basic definitions on moral grounds.

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Tim, your disagreement with Y23 really boils down to a difference of opinion of the definition of the word 'criminal.' To Y23, this word merely means someone who has broken a law. That's it. But you apply some kind of morality to it, as in someone who is a bad person and must be punished primarily for that reason. On a technical level, every person in the South who took up arms against the North was a criminal. They also were taking up arms against the rightful government of these United States without a legal reason to do so, i.e. they were traitors. That doesn't mean they were immoral or 'bad' people for doing so. I think you're basically trying for a sort of jury nullification ... trying to exempt these people from application of these basic definitions on moral grounds.

You may be correct in your analysis. However, Yankee did agree with me in my assessment of the common Southern soldier; therefore, he does not seem to agree with your statement that "every person in the South who took up arms against the North was a criminal". But I think in terms of me you're probably right- I AM seeking a sort of jury nullification. In my own eyes, I can't see Robert E. Lee as a criminal or traitor.

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Tim, your disagreement with Y23 really boils down to a difference of opinion of the definition of the word 'criminal.' To Y23, this word merely means someone who has broken a law. That's it. But you apply some kind of morality to it, as in someone who is a bad person and must be punished primarily for that reason. On a technical level, every person in the South who took up arms against the North was a criminal. They also were taking up arms against the rightful government of these United States without a legal reason to do so, i.e. they were traitors. That doesn't mean they were immoral or 'bad' people for doing so. I think you're basically trying for a sort of jury nullification ... trying to exempt these people from application of these basic definitions on moral grounds.

You may be correct in your analysis. However, Yankee did agree with me in my assessment of the common Southern soldier; therefore, he does not seem to agree with your statement that "every person in the South who took up arms against the North was a criminal". But I think in terms of me you're probably right- I AM seeking a sort of jury nullification. In my own eyes, I can't see Robert E. Lee as a criminal or traitor.
No, they were criminals under the law. So is someone who jaywalks. I don't believe everyone who jaywalks needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The common southerner broke the law but in the sense of the times it was understandable and even defendable.

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But I think in terms of me you're probably right- I AM seeking a sort of jury nullification. In my own eyes, I can't see Robert E. Lee as a criminal or traitor.

Well, you need to get over that because there isn't a single argument that can be made that says Robert E. Lee was a better person then George Washington, John Adams or Benjamin Franklin - yet they were all traitors and criminals. To try to give the southern leaders a larger more legitimate mantle then the founders is grotesque.

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That is what is so maddening about the supporters of the south in the history books and talks here. They didn't need any legitimate argument under the Constitution to do what they did if they beleived it was the right thing to do. There was a higher more important "law" to adhere to. There was a foreign government enforcing unjust law no different then the crown to the colonies in 1776. Frnakly, staying under that banner is more legitimate and easily defended then trying to twist obvious words and intent of the Constitution to legitimize something that would make the Constitution as worthless as the AoC.

If it makes you feel any better, while I do think they had a right to secede, whether they did or not is irrelevant. They felt it was what needed to be done and they did it.

I don't like the motives that drove these politicians to exercise their "right" to secede, but I feel they had that right.

And that is a clearly acceptable position to take. But you and I understand each other on this anyway. I've said in just about every one of these threads that this argument is the better one and it could actually be one that, in the end, I support. The black mark on the higher law argument, though, is slavery.

The shark move for the south would have been to issue a proclamation the day after each state signed on to the rebellion stating that all slaves are declared free, and then still fought for the higher law. That would have been a very very interesting struggle.

Sharra has General Longstreet say this to Fremantle (military observer from England) in The Killer Angels, and the movie Gettysburg has the same line: "We should have freed the slaves, THEN fired on Fort Sumter." Its not an authentic quote, but I agree that would have quite the savvy move.

We'll get to in a few (virtual) years, but later we'll see that the Emancipation Proclamation did not emanate from any moral equation so much as it was politically astute posturing. The CSA had no hope of foreign intervention from England or France once Lincoln framed the debate into a moral dilemma.

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Secession, Part One

The second Continental Congress had deliberated 14 months before declaring American independence in 1776. To produce the United States Constitution and put the new government in operation took nearly 2 years. In contrast, the Confederate States of America organized itself, drafted a constitution, and set up shop in Montgomery, Alabama, within 3 months of Lincoln's election.

The South moved so swiftly because, in seeming paradox, secession proceeded on a state-by-state basis rather than by collective action. Remembering the lesson of 1850, fire-eaters determined this time to eschew a convention of states until the secession of several of them had become a fait accompli. And because the ground had long since been plowed and planted, the harvest of disunion came quickly after the thunderstorm of Lincoln's election.

Not surprisingly, South Carolina acted first. "There is nothing in all the dark caves of human passion so cruel ad deadly as the hatred South Carolinians profess for the Yankees," wrote the correspondent of the London Times from Charleston. Rhett, suitable to the occasion, wrote, "Nothing shall ever induce us to submit to any union with the brutal, bigoted rabble of the New England States!" In this mood the South Carolina legislature called a convention to consider secession. Amid extraordinary scenes of marching bands, firework displays, militia calling themselves Minute Men, and huge rallies of citizens waving palmetto flags and shouting, "Southern Rights! Southern Rights!" the convention by a vote of 169-0 enacted on December 20 an "ordinance" dissolving "the union now subsisting between South Carolina and other States."

As fire-eaters had hoped, this bold step triggered a chain reaction by conventions in other lower-South states. After the Christmas holidays, Mississippi adopted a similar ordinance on January 9, 1861, followed by Florida on January 10, Alabama on January 11, Georgia on January 19, Louisiana on January 26, and Texas on February 1. Although none of these conventions exhibited the unity of South Carolina's, their average vote in favor of secession was 80%. This figure was probably a fair reflection of white opinion in those 6 states.

Divisions in the lower South occured mainly over tactics and timing, not goals. A group of conservatives calling themselves "Conditional unionists" argued that the South ought to give Lincoln a chance to prove his moderate intentions. Only if Republicans committed some "overt act" against southern rights should the South resort to the drastic step of secession. But while these conservatives included influential men like Alexander Stephens, they were swept along by the pace of events. As Judah P. Benjamin of Louisiana, an ally of Stephens, wrote:

The conservative and prudent men South were not able to stem the wild torrent of passion which is carrying everything before it. It is a revolution of the most intense character, and it can no more be checked by human effort, for the time, than a prarie fire by a gardener's watering pot.

It is important to note here that the flag-waving, singing crowds in Charleston and Savannah and New Orleans did not want or expect war. On the contrary, they generally believed the Yankees were cowards and would not fight. Senator James Chesnut of South Carolina offered to drink all the blood shed as a consequence of secession. It became a common saying in the South during the Secession Winter that "a lady's thimble will hold all the blood that will be shed."

Alexander Stephens was not so sure. "War I look for as almost certain," he wrote. "Revolutions are much easier started than controlled, and the men who begin them often themselves become the victims." But when Stephen's home state voted for secession, he joined the revolution.

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AN ORDINANCE to dissolve the union between the State of South Carolina and other States united with her under the compact entitled "The Constitution of the United States of America."

We, the people of the State of South Carolina, in convention assembled, do declare and ordain, and it is hereby declared and ordained, That the ordinance adopted by us in convention on the twenty-third day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, whereby the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified, and also all acts and parts of acts of the General Assembly of this State ratifying amendments of the said Constitution, are hereby repealed; and that the union now subsisting between South Carolina and other States, under the name of the "United States of America," is hereby dissolved.

Done at Charleston the twentieth day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty.

Of course, no state ordinance superscedes the Constitution.....

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Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union

The people of the State of South Carolina, in Convention assembled, on the 26th day of April, A.D., 1852, declared that the frequent violations of the Constitution of the United States, by the Federal Government, and its encroachments upon the reserved rights of the States, fully justified this State in then withdrawing from the Federal Union; but in deference to the opinions and wishes of the other slaveholding States, she forbore at that time to exercise this right. Since that time, these encroachments have continued to increase, and further forbearance ceases to be a virtue.

And now the State of South Carolina having resumed her separate and equal place among nations, deems it due to herself, to the remaining United States of America, and to the nations of the world, that she should declare the immediate causes which have led to this act.

In the year 1765, that portion of the British Empire embracing Great Britain, undertook to make laws for the government of that portion composed of the thirteen American Colonies. A struggle for the right of self-government ensued, which resulted, on the 4th of July, 1776, in a Declaration, by the Colonies, "that they are, and of right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; and that, as free and independent States, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do."

They further solemnly declared that whenever any "form of government becomes destructive of the ends for which it was established, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government." Deeming the Government of Great Britain to have become destructive of these ends, they declared that the Colonies "are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved."

In pursuance of this Declaration of Independence, each of the thirteen States proceeded to exercise its separate sovereignty; adopted for itself a Constitution, and appointed officers for the administration of government in all its departments-- Legislative, Executive and Judicial. For purposes of defense, they united their arms and their counsels; and, in 1778, they entered into a League known as the Articles of Confederation, whereby they agreed to entrust the administration of their external relations to a common agent, known as the Congress of the United States, expressly declaring, in the first Article "that each State retains its sovereignty, freedom and independence, and every power, jurisdiction and right which is not, by this Confederation, expressly delegated to the United States in Congress assembled."

Under this Confederation the war of the Revolution was carried on, and on the 3rd of September, 1783, the contest ended, and a definite Treaty was signed by Great Britain, in which she acknowledged the independence of the Colonies in the following terms: "ARTICLE 1-- His Britannic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz: New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be FREE, SOVEREIGN AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that he treats with them as such; and for himself, his heirs and successors, relinquishes all claims to the government, propriety and territorial rights of the same and every part thereof."

Thus were established the two great principles asserted by the Colonies, namely: the right of a State to govern itself; and the right of a people to abolish a Government when it becomes destructive of the ends for which it was instituted. And concurrent with the establishment of these principles, was the fact, that each Colony became and was recognized by the mother Country a FREE, SOVEREIGN AND INDEPENDENT STATE.

In 1787, Deputies were appointed by the States to revise the Articles of Confederation, and on 17th September, 1787, these Deputies recommended for the adoption of the States, the Articles of Union, known as the Constitution of the United States.

The parties to whom this Constitution was submitted, were the several sovereign States; they were to agree or disagree, and when nine of them agreed the compact was to take effect among those concurring; and the General Government, as the common agent, was then invested with their authority.

If only nine of the thirteen States had concurred, the other four would have remained as they then were-- separate, sovereign States, independent of any of the provisions of the Constitution. In fact, two of the States did not accede to the Constitution until long after it had gone into operation among the other eleven; and during that interval, they each exercised the functions of an independent nation.

By this Constitution, certain duties were imposed upon the several States, and the exercise of certain of their powers was restrained, which necessarily implied their continued existence as sovereign States. But to remove all doubt, an amendment was added, which declared that the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people. On the 23d May , 1788, South Carolina, by a Convention of her People, passed an Ordinance assenting to this Constitution, and afterwards altered her own Constitution, to conform herself to the obligations she had undertaken.

Thus was established, by compact between the States, a Government with definite objects and powers, limited to the express words of the grant. This limitation left the whole remaining mass of power subject to the clause reserving it to the States or to the people, and rendered unnecessary any specification of reserved rights.

We hold that the Government thus established is subject to the two great principles asserted in the Declaration of Independence; and we hold further, that the mode of its formation subjects it to a third fundamental principle, namely: the law of compact. We maintain that in every compact between two or more parties, the obligation is mutual; that the failure of one of the contracting parties to perform a material part of the agreement, entirely releases the obligation of the other; and that where no arbiter is provided, each party is remitted to his own judgment to determine the fact of failure, with all its consequences.

In the present case, that fact is established with certainty. We assert that fourteen of the States have deliberately refused, for years past, to fulfill their constitutional obligations, and we refer to their own Statutes for the proof.

The Constitution of the United States, in its fourth Article, provides as follows: "No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up, on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due."

This stipulation was so material to the compact, that without it that compact would not have been made. The greater number of the contracting parties held slaves, and they had previously evinced their estimate of the value of such a stipulation by making it a condition in the Ordinance for the government of the territory ceded by Virginia, which now composes the States north of the Ohio River.

The same article of the Constitution stipulates also for rendition by the several States of fugitives from justice from the other States.

The General Government, as the common agent, passed laws to carry into effect these stipulations of the States. For many years these laws were executed. But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution. The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, have enacted laws which either nullify the Acts of Congress or render useless any attempt to execute them. In many of these States the fugitive is discharged from service or labor claimed, and in none of them has the State Government complied with the stipulation made in the Constitution. The State of New Jersey, at an early day, passed a law in conformity with her constitutional obligation; but the current of anti-slavery feeling has led her more recently to enact laws which render inoperative the remedies provided by her own law and by the laws of Congress. In the State of New York even the right of transit for a slave has been denied by her tribunals; and the States of Ohio and Iowa have refused to surrender to justice fugitives charged with murder, and with inciting servile insurrection in the State of Virginia. Thus the constituted compact has been deliberately broken and disregarded by the non-slaveholding States, and the consequence follows that South Carolina is released from her obligation.

The ends for which the Constitution was framed are declared by itself to be "to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity."

