FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 1861.

A pleasant warm day, which has passed off much as others do when nothing in particular occurs. The office is thronged with expectants for office, and it puzzles the “heads” to find places for even a small portion of the applicants. Went down to the Express office this evening, Julia went with me for a walk. We called no where else except for the NY Papers. We are all very well. My own health never was better. We read the papers till I was left alone & I went to bed at 11 o’ck.

______

The three diary manuscript volumes, Washington during the Civil War: The Diary of Horatio Nelson Taft, 1861-1865, are available online at The Library of  Congress.

0 comments

CINCINNATI, March 29, 1861.

DEAR UNCLE:—I have received your favor, and suspect you are more anxious that I should be re-elected than the occasion calls for. I philosophize in this way: I have got out of the office pretty much all the good there is in it—reputation and experience. If I quit it now, I shall be referred to as the best, or one of the best solicitors, the city has had. If I serve two years more, I can add nothing to this. I may possibly lose. I shall be out of clients and business a little while, but this difficulty will perhaps be greater two years hence. So you see it is no great matter. Still, I should prefer to beat, and with half a chance, I should do it.

I am not wasting much time looking after the election—none in mere personal electioneering. I am trying to so behave as to go out respectably.

Sincerely,

R.B. HAYES.

S. BIRCHARD.

0 comments

WAR DEPARTMENT, A. AND I. G. O.,
Montgomery, March 29, 1861.

Brig. Gen. G. T. BEAUREGARD,
Commanding, &c., Charleston, S.C.:

SIR: The Secretary of War directs that you will allow no further communications between the Government of the United States and Fort Sumter, unless the written instructions of the intermediary are first submitted to your inspection, with satisfactory assurances that there are no verbal instructions inconsistent with those which are written.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General.

0 comments

EXECUTIVE MANSION, March 29, 1861.

Honorable SECRETARY OF WAR:

SIR: I desire that an expedition, to move by sea, be got ready to sail as early as the 6th of April next, the whole according to memorandum attached, and that you co-operate with the Secretary of the Navy for that object.

Your obedient servant,

A. LINCOLN.

[Inclosure No. 1.]

NAVY DEPARTMENT. Preliminary orders.–Steamers Pocahontas at Norfolk, Pawnee at Washington, Harriet Lane at New York (Treasury Department), to be under sailing orders for sea with stores, &c., for one month. Three hundred men to be kept ready for departure from on board the receiving ships at New York.

[Inclosure No. 2.]

WAR DEPARTMENT. Preliminary.–Two hundred men to be ready to leave Governor’s Island in New York. Supplies for twelve months for one hundred men to be put in portable shape, ready for instant shipping. A large steamer and three tugs conditionally engaged.

MARCH 28, 1861.

0 comments

March 29, 1861; The New York Herald

In the United States Senate yesterday Mr. Trumbull offered a resolution declaring that in the opinion of the Senate the true way to preserve the Union is to enforce the laws of the Union; that resistance to their enforcement, whether under the name of anti-coercion or any other name, is disunion; and that it is the duty of the President to sue all the means in his power to hold and protect the public property of the United States, and enforce the laws thereof, as well in the other States of South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas, as within the other States of the Union. Mr. Trumbull desired to have a vote on the resolution, and the democratic members expressed themselves in favor of an immediate expression of opinion on the subject. The republicans, however, would not come up to the mark, but preferred an executive session for the apportionment of the offices. A motion to that effect was carried, and the Senate confirmed a large number of nominations. Subsequently, the President having no further communication to make, the Senate adjourned sine die.

A list of nominations confirmed by the Senate yesterday may be found in another column. The only New York city appointments confirmed are those of Hiram Barney, for Collector, and Thomas McElrath, for Appraiser.

The English papers continue to denounce the Morrill tariff, and declare that if the law goes into operation the blunders of the statesmen will be rectified by the hardihood of the smuggler. We reproduce this morning an important article upon this subject from the London Times of the 12th inst. We also publish an article from the London News, the organ of Lord John Russell, upon the