These ends it endeavored to accomplish by a Federal Government, in which each State was recognized as an equal, and had separate control over its own institutions. The right of property in slaves was recognized by giving to free persons distinct political rights, by giving them the right to represent, and burthening them with direct taxes for three-fifths of their slaves; by authorizing the importation of slaves for twenty years; and by stipulating for the rendition of fugitives from labor.

We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.

For twenty-five years this agitation has been steadily increasing, until it has now secured to its aid the power of the common Government. Observing the *forms* [emphasis in the original] of the Constitution, a sectional party has found within that Article establishing the Executive Department, the means of subverting the Constitution itself. A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that "Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free," and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.

This sectional combination for the submersion of the Constitution, has been aided in some of the States by elevating to citizenship, persons who, by the supreme law of the land, are incapable of becoming citizens; and their votes have been used to inaugurate a new policy, hostile to the South, and destructive of its beliefs and safety.

On the 4th day of March next, this party will take possession of the Government. 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 guaranties 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 enemy.

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 sanction of 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 our intentions, have solemnly declared that the Union heretofore existing between this State and the other States of North America, is dissolved, and that the State of South Carolina has resumed her position among the nations of the world, as a separate and independent State; with full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do.

Adopted December 24, 1860

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Secession, Part One

...

Alexander Stephens was not so sure. "War I look for as almost certain," he wrote. "Revolutions are much easier started than controlled, and the men who begin them often themselves become the victims." But when Stephen's home state voted for secession, he joined the revolution.

It is fascinating how many of the CSA politicians and military leaders felt war was a misstep; yet I have never read of anyone who contemplated another course that would have avoided it. After the fact many of them took up the cry "We just want to be left alone", but they had to have known they were forcing the issue. Its ironic the Civil War is sometimes termed The War of Northern Aggression, because the souths actions left Lincoln's administration few options once he finally took office 3 months after the 7 deep south states had seceded.

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Have fun...I'm going to fire up the boilers to the Star of the West...just lemme know when you want her to get under way.

I think you better have the bosun's mate shorten lines.

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You have to give South Carolina credit for the argument.

1. We wanted to seceed in 1852 but the other states talked us out of it at the time, even though we know we could have then.

2. Far too many injustices to our state have occurred in the preceding 8 years for us to wait any more.

3. We won the revolution.

4. We chose to join forces to do so.

5. Nothing particularly important was happening enough to give any more background to the statement that the Constitution was then created.

6. States that didn't support it or ratify it weren't part of it until they did.

7. We eventually did when we got what we wanted.

8. Policy with regard to slavery is changing like any policy usually does in political worlds.

9. We don't like that change.

10. Since we don't like that change it should be clear to all that no change should be allowed.

11. Any change to policy we don't like is unconstitutional and basically an act of war.

12. There dares to be a political party that has a platform we don't agree with.

13. That party actually got a PResident elected.

14. We know he doesn't like the policies we like so the whole thing really wasn't legitimate anyway and we are leaving.

15. Oh, and the sectional problems that we have actually caused are getting worse and could come back to bite us, so the getting is good at this point.

Sign, have a party, draft up a militia, look for allies, and fire the shot.

Good plan.

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Secession, Part One

...

Alexander Stephens was not so sure. "War I look for as almost certain," he wrote. "Revolutions are much easier started than controlled, and the men who begin them often themselves become the victims." But when Stephen's home state voted for secession, he joined the revolution.

It is fascinating how many of the CSA politicians and military leaders felt war was a misstep; yet I have never read of anyone who contemplated another course that would have avoided it. After the fact many of them took up the cry "We just want to be left alone", but they had to have known they were forcing the issue. Its ironic the Civil War is sometimes termed The War of Northern Aggression, because the souths actions left Lincoln's administration few options once he finally took office 3 months after the 7 deep south states had seceded.
Romantic rhetoric was a drug many took without understanding that those words would cause actions that had consequences.

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Secession, Part One

...

Alexander Stephens was not so sure. "War I look for as almost certain," he wrote. "Revolutions are much easier started than controlled, and the men who begin them often themselves become the victims." But when Stephen's home state voted for secession, he joined the revolution.

It is fascinating how many of the CSA politicians and military leaders felt war was a misstep; yet I have never read of anyone who contemplated another course that would have avoided it. After the fact many of them took up the cry "We just want to be left alone", but they had to have known they were forcing the issue. Its ironic the Civil War is sometimes termed The War of Northern Aggression, because the souths actions left Lincoln's administration few options once he finally took office 3 months after the 7 deep south states had seceded.
Romantic rhetoric was a drug many took without understanding that those words would cause actions that had consequences.
True, in part...what would be like that today...I dunno, maybe idealogical knee jerk babble that has no factual basis and whose chief aim is to ensure divisiveness?

In all seriousness, I do see a number of parallels between that time period and today. Now don't misunderstand, by no means do I think we will be spilling each others blood anytime soon. I also do not foresee our age as rushing toward a crescendo (though that might be true for some individuals). I think we're about as likely to see the rapture as the folks in AD 90 who thought it was imminent. But here is where our time and that time is very much alike: lots of talking, not much listening, and no genuine effort to understand one another. Just entrench and refuse to consider another view because we are convinced we are correct.

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Secession, continued

Over the last several pages, we have examined in detail the Southern arguments for secession. But how did the North react? The answer is that Democrats and Republicans were agreed for the first time upon a single theme: disunion could not be condoned.

In his final message to Congress, on December 3, 1860, James Buchanan surprised some of his southern allies with a firm denial of the right of secession. The Union was not "a mere voluntary association of States, to be dissolved at pleasure by any one of the contracting parties." If secession was legitimate, warned the president, the Union became a "rope of sand." He went to say, in the most eloquent speech he ever gave:

If our 33 states may resolve themselves into as many petty, jarring, and hostile republics, then by such a dread catastrophe the hopes of the friends of freedom thoughout the world would be destroyed. Our example for more than 80 years would not only be lost, but it would be quoted as conclusive proof that man is unfit for self-government.

Thousands of northern editorials and speeches echoed this theme. Many northerners, Lincoln among them, considered secession the essence of anarchy. However, neither Lincoln nor any other northerner denied the right of revolution. After all, Yankees shared the legacy of 1776. But there was no "right of revolution at pleasure", declared a Philadelphia newspaper. As Lincoln wrote:

Revolution is a moral right, when exercised for a morally justifiable cause. But when exercised without such a cause revolution is no right, but simply a wicked exercise of physical power. The South has no just cause. The event that precipitated secession was the election of a president by a constitutional majority. The central idea of the Union cause is the necessity of proving that popular government is not an absurdity. We must settle this question now, whether in a free government the minority have the right to break up the government whenever they choose.

But exactly HOW was this to be settled? In the 4 month lame duck period between Lincoln's election and his becoming president, this question was pondered by northern leaders and not solved. Buchanan felt that he was not responsible for the crisis. Though he forcefully denied the southern right to secede, he refused to take action, arguing rather impotently that the Constitution did not give him the right to coerce any state into submission. Republicans ridiculed this reasoning. As Seward joked: "So this means no state has the right to secede...unless it wishes to." But Republicans seemed unable to come up with a better alternative.

What were the alternatives for the north at this time? There were four:

1. Do nothing, and when the southerners realize their foolishness, they'll come back.

2. Coerce them into coming back. This meant the daunting prospect of sending federal troops down south to "arrest the traitors."

3. Compromise. Make new promises to the South regarding slavery.

4. Allow "the erring sisters to depart in peace."

Most Republicans, including Lincoln, seemed to support #2. Buchanan as president did not. But even had Buchanan wanted to coerce the South, the question was, with what? Most of the tiny 16,000 man army was scattered over 2,000 miles of frontier. Many of its finest officers and men were southerners, including Virginians who, while at this time still loyal to the United States, would certainly resist any call to invade the South. The militias in the Southern states were actually much stronger than the army at hand. Moreover, upper-South unionists who for the time being had managed to keep fire-eaters within their states at bay made an impression on the North than any attempted coercion would tip the balance toward secession.

Unsure of what to do, therefore, the North drifted.

Edited by timschochet

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Secession, continued

Over the last several pages, we have examined in detail the Southern arguments for secession. But how did the North react? The answer is that Democrats and Republicans were agreed for the first time upon a single theme: disunion could not be condoned.

In his final message to Congress, on December 3, 1860, James Buchanan surprised some of his southern allies with a firm denial of the right of secession. The Union was not "a mere voluntary association of States, to be dissolved at pleasure by any one of the contracting parties." If secession was legitimate, warned the president, the Union became a "rope of sand." He went to say, in the most eloquent speech he ever gave:

If our 33 states may resolve themselves into as many petty, jarring, and hostile republics, then by such a dread catastrophe the hopes of the friends of freedom thoughout the world would be destroyed. Our example for more than 80 years would not only be lost, but it would be quoted as conclusive proof that man is unfit for self-government.

Thousands of northern editorials and speeches echoed this theme. Many northerners, Lincoln among them, considered secession the essence of anarchy. However, neither Lincoln nor any other northerner denied the right of revolution. After all, Yankees shared the legacy of 1776. But there was no "right of revolution at pleasure", declared a Philadelphia newspaper. As Lincoln wrote:

Revolution is a moral right, when exercised for a morally justifiable cause. But when exercised without such a cause revolution is no right, but simply a wicked exercise of physical power. The South has no just cause. The event that precipitated secession was the election of a president by a constitutional majority. The central idea of the Union cause is the necessity of proving that popular government is not an absurdity. We must settle this question now, whether in a free government the minority have the right to break up the government whenever they choose.

But exactly HOW was this to be settled? In the 4 month lame duck period between Lincoln's election and his becoming president, this question was pondered by northern leaders and not solved. Buchanan felt that he was not responsible for the crisis. Though he forcefully denied the southern right to secede, he refused to take action, arguing rather impotently that the Constitution did not give him the right to coerce any state into submission. Republicans ridiculed this reasoning. As Seward joked: "So this means no state has the right to secede...unless it wishes to." But Republicans seemed unable to come up with a better alternative.

What were the alternatives for the north at this time? There were four:

1. Do nothing, and when the southerners realize their foolishness, they'll come back.

2. Coerce them into coming back. This meant the daunting prospect of sending federal troops down south to "arrest the traitors."

3. Compromise. Make new promises to the South regarding slavery.

4. Allow "the erring sisters to depart in peace."

Most Republicans, including Lincoln, seemed to support #2. Buchanan as president did not. But even had Buchanan wanted to coerce the South, the question was, with what? Most of the tiny 16,000 man army was scattered over 2,000 miles of frontier. Many of its finest officers and men were southerners, including Virginians who, while at this time still loyal to the United States, would certainly resist any call to invade the South. The militias in the Southern states were actually much stronger than the army at hand. Moreover, upper-South unionists who for the time being had managed to keep fire-eaters within their states at bay made an impression on the North than any attempted coercion would tip the balance toward secession.

Unsure of what to do, therefore, the North drifted.

Buchanan didn't want nor could he take any action. He was simply ineffective as a leader. While he may have been an honest and honorable man, he must be considered one of the worst, if not the worst, Presidents we have had in our history. He basically sat in the White House and watched as southern states declared themselves rebels, took over federal lands, and even forced the surrender of American troops in Texas. It's possible that a part of him though that by doing nothing he had a better shot of peace - a lesson coming from his disasterous Utah War where he basically sent the full power of the federal government to put down a rebellion by Brigham Young that didn't exist. He looked like a fool then and it may have been the catalyst for his hesitation in using troops in any manner.

Still, his inaction made the situation worse, not better. Some argue that it actually stalled the coming war because it really didn't heat up until Lincoln got there, but all it did was give the south time to prepare, form up and get supplies in line and ready for a fight. Quicker more decisive action may have, at the very least, allowed for the war to end quicker then it did. Although, to be fair, the military of the time was spread out all over he west, most of hte best officers were from the south, the southern militias were probably better trained and equipped then the federal army on the east coast and then there were those pesky Virginians to deal with. tim is right there.

And Buchanan was wrong on the Constitutional issue. Between the war powers, the supremacy clause, the ability to put down rebellion and insurrection, and the demand that the federal government ensure a republican government in the states, the federal government had every right and power to stop the secession of the states. Thankfully, he was replaced by someone with the ability to see the larger picture.

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You guys who have been waiting for the battles to begin: you've been very patient, and it won't be much longer. We're going to take a look at the following issues:

The Montgomery government and how it chose Jefferson Davis

A short bio of Jefferson Davis

The Confederacy- it's cabinet and constitution

Lincoln's cabinet

Lincoln's inaugeral speech

And then....Fort Sumter

And yes, I am aware that the events of Fort Sumter actually begin prior to Lincoln taking over, but we're going to backtrack at that point. Beginning now, there will be lots of backtracking in the narrative because it's the only way I believe to tell each story properly without constantly interrupting events. As in the World War II thread, if 4 different key events are taking place at the same time, we'll cover them each one by one until they reach conclusion, then return to another event.

BobbyLayne, your ship will be sailing very shortly.

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You guys who have been waiting for the battles to begin: you've been very patient, and it won't be much longer. We're going to take a look at the following issues:

The Montgomery government and how it chose Jefferson Davis

A short bio of Jefferson Davis

The Confederacy- it's cabinet and constitution

Lincoln's cabinet

Lincoln's inaugeral speech

And then....Fort Sumter

And yes, I am aware that the events of Fort Sumter actually begin prior to Lincoln taking over, but we're going to backtrack at that point. Beginning now, there will be lots of backtracking in the narrative because it's the only way I believe to tell each story properly without constantly interrupting events. As in the World War II thread, if 4 different key events are taking place at the same time, we'll cover them each one by one until they reach conclusion, then return to another event.

BobbyLayne, your ship will be sailing very shortly.

While you're doing that, Mjolnirs is off seizing the federal arsenals in the seceded states (those cannons aren't going to forge themselves, ya know).

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Montgomery

The delegates to Montgomery in early 1861 believed themselves to be forming a new nation. But they had some unpleasant facts to consider:

1. The states that had withdrawn from the Union comprised only 10% of the total white population of the United States.

2. These states comprised only 5% of the industrial capacity of the United States.

This meant one thing, apparent to the realistic men who were there- for a Confederacy to be a viable nation, able to support itself and resist attack from the United States, it had to have Upper South states, and especially Virginia. Virginia was the only southern state with an industrial capacity to sustain the rest. It was the only Southern state with factories. And the problem was, Virginia was still resisting secession, though it's two senators, Mason and Hunter were for it. Therefore, these two men, though they were not present in Montgomery, became among the most influential in the decisions that were made there. Their message was: don't choose one of the radical fire-eaters for your leader. That won't play well in Virginia. Choose a moderate.

I wrote before, in my narrative of the Republican convention the year before, that Americans have a tendency to shun extremists in favor of conservative candidates. This is what doomed Rhett, Yancey, and Toombs. These three men came to Montgomery each in full expectation of seizing the leadership of the South- they had been the three greatest contributors to the movement which had resulted in this new nation. And precisely because of this, they were not trusted. Rhett was the leading South Carolinian, and Virginia very quickly sent out word that no one from South Carolina was going to be held in high regard- the state was the one that, as much as the Black Republicans, had caused all the trouble in the first place. (This shunning of South Carolina politicians would last throughout the war and would enrage South Carolinians, as we shall see.) Yancey was considered too much of a loudmouth, and Toombs was not trusted, in part, because he was a falling down drunk.

Some conservatives mentioned Alexander Stephens, but he had been against secession and was considered suspect. The final nod went to a West Point graduate who would have preferred to become commander of the Confederacy's army. Word from Richmond that the Virginia senators approved of Jefferson Davis sealed the deal, and the austure former Secretary of War accepted, though he had not sought the job and did not really want it. Davis's sense of duty- and destiny- bid him accept. To console Georgia and strengthen the Confederacy's moderate image, Alexander Stephens was named Vice-President. To satisfy geographical balance, Davis apportioned his 6 cabinet posts among each state of the Confederacy except his own Mississippi, with the top position of secretary of state going to the sulking Toombs. Rhett and Yancey were left out in the cold, though Yancey would soon be given an important job which, as we shall see, he was completely ill-prepared for.

Yancey, though, tried hard to be magnanimous when, in his introduction of Davis to a cheering crowd in Montgomery on February 16, he said, "The man and the hour have met!" It was on this occasion that "Dixie" began its career as the unofficial Confederate anthem. Perhaps inspired by the music, Davis made a brief, bellicose speech. "The South is determined to maintain her position, and make all those who oppose her smell Southern powder and feel Southern steel." His inaugural address two days later was more pacific. He assured everyone that the Confederacy wished to live in peace and extended a warm invitation to any states that "may seek to unite their fortunes to ours." Davis then settled down to the heavy responsibilities of organizing a new nation- and enlarging its borders.

But what sort of man was Jefferson Davis? What was his background? We shall examine this next.

Edited by timschochet

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While you're doing that, Mjolnirs is off seizing the federal arsenals in the seceded states (those cannons aren't going to forge themselves, ya know).

:goodposting: Not a problem.

It's just down the street. Bee Street that is, General Barnard E. Bee, Jr.

Edited by Mjolnirs

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Jefferson Davis

Davis, born in Kentucky, was the youngest of the ten children of Samuel Emory Davis and Jane Cook. The younger Davis' grandfather, Evan Davis, emigrated from Wales and had once lived in Virginia and Maryland, marrying Lydia Emory. His father, along with his uncles, had served in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War; he fought with the Georgia cavalry and fought in the Siege of Savannah as an infantry officer. Also, three of his older brothers served during the War of 1812. Two of them served under Andrew Jackson and received commendation for bravery in the Battle of New Orleans.

During Davis' youth, the family moved twice; in 1811 to St. Mary Parish, Louisiana, and in 1812 to Wilkinson County, Mississippi near the town of Woodville. In 1813, Davis began his education together with his sister Mary, attending a log cabin school a mile from their home in the small town of Woodville, known as the Wilkinson Academy. Two years later, Davis entered the Catholic school of Saint Thomas at St. Rose Priory, a school operated by the Dominican Order in Washington County, Kentucky. At the time, he was the only Protestant student. Davis went on to Jefferson College at Washington, Mississippi, in 1818, and to Transylvania University at Lexington, Kentucky, in 1821. In 1824, Davis entered the United States Military Academy (West Point). He completed his four-year term as a West Point cadet, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in June 1828 following graduation.

Davis was assigned to the 1st Infantry Regiment and was stationed at Fort Crawford, Wisconsin. His first assignment, in 1829, was to supervise the cutting of timber on the banks of the Red Cedar River for the repair and enlargement of the fort. Later the same year, he was reassigned to Fort Winnebago. While supervising the construction and management of a sawmill along the Yellow River in Iowa in 1831, he contracted pneumonia, causing him to return to Fort Crawford. The year after, Davis was dispatched to Galena, Illinois, at the head of a detachment assigned to remove miners from lands claimed by the Native Americans. Lieutenant Davis was home in Mississippi for the entire Black Hawk War, returning after the Battle of Bad Axe. Following the conflict, he was assigned by his colonel, Zachary Taylor, to escort Black Hawk himself to prison—it is said that the chief liked Davis because of the kind treatment he had shown. Another of Davis' duties during this time was to keep miners from illegally entering what would eventually become the state of Iowa.

Davis fell in love with Zachary Taylor's daughter, Sarah Knox Taylor. Her father did not approve of the match, so Davis resigned his commission and married Miss Taylor on June 17, 1835, at the house of her aunt near Louisville, Kentucky. The marriage, however, proved to be short. While visiting Davis' oldest sister near Saint Francisville, Louisiana, both newlyweds contracted malaria, and Davis' wife died three months after the wedding on September 15, 1835. In 1836, he moved to Brierfield Plantation in Warren County, Mississippi. For the next eight years, Davis was a recluse, studying government and history, and engaging in private political discussions with his brother Joseph.

The year 1844 saw Davis' first political success, as he was elected to the United States House of Representatives, taking office on March 4 of the following year. In 1845, Davis married Varina Howell, the granddaughter of late New Jersey Governor Richard Howell whom he met the year before, at her home in Natchez, Mississippi.

(There is a portrait of Mrs. Jefferson Davis in old age at the Jefferson Davis Presidential Library in Biloxi, Mississippi, painted by Adolfo Müller-Ury in 1895 and dubbed 'Widow of the Confederacy'. It was exhibited at the Durand-Ruel Galleries in New York in 1897. The Museum of the Confederacy at Richmond, Virginia, possesses Müller-Ury's 1897-98 profile portrait of their daughter Winnie Davis which the artist presented to the Museum in 1918.)

In 1846, the Mexican-American War began. Davis resigned his House seat in June, and raised a volunteer regiment, the Mississippi Rifles, becoming its colonel. On July 21, 1846, they sailed from New Orleans for the Texas coast. Davis armed the regiment with percussion rifles and trained the regiment in their use, making it particularly effective in combat. In September 1846, Davis participated in the successful siege of Monterrey. On February 22, 1847, Davis fought bravely at the Battle of Buena Vista and was shot in the foot, being carried to safety by Robert H. Chilton. In recognition of Davis' bravery and initiative, commanding general Zachary Taylor is reputed to have said: "My daughter, sir, was a better judge of men than I was."

On May 17, 1847, President James K. Polk offered Davis a Federal commission as a brigadier general and command of a brigade of militia. He declined the appointment, however, arguing that the United States Constitution gives the power of appointing militia officers to the states, and not to the Federal government of the United States.

Because of his war service, the governor of Mississippi appointed Davis to fill out the Senate term of the late Jesse Speight. He took his seat December 5, 1847, and was elected to serve the remainder of his term in January 1848. In addition, the Smithsonian Institution appointed him a regent at the end of December 1847. The Senate made Davis chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs. When his term expired, he was elected to the same seat (by the Mississippi legislature, as the Constitution mandated at the time). He had not served a year when he resigned (in September 1851) to run for the Governorship of Mississippi on the issue of the Compromise of 1850, which Davis opposed. This election bid was unsuccessful, as he was defeated by fellow senator Henry Stuart Foote by 999 votes.

Left without political office, Davis continued his political activity. He took part in a convention on states' rights, held at Jackson, Mississippi in January 1852. In the weeks leading up to the presidential election of 1852, he campaigned in numerous Southern states for Democratic candidates Franklin Pierce and William R. King. Pierce won the election and, in 1853, made Davis his Secretary of War. In this capacity, Davis gave to Congress four annual reports (in December of each year), as well as an elaborate one (submitted on February 22, 1855) on various routes for the proposed Transcontinental Railroad, and promoted the Gadsden Purchase of today's southern Arizona from Mexico. The Pierce Administration ended in 1857. The President lost the Democratic nomination, which went instead to James Buchanan. Davis' term was to end with Pierce's, so he ran successfully for the Senate, and re-entered it on March 4, 1857.

His renewed service in the Senate was interrupted by an illness that threatened him with the loss of his left eye. Still nominally serving in the Senate, Davis spent the summer of 1858 in Portland, Maine. On the Fourth of July, he delivered an anti-secessionist speech on board a ship near Boston. He again urged the preservation of the Union on October 11 in Faneuil Hall, Boston, and returned to the Senate soon after.

As Davis explained in his memoir The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, he believed that each state was sovereign and had an unquestionable right to secede from the Union. He counselled delay among his fellow Southerners, however, because he did not think that the North would permit the peaceable exercise of the right to secession. Having served as Secretary of War under President Franklin Pierce, he also knew that the South lacked the military and naval resources necessary to defend itself if war were to break out. Following the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, however, events accelerated. South Carolina adopted an ordinance of secession on December 20, 1860, and Mississippi did so on January 9, 1861. As soon as Davis received official notification of that fact, he delivered a farewell address to the United States Senate, resigned, and returned to Mississippi.

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So the picture we are establishing of Jeff Davis was an honorable man, who believed in the right of secession but also worried that it was a hopeless cause. However, when the events happened, he assumed his role and did his best to win the war.

What else do we know about him?

1. He was an austere man, tight-lipped, with very little humor. He did not appreciate laxity in others.

2. Davis could not stand to lose an argument. Indeed, he held those who disagreed with him in low regard, and tried to punish them. This is in stark contrast to Abraham Lincoln, who would put up with anything in order to win. Davis's anger and resentment with those who crossed him would, as we shall encounter, play a significant role in the American Civil War.

3. On the other hand, Davis was also loyal to his friends, and this also would play a role. We will get into both of these issues in some detail later.

Now I have a question about Davis' wife, Varina, and perhaps some of our southern experts will know the answer: In one Civil War novel I read (Love and War, by John Jakes) it was asserted that Varina Howell Davis created a web of intrigue around herself at Richmond during most of the war, offering favors to various ladies whose husbands sought greater power within the Confederacy. Jakes implied she could make her husband do as she wished, and that she was quite the power. But I can't confirm this in the non-fiction sources I have about the war, so I don't know how true it is. Does anyone here know more about this?

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The Confederate Constitution

Just a few points of interest here before we move on.

The Confederate Constitution, established at Montgomery, was almost word for word a copy of the United States Constitution, with a few significant changes: the preamble omitted the general welfare clause and the phrase, "a more perfect Union," and added a clause after We The People: "each state acting in its sovereign and independent character." Instead of the U.S. Constitution's evasions on slavery ("persons held to service or labor") the Confederate version called a slave a slave.

This new Constitution guaranteed the protection of bondage in any new territory the Confederacy might acquire. It did forbid the importation of slaves from abroad, to avoid alienating Britain and especially the upper South, whose economy benefited form it's monopoly on export of slaves to the lower South. (Robert Rhett, who had spent his entire life calling for a resumption of the slave trade, was bitterly opposed to this restriction and at one point argued that South Carolina had not meant to trade "one tyranny for another." This theme would be repeated throughout the Civil War, and South Carolina and Alabama constantly chafed at the Confederate government.)

The Constitution permitted a tariff for revenue but not for protection of domestic industries, though what this distinction meant was unclear since the clause did not define it. Another clause forbae government aid for internal improvements. The Constitution also nurtured state's rights by empowering legislatures to impeach Confederate officials whose duties lay wholly within a state. After weakening the executive by limiting the president to a single, 6 year term, the Constitution strengthened that branch by giving the president a line-item veto of appropriations and granting cabinet officers a potential non-voting seat on the floor of Congress (this was never put into effect.)

It's important to note here that the Confederate Constitution, while a fascinating historical document, was not really used as a governing force during the four + years that the Confederacy existed. Very early on, Jefferson Davis realized, as most war leaders inevitably do, that a democracy gets in the way of efficient war making. To all practical purposes, he abandoned it, and became in essence a de facto dictator of the South, as we shall see.

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Preamble

We, the people of the Confederate States, each State acting in its sovereign and independent character, in order to form a permanent federal government, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Confederate States of America.

Article I

Section I. All legislative powers herein delegated shall be vested in a Congress of the Confederate States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Sec. 2. (I) The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several States; and the electors in each State shall be citizens of the Confederate States, and have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State Legislature; but no person of foreign birth, not a citizen of the Confederate States, shall be allowed to vote for any officer, civil or political, State or Federal.

(2) No person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained the age of twenty-five years, and be a citizen of the Confederate States, and who shall not when elected, be an inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

(3) Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States, which may be included within this Confederacy, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all slaves. ,The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the Confederate States, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall by law direct. The number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every fifty thousand, but each State shall have at least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of South Carolina shall be entitled to choose six; the State of Georgia ten; the State of Alabama nine; the State of Florida two; the State of Mississippi seven; the State of Louisiana six; and the State of Texas six.

(4) When vacancies happen in the representation from any State the executive authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.

(5) The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other officers; and shall have the sole power of impeachment; except that any judicial or other Federal officer, resident and acting solely within the limits of any State, may be impeached by a vote of two-thirds of both branches of the Legislature thereof.

Sec. 3. (I) The Senate of the Confederate States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen for six years by the Legislature thereof, at the regular session next immediately preceding the commencement of the term of service; and each Senator shall have one vote.

(2) Immediately after they shall be assembled, in consequence of the first election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three classes. The seats of the Senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the second year; of the second class at the expiration of the fourth year; and of the third class at the expiration of the sixth year; so that one-third may be chosen every second year; and if vacancies happen by resignation, or other wise, during the recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary appointments until the next meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such vacancies.

(3) No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained the age of thirty years, and be a citizen of the Confederate States; and who shall not, then elected, be an inhabitant of the State for which he shall be chosen.

(4) The Vice President of the Confederate States shall be president of the Senate, but shall have no vote unless they be equally divided.

(5) The Senate shall choose their other officers; and also a president pro tempore in the absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the office of President of the Confederate states.

(6) The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. When sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oath or affirmation. When the President of the Confederate States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside; and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present.

(7) Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust, or profit under the Confederate States; but the party convicted shall, nevertheless, be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment according to law.

Sec. 4. (I) The times, places, and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof, subject to the provisions of this Constitution; but the Congress may, at any time, by law, make or alter such regulations, except as to the times and places of choosing Senators.

(2) The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year; and such meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall, by law, appoint a different day.

Sec. 5. (I) Each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its own members, and a majority of each shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner and under such penalties as each House may provide.

(2) Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of the whole number, expel a member.

(3) Each House shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may in their judgment require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the members of either House, on any question, shall, at the desire of one-fifth of those present, be entered on the journal.

(4) Neither House, during the session of Congress, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

Sec. 6. (I) The Senators and Representatives shall receive a compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the Treasury of the Confederate States. They shall, in all cases, except treason, felony, and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other place. 'o Senator or Representative shall, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office under the authority of the Confederate States, which shall have been created, or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time; and no person holding any office under the Confederate States shall be a member of either House during his continuance in office. But Congress may, by law, grant to the principal officer in each of the Executive Departments a seat upon the floor of either House, with the privilege of discussing any measures appertaining to his department.

Sec. 7. (I) All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments, as on other bills.

(2) Every bill which shall have passed both Houses, shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the President of the Confederate States; if he approve, he shall sign it; but if not, he shall return it, with his objections, to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of that House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of that House, it shall become a law. But in all such cases, the votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each House respective}y. If any bill shall not be returned by the President within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress, by their adjournment, prevent its return; in which case it shall not be a law. The President may approve any appropriation and disapprove any other appropriation in the same bill. In such case he shall, in signing the bill, designate the appropriations disapproved; and shall return a copy of such appropriations, with his objections, to the House in which the bill shall have originated; and the same proceedings shall then be had as in case of other bills disapproved by the President.

(3) Every order, resolution, or vote, to which the concurrence of both Houses may be necessary (except on a question of adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the Confederate States; and before the same shall take effect, shall be approved by him; or, being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two-thirds of both Houses, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in case of a bill.

Sec. 8. The Congress shall have power-

(I) To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises for revenue, necessary to pay the debts, provide for the common defense, and carry on the Government of the Confederate States; but no bounties shall be granted from the Treasury; nor shall any duties or taxes on importations from foreign nations be laid to promote or foster any branch of industry; and all duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform throughout the Confederate States.

(2) To borrow money on the credit of the Confederate States.

(3) To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes; but neither this, nor any other clause contained in the Constitution, shall ever be construed to delegate the power to Congress to appropriate money for any internal improvement intended to facilitate commerce; except for the purpose of furnishing lights, beacons, and buoys, and other aids to navigation upon the coasts, and the improvement of harbors and the removing of obstructions in river navigation; in all which cases such duties shall be laid on the navigation facilitated thereby as may be necessary to pay the costs and expenses thereof.

(4) To establish uniform laws of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies, throughout the Confederate States; but no law of Congress shall discharge any debt contracted before the passage of the same.

(5) To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures.

(6) To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the Confederate States.

(7) To establish post offices and post routes; but the expenses of the Post Office Department, after the Ist day of March in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and sixty-three, shall be paid out of its own revenues.

(8) To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.

(9) To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court.

(10) To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations.

(11) To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water.

(12) To raise and support armies; but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years.

(13) To provide and maintain a navy.

(14) To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces.

(15) To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Confederate States, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions.

(16) To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the Confederate States; reserving to the States, respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.

(17) To exercise exclusive legislation, in all cases whatsoever, over such district (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of one or more States and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the Government of the Confederate States; and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the Legislature of the State in which the same shall be, for the . erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings; and

(18) To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the Confederate States, or in any department or officer thereof.

Sec. 9. (I) The importation of negroes of the African race from any foreign country other than the slaveholding States or Territories of the United States of America, is hereby forbidden; and Congress is required to pass such laws as shall effectually prevent the same.

(2) Congress shall also have power to prohibit the introduction of slaves from any State not a member of, or Territory not belonging to, this Confederacy.

(3) The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.

(4) No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed.

(5) No capitation or other direct tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the census or enumeration hereinbefore directed to be taken.

(6) No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any State, except by a vote of two-thirds of both Houses.

(7) No preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one State over those of another.

(8) No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law; and a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published from time to time.

(9) Congress shall appropriate no money from the Treasury except by a vote of two-thirds of both Houses, taken by yeas and nays, unless it be asked and estimated for by some one of the heads of departments and submitted to Congress by the President; or for the purpose of paying its own expenses and contingencies; or for the payment of claims against the Confederate States, the justice of which shall have been judicially declared by a tribunal for the investigation of claims against the Government, which it is hereby made the duty of Congress to establish.

(10) All bills appropriating money shall specify in Federal currency the exact amount of each appropriation and the purposes for which it is made; and Congress shall grant no extra compensation to any public contractor, officer, agent, or servant, after such contract shall have been made or such service rendered.

(11) No title of nobility shall be granted by the Confederate States; and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.

(12) Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

(13) A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

(14) No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner; nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

(15) The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

(16) No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor be compelled, in any criminal case, to be a witness against himself; nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

(17) In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

(18) In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved; and no fact so tried by a jury shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the Confederacy, than according to the rules of common law.

(19) Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

(20) Every law, or resolution having the force of law, shall relate to but one subject, and that shall be expressed in the title.

Sec. 10. (I) No State shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, or ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts; or grant any title of nobility.

(2) No State shall, without the consent of the Congress, lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing its inspection laws; and the net produce of all duties and imposts, laid by any State on imports, or exports, shall be for the use of the Treasury of the Confederate States; and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control of Congress.

(3) No State shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty on tonnage, except on seagoing vessels, for the improvement of its rivers and harbors navigated by the said vessels; but such duties shall not conflict with any treaties of the Confederate States with foreign nations; and any surplus revenue thus derived shall, after making such improvement, be paid into the common treasury. Nor shall any State keep troops or ships of war in time of peace, enter into any agreement or compact with another State, or with a foreign power, or engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay. But when any river divides or flows through two or more States they may enter into compacts with each other to improve the navigation thereof.

ARTICLE II

Section I. (I) The executive power shall be vested in a President of the Confederate States of America. He and the Vice President shall hold their offices for the term of six years; but the President shall not be reeligible. The President and Vice President shall be elected as follows:

(2) Each State shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress; but no Senator or Representative or person holding an office of trust or profit under the Confederate States shall be appointed an elector.

(3) The electors shall meet in their respective States and vote by ballot for President and Vice President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same State with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit, sealed, to the seat of the Government of. the Confederate States, directed to the President of the Senate; the President of the Senate shall,in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted; the person having the greatest number of votes for President shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers, not exceeding three, on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President the votes shall be taken by States, the representation from each State having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the States, and a majority of all the States shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President, whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the 4th day of March next following, then the Vice President shall act as President, as in case of the death, or other constitutional disability of the President.

(4) The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice President shall be the Vice President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if no person have a majority, then, from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice.

(5) But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice President of the Confederate States.

(6) The Congress may determine the time of choosing the electors, and the day on which they shall give their votes; which day shall be the same throughout the Confederate States.

(7) No person except a natural-born citizen of the Confederate; States, or a citizen thereof at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, or a citizen thereof born in the United States prior to the 20th of December, 1860, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the limits of the Confederate States, as they may exist at the time of his election.

(8) In case of the removal of the President from office, or of his death, resignation, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of said office, the same shall devolve on the Vice President; and the Congress may, by law, provide for the case of removal, death, resignation, or inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what officer shall then act as President; and such officer shall act accordingly until the disability be removed or a President shall be elected.

(9) The President shall, at stated times, receive for his services a compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which he shall have been elected; and he shall not receive within that period any other emolument from the Confederate States, or any of them.

(10) Before he enters on the execution of his office he shall take the following oath or affirmation:

Sec. 2. (I) The President shall be Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the Confederate States, and of the militia of the several States, when called into the actual service of the Confederate States; he may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the Executive Departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices; and he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the Confederate States, except in cases of impeachment.

(2) He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties; provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate shall appoint, ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the Confederate States whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law; but the Congress may, by law, vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments.

(3) The principal officer in each of the Executive Departments, and all persons connected with the diplomatic service, may be removed from office at the pleasure of the President. All other civil officers of the Executive Departments may be removed at any time by the President, or other appointing power, when their services are unnecessary, or for dishonesty, incapacity. inefficiency, misconduct, or neglect of duty; and when so removed, the removal shall be reported to the Senate, together with the reasons therefor.

(4) The President shall have power to fill all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session; but no person rejected by the Senate shall be reappointed to the same office during their ensuing recess.

Sec. 3. (I) The President shall, from time to time, give to the Congress information of the state of the Confederacy, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them; and in case of disagreement between them, with respect to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper; he shall receive ambassadors and other public ministers; he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and shall commission all the officers of the Confederate States.

Sec. 4. (I) The President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the Confederate States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for and conviction of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

ARTICLE III

Section I. (I) The judicial power of the Confederate States shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may, from time to time, ordain and establish. The judges, both of the Supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behavior, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services a compensation which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.

Sec. 2. (I) The judicial power shall extend to all cases arising under this Constitution, the laws of the Confederate States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority; to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls; to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; to controversies to which the Confederate States shall be a party; to controversies between two or more States; between a State and citizens of another State, where the State is plaintiff; between citizens claiming lands under grants of different States; and between a State or the citizens thereof, and foreign states, citizens, or subjects; but no State shall be sued by a citizen or subject of any foreign state.

(2) In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a State shall be a party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all the other cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction both as to law and fact, with such exceptions and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.

(3) The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury, and such trial shall be held in the State where the said crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the trial shall be at such place or places as the Congress may by law have directed.

Sec. 3. (I) Treason against the Confederate States shall consist only in levying war against.them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

(2) The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason; but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture, except during the life of the person attainted.

ARTICLE IV

Section I. (I) Full faith and credit shall be given in each State to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other State; and the Congress may, by general laws, prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof.

Sec. 2. (I) The citizens of each State shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States; and shall have the right of transit and sojourn in any State of this Confederacy, with their slaves and other property; and the right of property in said slaves shall not be thereby impaired.

(2) A person charged in any State with treason, felony, or other crime against the laws of such State, who shall flee from justice, and be found in another State, shall, on demand of the executive authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having jurisdiction of the crime.

(3) No slave or other person held to service or labor in any State or Territory of the Confederate States, under the laws thereof, escaping or lawfully carried into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor; but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such slave belongs,. or to whom such service or labor may be due.

Sec. 3. (I) Other States may be admitted into this Confederacy by a vote of two-thirds of the whole House of Representatives and two-thirds of the Senate, the Senate voting by States; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other State, nor any State be formed by the junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned, as well as of the Congress.

(2) The Congress shall have power to dispose of and make allneedful rules and regulations concerning the property of the Confederate States, including the lands thereof.

(3) The Confederate States may acquire new territory; and Congress shall have power to legislate and provide governments for the inhabitants of all territory belonging to the Confederate States, lying without the limits of the several Sates; and may permit them, at such times, and in such manner as it may by law provide, to form States to be admitted into the Confederacy. In all such territory the institution of negro slavery, as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be recognized and protected be Congress and by the Territorial government; and the inhabitants of the several Confederate States and Territories shall have the right to take to such Territory any slaves lawfully held by them in any of the States or Territories of the Confederate States.

(4) The Confederate States shall guarantee to every State that now is, or hereafter may become, a member of this Confederacy, a republican form of government; and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on application of the Legislature or of the Executive when the Legislature is not in session) against domestic violence.

ARTICLE V

Section I. (I) Upon the demand of any three States, legally assembled in their several conventions, the Congress shall summon a convention of all the States, to take into consideration such amendments to the Constitution as the said States shall concur in suggesting at the time when the said demand is made; and should any of the proposed amendments to the Constitution be agreed on by the said convention, voting by States, and the same be ratified by the Legislatures of two- thirds of the several States, or by conventions in two-thirds thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the general convention, they shall thenceforward form a part of this Constitution. But no State shall, without its consent, be deprived of its equal representation in the Senate.

ARTICLE VI

I. The Government established by this Constitution is the successor of the Provisional Government of the Confederate States of America, and all the laws passed by the latter shall continue in force until the same shall be repealed or modified; and all the officers appointed by the same shall remain in office until their successors are appointed and qualified, or the offices abolished.

2. All debts contracted and engagements entered into before the adoption of this Constitution shall be as valid against the Confederate States under this Constitution, as under the Provisional Government.

3. This Constitution, and the laws of the Confederate States made in pursuance thereof, and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the Confederate States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

4. The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the Confederate States and of the several States, shall be bound by oath or affirmation to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the Confederate States.

5. The enumeration, in the Constitution, of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people of the several States.

6. The powers not delegated to the Confederate States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people thereof.

ARTICLE VII

I. The ratification of the conventions of five States shall be sufficient for the establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the same.

2. When five States shall have ratified this Constitution, in the manner before specified, the Congress under the Provisional Constitution shall prescribe the time for holding the election of President and Vice President; and for the meeting of the Electoral College; and for counting the votes, and inaugurating the President. They shall, also, prescribe the time for holding the first election of members of Congress under this Constitution, and the time for assembling the same. Until the assembling of such Congress, the Congress under the Provisional Constitution shall continue to exercise the legislative powers granted them; not extending beyond the time limited by the Constitution of the Provisional Government.

Adopted unanimously by the Congress of the Confederate States of South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, sitting in convention at the capitol, the city of Montgomery, Ala., on the eleventh day of March, in the year eighteen hundred and Sixty-one.

HOWELL COBB, President of the Congress.

South Carolina: R. Barnwell Rhett, C. G. Memminger, Wm. Porcher Miles, James Chesnut, Jr., R. W. Barnwell, William W. Boyce, Lawrence M. Keitt, T. J. Withers.

Georgia: Francis S. Bartow, Martin J. Crawford, Benjamin H. Hill, Thos. R. R. Cobb.

Florida: Jackson Morton, J. Patton Anderson, Jas. B. Owens.

Alabama: Richard W. Walker, Robt. H. Smith, Colin J. McRae, William P. Chilton, Stephen F. Hale, David P. Lewis, Tho. Fearn, Jno. Gill Shorter, J. L. M. Curry.

Mississippi: Alex. M. Clayton, James T. Harrison, William S. Barry, W. S. Wilson, Walker Brooke, W. P. Harris, J. A. P. Campbell.

Louisiana: Alex. de Clouet, C. M. Conrad, Duncan F. Kenner, Henry Marshall.

Texas: John Hemphill, Thomas N. Waul, John H. Reagan, Williamson S. Oldham, Louis T. Wigfall, John Gregg, William Beck Ochiltree.

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Confederate States of America - Inaugural Address of the President of the Provisional Government

February 18, 1861.

Gentlemen of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, Friends, and Fellow-citizens: Called to the difficult and responsible station of Chief Magistrate of the Provisional Government which you have instituted, I approach the discharge of the duties assigned to me with humble distrust of my abilities, but with a sustaining confidence in the wisdom of those who are to guide and aid me in the administration of public affairs, and an abiding faith in the virtue and patriotism of the people. Looking forward to the speedy establishment of a permanent government to take the place of this, which by its greater moral and physical power will be better able to combat with many difficulties that arise from the conflicting interests of separate nations, I enter upon the duties of the office to which I have been chosen with the hope that the beginning of our career, as a Confederacy, may not be obstructed by hostile opposition to our enjoyment of the separate existence and independence we have asserted, and which, with the blessing of Providence, we intend to maintain.

Our present political position has been achieved in a manner unprecedented in the history of nations. It illustrates the American idea that governments rest on the consent of the governed, and that it is the right of the people to alter or abolish them at will whenever they become destructive of the ends for which they were established. The declared purpose of the compact of the Union from which we have withdrawn was to "establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity;" and when, in the judgment of the sovereign States composing this Confederacy, it has been perverted from the purposes for which it was ordained, and ceased to answer the ends for which it was established, a peaceful appeal to the ballot box declared that, so far as they are concerned, the Government created by that compact should cease to exist. In this they merely asserted the right which the Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776, defined to be "inalienable." Of the time and occasion of its exercise they as sovereigns were the final judges, each for itself. The impartial and enlightened verdict of mankind will vindicate the rectitude of our conduct; and He who knows the hearts of men will judge of the sincerity with which we have labored to preserve the Government of our fathers in its spirit.

The right solemnly proclaimed at the birth of the United States, and which has been solemnly affirmed and reaffirmed in the Bills of Rights of the States subsequently admitted into the Union of 1789, undeniably recognizes in the people the power to resume the authority delegated for the purposes of government. Thus the sovereign States here represented have proceeded to form this Confederacy; and it is by abuse of language that their act has been denominated a revolution. They formed a new alliance, but within each State its government has remained; so that the rights of person and property have not been disturbed. The agent through which they communicated with foreign nations is changed, but this does not necessarily interrupt their international relations. Sustained by the consciousness that the transition from the former Union to the present Confederacy has not proceeded from a disregard on our part of just obligations, or any, failure to perform every constitutional duty, moved by no interest or passion to invade the rights of others, anxious to cultivate peace and commerce with all nations, if we may not hope to avoid war, we may at least expect that posterity will acquit us of having needlessly engaged in it. Doubly justified by the absence of wrong on our part, and by wanton aggression on the part of others, there can be no cause to doubt that the courage and patriotism of the people of the Confederate States will be found equal to any measure of defense which their honor and security may require. An agricultural people, whose chief interest is the export of commodities required in every manufacturing country, our true policy is peace, and the freest trade which our necessities will permit. It is alike our interest and that of all those to whom we would sell, and from whom we would buy, that there should be the fewest practicable restrictions upon the interchange of these commodities. There can, however, be but little rivalry between ours and any manufacturing or navigating community, such as the Northeastern States of the American Union. It must follow, therefore, that mutual interest will invite to good will and kind offices on both parts. If, however, passion or lust of dominion should cloud the judgment or inflame the ambition of those States, we must prepare to meet the emergency and maintain, by the final arbitrament of the sword, the position which we have assumed among the nations of the earth.

We have entered upon the career of independence, and it must be inflexibly pursued. Through many years of controversy with our late associates of the Northern States, we have vainly endeavored to secure tranquillity and obtain respect for the rights to which we were entitled. As a necessity, not a choice, we have resorted to the remedy of separation, and henceforth our energies must be directed to the conduct of our own affairs, and the perpetuity of the Confederacy which we have formed. If a just perception of mutual interest shall permit us peaceably to pursue our separate political career, my most earnest desire will have been fulfilled. But if this be denied to us, and the integrity of our territory and jurisdiction be assailed, it will but remain for us with firm resolve to appeal to arms and invoke the blessing of Providence on a just cause.

As a consequence of our new condition and relations, and with a vicar to meet anticipated wants, it will be necessary to provide for the speedy and efficient organization of branches of the Executive department having special charge of foreign intercourse, finance, military affairs, and the postal service. For purposes of defense, the Confederate States may, under ordinary circumstances, rely mainly upon the militia; but it is deemed advisable, in the present condition of affairs, that there should be a well-instructed and disciplined army, more numerous than would usually be required on a peace establishment. I also suggest that, for the protection of our harbors and commerce on the high seas, a navy adapted to those objects will be required. But this, as well as other subjects appropriate to our necessities, have doubtless engaged the attention of Congress.

With a Constitution differing only from that of our fathers in so far as it is explanatory of their well-known intent, freed from sectional conflicts, which have interfered with the pursuit of the general welfare, it is not unreasonable to expect that States from which we have recently parted may seek to unite their fortunes to ours under the Government which we have instituted. For this your Constitution makes adequate provision; but beyond this, if I mistake not the judgment and will of the people, a reunion with the States from which we have separated is neither practicable nor desirable. To increase the power, develop the resources, and promote the happiness of the Confederacy, it is requisite that there should be so much of homogeneity that the welfare of every portion shall be the aim of the whole. When this does not exist, antagonisms are engendered which must and should result in separation.

Actuated solely by the desire to preserve our own rights, and promote our own welfare, the separation by the Confederate States has been marked by no aggression upon others, and followed by no domestic convulsion. Our industrial pursuits have received no check, the cultivation of our fields has progressed as heretofore, and, even should we be involved in war, there would be no considerable diminution in the production of the staples which have constituted our exports, and in which the commercial world has an interest scarcely less than our own. This common interest of the producer and consumer can only be interrupted by exterior force which would obstruct the transmission of our staples to foreign markets - a course of conduct which would be as unjust, as it would be detrimental, to manufacturing and commercial interests abroad.

Should reason guide the action of the Government from which we have separated, a policy so detrimental to the civilized world, the Northern States included, could not be dictated by even the strongest desire to inflict injury upon us; but, if the contrary should prove true, a terrible responsibility will rest upon it, and the suffering of millions will bear testimony to the folly and wickedness of our aggressors. In the meantime there will remain to us, besides the ordinary means before suggested, the well-known resources for retaliation upon the commerce of an enemy.

Experience in public stations, of subordinate grade to this care and disappointment are the price of official elevation. You will see many errors to forgive, many deficiencies to tolerate; but you shall not find in me either want of zeal or fidelity to the cause that is to me the highest in hope, and of most enduring affection. Your generosity has bestowed upon me an undeserved distinction, one which I neither sought nor desired. Upon the continuance of that sentiment, and upon your wisdom and patriotism, I rely to direct and support me in the performance of the duties required at my hands.

We have changed the constituent parts, but not the system of government. The Constitution framed by our fathers is that of these Confederate States. In their exposition of it, and in the judicial construction it has received, we have a light which reveals its true meaning.

Thus instructed as to the true meaning and just interpretation of that instrument, and ever remembering that all offices are but trusts held for the people, and that powers delegated are to be strictly construed, I will hope by due diligence in the performance of my duties, though I may disappoint your expectations, yet to retain, when retiring, something of the good will and confidence which welcome my entrance into office.

It is joyous in the midst of perilous times to look around upon a people united in heart, where one purpose of high resolve animates and actuates the whole; where the sacrifices to be made are not weighed in the balance against honor and right and liberty and equality. Obstacles may #######, but they cannot long prevent, the progress of a movement sanctified by its justice and sustained by a virtuous people. Reverently let us invoke the God of our fathers to guide and protect us in our efforts to perpetuate the principles which by his blessing they were able to vindicate, establish, and transmit to their posterity. With the continuance of his favor ever gratefully acknowledged, we may hopefully look forward to success, to peace, and to prosperity.

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So the picture we are establishing of Jeff Davis was an honorable man, who believed in the right of secession but also worried that it was a hopeless cause. However, when the events happened, he assumed his role and did his best to win the war.

What else do we know about him?

1. He was an austere man, tight-lipped, with very little humor. He did not appreciate laxity in others.

2. Davis could not stand to lose an argument. Indeed, he held those who disagreed with him in low regard, and tried to punish them. This is in stark contrast to Abraham Lincoln, who would put up with anything in order to win. Davis's anger and resentment with those who crossed him would, as we shall encounter, play a significant role in the American Civil War.

3. On the other hand, Davis was also loyal to his friends, and this also would play a role. We will get into both of these issues in some detail later.

Now I have a question about Davis' wife, Varina, and perhaps some of our southern experts will know the answer: In one Civil War novel I read (Love and War, by John Jakes) it was asserted that Varina Howell Davis created a web of intrigue around herself at Richmond during most of the war, offering favors to various ladies whose husbands sought greater power within the Confederacy. Jakes implied she could make her husband do as she wished, and that she was quite the power. But I can't confirm this in the non-fiction sources I have about the war, so I don't know how true it is. Does anyone here know more about this?

How does someone befriend a powerful man who has the attributes in #2? By being a 'yes' man.

A leader surrounded by 'yes' men creates an echo chamber effect that serves to insulate the leader from reality. That may continue for some time as a wrong decision can be rationalized away and immediately supported by the leader's supporters. But in high office, one has to make appointments based on political agreements, and not necessarily on policy agreement. Especially when Davis is trying to have a representation of the different states in the highest reaches of the CSA's gov't. I don't really know much at all about the CSA cabinet positions mentioned above, but based on this alone I'm going to assume that not many of the departments kept the same secretary throughout the war.

Edited by Orange Crush

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Lincoln's Cabinet

Abraham Lincoln's chief concern in early1861 was preventing the enlargement of the Confederacy. And part of the energy expended in building his cabinet was directed to that end. Putting together a cabinet gave Lincoln no end of trouble. The infant Republican party was still a loose coalition of several previous parties, of down-east Yankees and frontiersmen, radicals and conservatives, ideologues and pragmatists, of upper North and lower North and border-state tycoons like the Blairs of Maryland, of strong leaders several of whom still considered themselves better qualified for the presidency than the man who won it. Lincoln had to satisfy all of these interests with his 7 cabinet appointments,which would also indicate the direction of his policy toward the South.

With an aplomb unparalleled in American political history, the president-elect appointed his 4 main rivals for the nomination to cabinet posts. Seward became Secretary of State, Bates Attorney General. Simon Cameron was more of a problem; Lincoln wanted him for the treasury, but Republicans were distrustful of the "Winnebago Chief" as Cameron was known for having once cheated an Indian tribe. But Lincoln owed Cameron, so he made him Secretary of War. In this post, Cameron used his powers so ineptly and with such a level of corruption that within one year the President would be forced to dismiss him.

The treasury went to Salmon P. Chase, who had become leader of those Republicans opposed to any concession at all to the South. This appointment so offended Seward, who, as we shall see, did favor accomodation, that he (Seward) withdrew his name as Sec. of State. This was the first test of Seward's ambition to be "premier" of the Administration. Lincoln persuaded Seward to back down- though at this time Seward still wasn't convinced that he wasn't in charge.

Paying a debt to Indiana for early support of his nomination, Lincoln named Caleb Smith Sec. of the Interior. The fussy Conneticut Yankee Gideon Welles received the Navy department. Finally, Lincoln rounded out his cabinet with Montgomery Blair as postmaster general. Though a Republican, Blair was from Maryland, and it was hoped this concession would convince that state not to change sides.

Lincoln knew that even more important than his cabinet would be his inaugural speech, due on March 4. But first he had to get to Washington to give it, and this turned out to be risky, because his life was at risk.

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Lincoln's Journey

Lincoln's mail and the national press had for weeks been full of rumors of assassination. Two days before he was scheduled to travel through Baltimore, a city rife with secession sympathizers and notorious for political riots (we'll be returning to it shortly), Lincoln's party got wind of a plot to assassinate him as he changed trains there. Indeed, warnings came from two independent sources: a Pinkerton detective force employed by the railroad and an agent of the war department- both of which had in infiltrated Baltimore's political gangs.

Lincoln reluctantly consented to a change in his schedule which took him secretly through Baltimore in the middle of the night. An assassination plot probably did exist; the danger was real. But Lincoln thereafter regretted the decision to creep into Washington "like a thief in the night". It embarrassed many of his supporters and enabled opposition cartoonists to ridicule him. The whole affair started his administration off on the wrong foot when it needed the appearance of firmness and command.

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Rather than highlight Lincoln's first inaugural I will let you read it in it's entirety. Though not quite as important as his 2nd inaugural or the Gettysburg Address, it remains one of the most important speeches in American history. Just a few notes before I post it:

1. Both Seward and Lincoln's Illinois confidant Orville Browning found Lincoln's original draft too harsh; they worried about the effect on the Upper South. They convinced the President to soften a few phrases.

2. As Lincoln was composing the speech, the Confederacy was in the process of seizing federal property within their borders: customhouses, arsenals, mints, and forts. This issue was paramount in Lincoln's mind. He was determined to address this, yet he wanted to be ambiguous with regard to Fort Sumter, which, along with Fort Pickney and two other obscure forts at the mouth of Pensacola Bay was the only remaining property in Union hands in the deep South. Sumter, which we shall get to shortly, had become a commanding symbol of national sovereignity in the very cradle of secession, a symbol that the Confederate government could not tolerate if it wished its own sovereignity to be recognized by the world. Would Lincoln use force to defend Sumter? The ambiguity was intentional. Hoping to avoid provocation, Lincoln and Seward did not wish to reveal whether the velvet glove contained an iron fist.

3. There was no ambiguity about the preroration, in which Lincoln offers friendship to the South now and in the future. He meant this, and no matter what would happen in the years to come, he would hold to the end the belief that Americans were brothers, and that a great healing was necessary.

4. Contemporaries read into the inaugural address what they wished or expected to see. Republicans were generally satisfied with it's "firmness" and "moderation". Confederates and their sympathizers branded it a "Declaration of War." Douglas Democrats in the North and Conditional unionists in the South formed the constituencies that Lincoln most wanted to reach. From these quarters the verdict was mixed but encouraging. "I am with him," said Douglas. Influential Tennesseans commended the "temperance and conservatism" of the address.

5. Lincoln had hoped to cool passions and buy time with his inaugural address- time to organize his administration, to prove his pacific intent, to allow the seeds of voluntary reconstruction to sprout. But when the new president went to his office for the first time on the morning after the inauguration, he received a jolt. On his desk lay a dispatch from Major Robert Anderson, commander of the Union garrison at Fort Sumter. Anderson reported that his supplies would last only a few more weeks. Time was running out.

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Lincoln's First Inaugural Address

March 4, 1861

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Fellow citizens of the United States:

In compliance with a custom as old as the government itself, I appear before you to address you briefly, and to take, in your presence, the oath prescribed by the Constitution of the United States, to be taken by the President "before he enters on the execution of his office."

I do not consider it necessary, at present, for me to discuss those matters of administration about which there is no special anxiety, or excitement.

Apprehension seems to exist among the people of the Southern States, that by the accession of a Republican Administration, their property, and their peace, and personal security, are to be endangered. There has never been any reasonable cause for such apprehension. Indeed, the most ample evidence to the contrary has all the while existed, and been open to their inspection. It is found in nearly all the published speeches of him who now addresses you. I do but quote from one of those speeches when I declare that "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so." Those who nominated and elected me did so with full knowledge that I had made this, and many similar declarations, and had never recanted them. And more than this, they placed in the platform, for my acceptance, and as a law to themselves, and to me, the clear and emphatic resolution which I now read:

"Resolved, That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend; and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter under what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes."

I now reiterate these sentiments: and in doing so, I only press upon the public attention the most conclusive evidence of which the case is susceptible, that the property, peace and security of no section are to be in anywise endangered by the now incoming Administration. I add too, that all the protection which, consistently with the Constitution and the laws, can be given, will be cheerfully given to all the States when lawfully demanded, for whatever cause — as cheerfully to one section, as to another.

There is much controversy about the delivering up of fugitives from service or labor. The clause I now read is as plainly written in the Constitution as any other of its provisions:

"No person held to service or labor in one State under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due."

It is scarcely questioned that this provision was intended by those who made it, for the reclaiming of what we call fugitive slaves; and the intention of the law-giver is the law. All members of Congress swear their support to the whole constitution — to this provision as much as to any other. To the proposition then, that slaves whose cases come within the terms of this clause, "shall be delivered up," their oaths are unanimous. Now, if they would make the effort in good temper, could they not, with nearly equal unanimity, frame and pass a law, by means of which to keep good that unanimous oath?

There is some difference of opinion whether this clause should be enforced by national or by state authority; but surely that difference is not a very material one. If the slave is to be surrendered, it can be of but little consequence to him, or to others, by which authority it is done. And should any one, in any case, be content that his oath shall go unkept, on a merely unsubstantial controversy as to how it shall be kept?

Again, in any law upon this subject, ought not all the safeguards of liberty known in civilized and humane jurisprudence to be introduced, so that a free man be not, in any case, surrendered as a slave? And might it not be well, at the same time, to provide by law for the enforcement of that clause in the Constitution which guaranties that "The citizens of each State shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States?"

I take the official oath to-day, with no mental reservations, and with no purpose to construe the Constitution or laws, by any hypercritical rules. And while I do not choose now to specify particular acts of Congress as proper to be enforced, I do suggest, that it will be much safer for all, both in official and private stations, to conform to, and abide by, all those acts which stand unrepealed, than to violate any of them, trusting to find impunity in having them held to be unconstitutional.

It is seventy-two years since the first inauguration of a President under our national Constitution. During that period fifteen different and greatly distinguished citizens, have, in succession, administered the executive branch of the government. They have conducted it through many perils; and, generally, with great success. Yet, with all this scope for precedent, I now enter upon the same task for the brief constitutional term of four years, under great and peculiar difficulty. A disruption of the Federal Union heretofore only menaced, is now formidably attempted.

I hold, that in contemplation of universal law, and of the Constitution, the Union of these States is perpetual. Perpetuity is implied, if not expressed, in the fundamental law of all national governments. It is safe to assert that no government proper, ever had a provision in its organic law for its own termination. Continue to execute all the express provisions of our national Constitution, and the Union will endure forever — it being impossible to destroy it, except by some action not provided for in the instrument itself

Again, if the United States be not a government proper, but an association of States in the nature of contract merely, can it, as a contract, be peaceably unmade, by less than all the parties who made it? One party to a contract may violate it — break it, so to speak; but does it not require all to lawfully rescind it?

Descending from these general principles, we find the proposition that, in legal contemplation, the Union is perpetual, confirmed by the history of the Union itself. The Union is much older than the Constitution. It was formed in fact, by the Articles of Association in 1774.. It was matured and continued by the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It was further matured and the faith of all the then thirteen States expressly plighted and engaged that it should be perpetual, by the Articles of Confederation in 1778. And finally, in 1787, one of the declared objects for ordaining and establishing the Constitution, was "to form a more perfect union."

But if destruction of the Union, by one, or by a part only, of the States, be lawfully possible, the Union is less perfect than before the Constitution, having lost the vital element of perpetuity.

It follows from these views that no State, upon its own mere motion, can lawfully get out of the Union, — that resolves and ordinances to that effect are legally void; and that acts of violence, within any State or States, against the authority of the United States, are insurrectionary or revolutionary, according to circumstances.

I therefore consider that, in view of the Constitution and the laws, the Union is unbroken; and, to the extent of my ability, I shall take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States. Doing this I deem to be only a simple duty on my part; and I shall perform it, so far as practicable, unless my rightful masters, the American people, shall withhold the requisite means, or, in some authoritative manner, direct the contrary. I trust this will not be regarded as a menace, but only as the declared purpose of the Union that it will constitutionally defend, and maintain itself.

In doing this there needs to be no bloodshed or violence; and there shall be none, unless it be forced upon the national authority. The power confided to me, will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property, and places belonging to the government, and to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion — no using of force against, or among the people anywhere. Where hostility to the United States, in any interior locality, shall be so great and so universal, as to prevent competent resident citizens from holding the Federal offices, there will be no attempt to force obnoxious strangers among the people for that object. While the strict legal right may exist in the government to enforce the exercise of these offices, the attempt to do so would be so irritating, and so nearly impracticable with all, that I deem it better to forego, for the time, the uses of such offices.

The mails, unless repelled, will continue to be furnished in all parts of the Union. So far as possible, the people everywhere shall have that sense of perfect security which is most favorable to calm thought and reflection. The course here indicated will be followed, unless current events, and experience, shall show a modification, or change, to be proper; and in every case and exigency, my best discretion will be exercised, according to circumstances actually existing, and with a view and a hope of a peaceful solution of the national troubles, and the restoration of fraternal sympathies and affections.

That there are persons in one section, or another who seek to destroy the Union at all events, and are glad of any pretext to do it, I will neither affirm or deny; but if there be such, I need address no word to them. To those, however, who really love the Union, may I not speak?

Before entering upon so grave a matter as the destruction of our national fabric, with all its benefits, its memories, and its hopes, would it not be wise to ascertain precisely why we do it? Will you hazard so desperate a step, while there is any possibility that any portion of the ills you fly from, have no real existence? Will you, while the certain ills you fly to, are greater than all the real ones you fly from? Will you risk the commission of so fearful a mistake?

All profess to be content in the Union, if all constitutional rights can be maintained. Is it true, then, that any right, plainly written in the Constitution, has been denied? I think not. Happily the human mind is so constituted, that no party can reach to the audacity of doing this. Think, if you can, of a single instance in which a plainly written provision of the Constitution has ever been denied. If, by the mere force of numbers, a majority should deprive a minority of any clearly written constitutional right, it might, in a moral point of view, justify revolution — certainly would, if such right were a vital one. But such is not our case. All the vital rights of minorities, and of individuals, are so plainly assured to them, by affirmations and negations guaranties and prohibitions in the Constitution, that controversies never arise concerning them. But no organic law can ever be framed with a provision specifically applicable to every question which may occur in practical administration. No foresight can anticipate, nor any document of reasonable length contain express provisions for all possible questions. Shall fugitives from labor be surrendered by national or by State authority? The Constitution does not expressly say. May Congress prohibit slavery in the territories? The Constitution does not expressly say. Must Congress protect slavery in the territories? The Constitution does not expressly say.

From questions of this class spring all our constitutional controversies, and we divide upon them into majorities and minorities. If the minority will not acquiesce, the majority must, or the government must cease. There is no other alternative; for continuing the government, is acquiescence on one side or the other. If a minority, in such case, will secede rather than acquiesce, they make a precedent which, in turn, will divide and ruin them; for a minority of their own will secede from them, whenever a majority refuses to be controlled by such minority. For instance, why may not any portion of a new confederacy, a year or two hence, arbitrarily secede again, precisely as portions of the present Union now claim to secede from it. All who cherish disunion sentiments, are now being educated to the exact temper of doing this. Is there such perfect identity of interests among the States to compose a new Union, as to produce harmony only, and prevent renewed secession?

Plainly, the central idea of secession, is the essence of anarchy. A majority, held in restraint by constitutional checks, and limitations, and always changing easily, with deliberate changes of popular opinions and sentiments, is the only true sovereign of a free people. Whoever rejects it, does of necessity, fly to anarchy or to despotism. Unanimity is impossible; the rule of a minority as a permanent arrangement, is wholly inadmissible; so that rejecting the majority principle, anarchy, or despotism in some form, is all that is left.

I do not forget the position assumed by some, that constitutional questions are to be decided by the Supreme Court; nor do I deny that such decisions must be binding in any case upon the parties to a suit, as to the object of that suit, while they are also entitled to very high respect and consideration, in all parallel cases, by all other departments of the government. And while it is obviously possible that such decision may be erroneous in any given case, still the evil effect following it, being limited to that particular case, with the chance that it may be over-ruled, and never become a precedent for other cases, can better be borne than could the evils of a different practice. At the same time the candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the government, upon vital questions, affecting the whole people, is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made, in ordinary litigation between parties, in personal actions, the people will have ceased, to be their own rulers, having, to that extent, practically resigned their government, into the hands of that eminent tribunal. Nor is there, in this view, any assault upon the court, or the judges. It is a duty, from which they may not shrink, to decide cases properly brought before them; and it is no fault of theirs, if others seek to turn their decisions to political purposes.

One section of our country believes slavery is right, and ought to be extended, while the other believes it is wrong, and ought not to be extended. This is the only substantial dispute. The fugitive slave clause of the Constitution, and the law for the suppression of the foreign slave trade, are each as well enforced, perhaps, as any law can ever be in a community where the moral sense of the people imperfectly supports the law itself. The great body of the people abide by the dry legal obligation in both cases, and a few break over in each. This, I think, cannot be perfectly cured; and it would be worse in both cases after the separation of the sections, than before. The foreign slave trade, now imperfectly suppressed, would be ultimately revived without restriction, in one section; while fugitive slaves, now only partially surrendered, would not be surrendered at all, by the other.

Physically speaking, we cannot separate. We cannot, remove our respective sections from each other, nor build an impassable wall between them. A husband and wife may be divorced, and go out of the presence, and beyond the reach of each other; but the different parts of our country cannot do this. They cannot but remain face to face; and intercourse, either amicable or hostile, must continue between them, Is it possible then to make that intercourse more advantageous or more satisfactory, after separation than before? Can aliens make treaties easier than friends can make laws? Can treaties be more faithfully enforced between aliens, than laws can among friends? Suppose you go to war, you cannot fight always; and when, after much loss on both sides, and no gain on either, you cease fighting, the identical old questions, as to terms of intercourse, are again upon you.

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember, or overthrow it. I can not be ignorant of the fact that many worthy, and patriotic citizens are desirous of having the national constitution amended. While I make no recommendation of amendments, I fully recognize the rightful authority of the people over the whole subject, to be exercised in either of the modes prescribed in the instrument itself; and I should, under existing circumstances, favor, rather than oppose, a fair opportunity being afforded the people to act upon it.

I will venture to add that, to me, the convention mode seems preferable, in that it allows amendments to originate with the people themselves, instead of only permitting them to take or reject, propositions, originated by others, not especially chosen for the purpose, and which might not be precisely such, as they would wish to either accept or refuse. I understand a proposed amendment to the Constitution — which amendment, however, I have not seen, has passed Congress, to the effect that the federal government, shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the States, including that of persons held to service. To avoid misconstruction of what I have said, I depart from my purpose not to speak of particular amendments, so far as to say that, holding such a provision to now be implied constitutional law, I have no objection to its being made express, and irrevocable.

The Chief Magistrate derives all his authority from the people, and they have conferred none upon him to fix terms for the separation of the States. The people themselves can do this also if they choose; but the executive, as such, has nothing to do with it. His duty is to administer the present government, as it came to his hands, and to transmit it, unimpaired by him, to his successor.

Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people? Is there any better, or equal hope, in the world? In our present differences, is either party without faith of being in the right? If the Almighty Ruler of nations, with his eternal truth and justice, be on your side of the North, or on yours of the South, that truth, and that justice, will surely prevail, by the judgment of this great tribunal, the American people.

By the frame of the government under which we live, this same people have wisely given their public servants but little power for mischief; and have, with equal wisdom, provided for the return of that little to their own hands at very short intervals.

While the people retain their virtue, and vigilance, no administration, by any extreme of wickedness or folly, can very seriously injure the government, in the short space of four years.

My countrymen, one and all, think calmly and well, upon this whole subject. Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time. If there be an object to hurry any of you, in hot haste, to a step which you would never take deliberately, that object will be frustrated by taking time; but no good object can be frustrated by it. Such of you as are now dissatisfied, still have the old Constitution unimpaired, and, on the sensitive point, the laws of your own framing under it; while the new administration will have no immediate power, if it would, to change either. If it were admitted that you who are dissatisfied, hold the right side in the dispute, there still is no single good reason for precipitate action. Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him, who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are still competent to adjust, in the best way, all our present difficulty.

In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you. You can have no conflict, without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in Heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to "preserve, protect and defend" it.

I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

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Mjolnir or others who have been to Charleston:

I imagine that if you visit this city, Fort Sumter is one of the sites that everyone wants to see. Can you tell us what this tour is like, how long it takes, what things you get to see, etc?

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Well, it took some time to get here, but tommorow I will begin discussing Fort Sumter.

Thank you for everything leading up to this. And also a thank you to all who have contributed. This has been fascinating, and I can't wait for the rest.As an aside. I have ancestors who came here from England to New England in the 1600's. I know the family split and dispersed and that I have relatives on both sides of this conflict. I don't know if they ever met in battle. Personally, I hope not. Edited by Mopap

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Well, it took some time to get here, but tommorow I will begin discussing Fort Sumter.

With hostilities imminent, I thought it would be a good idea to begin discussion of military aspects of the Civil War.

One of the questions that students of the American Civil War ask at some point is 'where did all the weapons come from?' Think about it...we had a standing army of around 16,000 spread out from Maine to California. The CSA had no army or navy (though they did have a larger aggregate state militia force). Although contracts were let out to foreign nations, and eventually ordanance facilities were established, in 1860-61 the chief supplier of military goods to the CSA was the United States of America.

Here is a look at armories around the country when war broke out; might seem like an obscure starting point, but the stories are fascinating:

Federal Arsenals

Allegheny Arsenal, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1814

The old Allegheny Arsenal was an important supply and manufacturing center for the Union Army during the American Civil War, serving as a supply and manufacturing center for the troops in the western theatre. During the Civil War, the manufacture of cartridges became a high priority. Civilian employment at the arsenal increased from a pre-war total of 308 to over 1100 workers. One of the busiest facilities was the main lab, which employed 158 workers, the majority of whom were women engaged in the making of cartridges. On Wednesday, September 17, 1862, a series of explosions at the arsenal shattered windows in the surrounding community and was heard in Pittsburgh, over two miles away. Fire fighting equipment as well as a bucket brigade tried to douse the flames with water. The volunteer fire company from Pittsburgh arrived and assisted in bringing the fire under control. By the time the fire was put out, the lab had been reduced to a pile of smoldering rubble. 78 workers, mostly young women, were killed. 54 bodies were unidentified, and were buried in a mass grave in the nearby Allegheny Cemetery. The single largest civilian disaster during the war was overshadowed by the Battle of Antietam – the bloodiest one day battle of the Civil War - which occurred on the same day near the town of Sharpsburg, Maryland. Today the site of the explosion is in a ballfield in Arsenal Park. Nearby is the powder magazine, now a maintenance shed for the park.

Augusta Arsenal, Augusta, Georgia 1817

Seized by Georgia State troops January 24, 1861. Due to its rail, river, canal and railroad connections, the site between the Canal and Savannah River was chosen to build the Confederate Powderworks. The Confederate Powderworks was the 2nd largest gunpowder factory in the world at that time during the 19th century. More than 2,750,000 pounds of first-quality gunpowder (a majority of the powder used by the Confederacy), was produced here before its closure on April 18, 1865. It has been said the Confederacy never lost a battle for lack of powder. Today all that remains of the facility is the 150 foot obelisk chimney, the most recognizable feature in the Augusta skyline.

Baton Rouge Arsenal, Louisiana 1816

The barracks and arsenal were occupied almost continuously from 1816 until January 10, 1861, when the post surrendered to Louisiana State troops. The arsenal was reoccupied by U. S. forces, May 9, 1862. From this arsenal came the famous Washington Artillery, perhaps the most reliable batteries in the Army of Northern Virginia (Longstreet’s Corps). Formed in 1836, the Washington Artillery received their regimental flag after serving with Zachary Taylor in the Mexican War, and during the Civil War served from Bull Run to Appomattox. After the Civil War, it was reorganized an independent unit called the “Louisiana Volunteer Field Artillery” where it served America in the occupation of Cuba. It later was called into service to protect the Mexican border in 1916. A year later it received the designation 141st Artillery. In early 1941, the 141st Field Artillery was mobilized for World War II where it earned the Presidential Unit Citation; a duplicate unit was formed, the 935th Field Artillery Battalion, with both serving in Europe and North Africa. The anti-tank batteries of the battalion were separated in mid-1941, and formed the 773rd Tank Destroyer Battalion. Between 1959 and 1967, several sister Units were combined to form the 141st Field Artillery Battalion. In mid-2004 the 141st FA as part of the 256th Infantry Brigade mobilized to Baghdad, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Benicia Arsenal, California 1851

Established as an ordnance depot August 25, 1851, near Benicia, California; designated as the principal depot for ordnance and ordnance stores for the Division of the Pacific, November 8, 1851; converted to an "arsenal of construction", April 1852. The arsenal was important to the entire West Coast. During the 1850s, Ulysses Grant, Edward Ord, and Joseph Hooker (among others) saw garrison duty here.

Champlain Arsenal, Vergennes, Vermont 1826

Discontinued 1855; re-established 1861.

Fortress Monroe Arsenal, Old Point Comfort, Virginia 1824

Held by Union forces throughout the Civil War. On the tip of the Virginia Peninsula, it guarded approach by sea of the navigational shipping channel between the Chesapeake Bay and the entrance to the harbor of Hampton Roads. A young first lieutenant and engineer in the U.S. Army, Robert E. Lee was stationed there from 1831 to 1834, and played a major role in the final construction of both Fort Monroe and its opposite, Fort Calhoun. Jefferson Davis was imprisoned here 1865-67.

Frankford Arsenal, Bridesburg, PA 1816

With the outbreak of the Civil War, the arsenal's commander, Josiah Gorgas, resigned and joined the Confederate States Army in deference to the wishes of his Alabama-born wife. By the end of the war, the arsenal employed over 1,000 workers. It served as a major site for the storage of weapons and artillery pieces, a depot for the repair of artillery, cavalry and infantry equipment, repair and cleaning of small arms and harnesses, the manufacture of percussion powder and Minié balls, and the testing of new forms of gunpowder and time fuses. During the Gettysburg Campaign, the arsenal provided tens of thousands of muskets and vast supplies of ammunition for Pennsylvania's "Emergency Militia" regiments. Among the innovations extensively tested at the Arsenal was the Gatling Gun, an early form of machine gun that saw extensive service in the Indian Wars. During World War I and World War II, the arsenal was again busy with supplying the war efforts, providing a major source of jobs and income for the region. At times, employment reached 22,000. The Frankford Arsenal was an entity unto itself. It was a city within a city, and contained everything from its own police and fire departments, Buildings and Grounds, dining halls, as well as everything from maintenance and motor pool, to a complete medical facility. During the presidential campaign of 1976, vice presidential candidate Walter Mondale stood in front of the Frankford Arsenal and promised that it would remain open. The Carter/Mondale ticket won the election but the promise was not fulfilled; the arsenal closed for U.S. government use in 1977.

Harper's Ferry Arsenal , Virginia 1794

Destroyed April 18, 1861, to prevent its falling into the hands of Confederates; lands sold November 30, 1867. The second federal arsenal was established in 1799 on a site selected by President Washington. Situated at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers where the U.S. states of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia meet. On April 18, 1861, just a day after Virginia's conventional ratification of secession, Union soldiers, outnumbered and deprived of reinforcements, set fire to their own armory in an attempt to thwart the usage of it by an advancing Virginian Confederate militia. Confederate soldiers were able to put out the fires swiftly enough to save the armory's weapon-making machinery. After rescuing the equipment, the Confederates shipped it south to other facilities. Harpers Ferry. The Southern forces used Harper’s Ferry for a training and staging area for Virginia state militia being mustered into service for the CSA, organized by the eccentric VMI professor Thomas Jackson. During the Civil War it was a vital control point for both the Confederate and Union armies because it is the gateway to the Shenandoah Valley; it would change hands 12 times. By the end of the war the devastation from repeated attacks by both sides had destroyed all but one building of the original armory: John Brown’s fort, the old firehouse and guard shack.

Kennebec Arsenal, Augusta, Maine 1827

Little Rock Arsenal, Arkansas 1836

Captain James Totten was commander at the arsenal at the beginning of the Civil War. Governor Henry M. Rector was urged by citizens of Arkansas even before the state formally seceded in May 1861, to seize the installation, but he sought to claim the buildings without violence. Totten wrote to authorities in Washington DC seeking direction, but in the end he was forced to follow his own wisdom. In February 1861, he surrendered the arsenal to the State of Arkansas, and Federal troops left by boat for St. Louis, Missouri. The women of Little Rock saluted his peaceful solution, presenting Totten with a ceremonial sword. In 1863, Federal troops entered Little Rock and occupied the arsenal for the duration of the war. Douglas MacArthur was born at the arsenal in 1880.

Louisville Ordnance Depot, Kentucky

Temporary depot; existing for a few years during the Civil War

Mount Vernon Arsenal, Alabama 1829

Taken by Alabama State troops January 4, 1861; reestablished in 1865. Along with the Kennebec Arsenal in Augusta, Maine, it is one of the most complete antebellum arsenals surviving to the present day. On January 4, 1861, troops of the Alabama state militia took possession of the arsenal on the orders of Alabama governor Andrew B. Moore. The takeover from the small US Army force, commanded by Captain Jesse L. Reno, was peaceful and bloodless. After Alabama joined with other seceded states to form the Confederacy, the Arsenal was turned over to the Confederate Army for the duration of the war. In 1862, after the Battle of New Orleans, the Confederacy moved ammunition manufacturing from the Mount Vernon Arsenal to Selma, Alabama. Selma offered a more secure location farther away from Union forces. The Confederate Army held the Arsenal almost until the end of the Civil War. After the war was over the Arsenal was returned to the federal government and the site was renamed the Mount Vernon Barracks. From 1887 to 1894 the Barracks was used as a prison for captured Apache people, including Geronimo and his followers. Walter Reed the United States Army physician who confirmed that yellow fever is spread by mosquitoes, served as post surgeon in the 1880s. In 1895, the site was deeded to the state of Alabama.

Nashville Ordnance Depot, Tennessee

Temporary depot established during the Civil War; discontinued soon after December 1865.

New York Arsenal, Governor's Island, New York

The ordnance depot established at Governor's Island in New York Harbor became the New York Arsenal in 1835.

Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois 1863

During the Civil War, Arsenal Island was home to a large Union army prison camp for captured Confederate soldiers (the Rock Island Prison Barracks). A total of 1,964 Confederate prisoners and 125 Union guards are buried in the adjacent military cemetery, including 49 members of the 108th Regiment of United States Colored Troops, most of which died from disease or exposure. The prison camp was operational from December 1863 until July 1865 when the last prisoners were freed and sent home. During its two years in operation, the prison camp housed over 12,400 different Confederates. It is now the largest government-owned weapons manufacturing arsenal in the United States. In 1919-20 100 of the Anglo-American or Liberty Mark VIII (tanks) were manufactured, although too late for World War I. The Arsenal is the only active US Army foundry, and manufactures ordnance and equipment, including artillery, gun mounts, recoil mechanisms, small arms, aircraft weapons sub-systems, grenade launchers, weapons simulators, and a host of associated components. Some of the Arsenal's most successful products include the M198 and M119 towed howitzers, and the M1A1 gun mount.

St. Louis Arsenal, Missouri 1822

The armory, which was used for assembling weapons rather than manufacturing them, had the biggest collection of rifles and muskets of any of the slave states and was fourth after Massachusetts, District of Columbia, New York and California in total number of muskets and rifles (38,141). Despite its enormous strategic importance, it had traditionally been lightly guarded. In March 1861 the Missouri Constitutional Convention of 1861 voted 98 to 1 to stay in the Union but not supply weapons or men to either side if war broke out. The security of such a large munitions depot became an immediate flash point. On April 20, 1861 a pro-Confederate mob at Liberty, Missouri seized the only other arsenal in the state - the Liberty Arsenal - and made off with about 1,000 rifles and muskets. On April 29 Union General Nathaniel Lyon seized the arsenal and sent all but 10,000 rifles and muskets to Illinois. Around May 1 Missouri Governor Claiborne Jackson - who had favored the South but had stuck the neutrality posture - called out the Missouri Militia for "maneuvers" about 4.5 miles northwest of the arsenal at Lindell's Grove (now the campus of St. Louis University) then outside the city of St. Louis in what has been called "Camp Jackson.". Lyon suspected the maneuvers were a thinly veiled attempt to seize the arsenal (suspicions furthered by the discovery that Jefferson Davis had sent artillery to the maneuvers). On May 10, Lyon surrounded the militia who surrendered. While parading them through the streets of St. Louis back towards the arsenal, a riot erupted. The troops opened fire on the crowd killing 28 and wounding 90 civilians outright and then killing another seven as the night progressed in what is called the Camp Jackson Affair. Lyon will be discussed more fully when we cover the Battle of Wilson’s Creek.

San Antonio Arsenal, Texas 1855

Taken by Texas State troops February 16, 1861; re-established 1865.

Springfield Armory, Massachusetts 1794

After the armory at Harper's Ferry was destroyed, the Government had to rely on the single armory at Springfield and on private establishments for its supply of arms.

Washington Arsenal, District of Columbia 1816

Watertown Arsenal, Massachusetts 1816

Filling cartridges (from Harper's Weekly)

Watervillet Arsenal, West Troy, New York 1814

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Mjolnir or others who have been to Charleston:I imagine that if you visit this city, Fort Sumter is one of the sites that everyone wants to see. Can you tell us what this tour is like, how long it takes, what things you get to see, etc?

There are two places in Charleston to catch a boat for the Fort Sumter tour. One is downtown at the Cooper River end of Calhoun Street the other is at Patriots Point where the Yorktown is anchored. The cost is around $15 and it consists of a 30 minute ride across the harbor and about an hour long tour. You can actually stay longer and catch another boat back.You get to walk through the fortifications and parade ground that existed during the war and those added after the war. There is a small museum and gift shop too. If you go during the summer you will really appreciate these because they are air conditioned. The middle of Charleston Harbor in the summer is a bit warm.Oddly enough I have only been to Sumter twice. I would suggest that if Fort Sumter is something you are interested in seeing in Charleston, you should also take in Fort Moultrie.

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I think most Charleston visitors feel compelled to go to Fort Sumter. Its a bit like the NYC tourist who goes to Liberty Island or ESB.

Mjolnirs can chime in here with his opinion, its his backyard, but I did live there for several years. I have also stomped around every major Civil War battlefield in the eastern theater. If you have time, go to Sumter, its an important site. If not, there are just way too many things to do in the Low Country. Its cool, worthwhile, but just stick in the itinerary as a 3 hour diversion.

I would tell NYC tourists the same thing. If you want to go to see XXX so you can say you've seen it, go for it...but just remember there are a gazillion things to do here that are way more interesting and fun.

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Lincoln's Cabinet

Abraham Lincoln's chief concern in early1861 was preventing the enlargement of the Confederacy. And part of the energy expended in building his cabinet was directed to that end. Putting together a cabinet gave Lincoln no end of trouble. The infant Republican party was still a loose coalition of several previous parties, of down-east Yankees and frontiersmen, radicals and conservatives, ideologues and pragmatists, of upper North and lower North and border-state tycoons like the Blairs of Maryland, of strong leaders several of whom still considered themselves better qualified for the presidency than the man who won it. Lincoln had to satisfy all of these interests with his 7 cabinet appointments,which would also indicate the direction of his policy toward the South.

With an aplomb unparalleled in American political history, the president-elect appointed his 4 main rivals for the nomination to cabinet posts. Seward became Secretary of State, Bates Attorney General. Simon Cameron was more of a problem; Lincoln wanted him for the treasury, but Republicans were distrustful of the "Winnebago Chief" as Cameron was known for having once cheated an Indian tribe. But Lincoln owed Cameron, so he made him Secretary of War. In this post, Cameron used his powers so ineptly and with such a level of corruption that within one year the President would be forced to dismiss him.

The treasury went to Salmon P. Chase, who had become leader of those Republicans opposed to any concession at all to the South. This appointment so offended Seward, who, as we shall see, did favor accomodation, that he (Seward) withdrew his name as Sec. of State. This was the first test of Seward's ambition to be "premier" of the Administration. Lincoln persuaded Seward to back down- though at this time Seward still wasn't convinced that he wasn't in charge.

Paying a debt to Indiana for early support of his nomination, Lincoln named Caleb Smith Sec. of the Interior. The fussy Conneticut Yankee Gideon Welles received the Navy department. Finally, Lincoln rounded out his cabinet with Montgomery Blair as postmaster general. Though a Republican, Blair was from Maryland, and it was hoped this concession would convince that state not to change sides.

Lincoln knew that even more important than his cabinet would be his inaugural speech, due on March 4. But first he had to get to Washington to give it, and this turned out to be risky, because his life was at risk.

Probably still the most amazing cabinet in American history given the facts and circumstances. This was the first shot across the bow of anyone who didn't think Lincoln knew how to lead. In one move, he castrated his interparty opposition and made them all sign on to the same plan. In a time when the PResident wasn't necessarily the leader of his party given everything going on, Lincoln took the nomination, election and then party leadership and didn't let go of any of them.

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Back in 2002 my SCV Camp held a Southern Cross of Honor ceremony in Magnolia Cemetery for Captain John C. Mitchell, an Irish immigrant that was commander over Fort Sumter when he died in 1864. While his command and death are later in the war, I wanted to post some pictures of his grave as it is shaped like the parapets of Fort Sumter, which we are discussing.

front view

back view

description

headstone

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tim - unless you have read Lincoln at Gettysburg and are able to cite and quote that for when you get the timeline to that speech, I would like to take the responsibility of posting the narrative for it. I was reading up a little on it last night and I think the narrative on that speech will take about 7-10 posts.

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tim - unless you have read Lincoln at Gettysburg and are able to cite and quote that for when you get the timeline to that speech, I would like to take the responsibility of posting the narrative for it. I was reading up a little on it last night and I think the narrative on that speech will take about 7-10 posts.

By all means.

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As we get closer to Sumter and beyond, I'm going to make several posts about military aspects which should help newcomers and novices to better understand upcoming discussions about the battles. I don't have a formal outline in mind, but at a minimum:

command structure of Civil War armies

battlefield tactics during the era

a brief overview of infantry, artillery and cavalry armaments

I would hasten to add I hope that other folks will jump in with additional contributions. I don't want to overwhelm or confuse anyone, and its very easy to get bogged down in unimportant minutia. My objective is to simply introduce a minimal base knowledge that will enable some folks to comprehend terminology they are unfamiliar with. At the same time, I am sure there are others who have studied the ACW somewhat and would appreciate a more nuanced treatments. So by all means, for that persons benefit, please feel free to expand on any topics I introduce.

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As we get closer to Sumter and beyond, I'm going to make several posts about military aspects which should help newcomers and novices to better understand upcoming discussions about the battles. I don't have a formal outline in mind, but at a minimum:

command structure of Civil War armies

battlefield tactics during the era

a brief overview of infantry, artillery and cavalry armaments

I would hasten to add I hope that other folks will jump in with additional contributions. I don't want to overwhelm or confuse anyone, and its very easy to get bogged down in unimportant minutia. My objective is to simply introduce a minimal base knowledge that will enable some folks to comprehend terminology they are unfamiliar with. At the same time, I am sure there are others who have studied the ACW somewhat and would appreciate a more nuanced treatments. So by all means, for that persons benefit, please feel free to expand on any topics I introduce.

This will all be great! I'm only covering the highlights in my narratives, and I'm more of a story guy anyhow. I try to read, copy or otherwise intepret the gist of the story, and let others fill in the details. This worked very well in the World War II thread.

In that thread, however, it quickly reached a point where only myself and Ozymandias were posting on a regular basis, and others would come in very rarely. I'm hoping that there will be more people involved this time. So far, so good!

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As we get closer to Sumter and beyond, I'm going to make several posts about military aspects which should help newcomers and novices to better understand upcoming discussions about the battles. I don't have a formal outline in mind, but at a minimum:

command structure of Civil War armies

battlefield tactics during the era

a brief overview of infantry, artillery and cavalry armaments

I would hasten to add I hope that other folks will jump in with additional contributions. I don't want to overwhelm or confuse anyone, and its very easy to get bogged down in unimportant minutia. My objective is to simply introduce a minimal base knowledge that will enable some folks to comprehend terminology they are unfamiliar with. At the same time, I am sure there are others who have studied the ACW somewhat and would appreciate a more nuanced treatments. So by all means, for that persons benefit, please feel free to expand on any topics I introduce.

Command structures will be fun. It's a comedy/tragedy what Lincoln had to deal with.

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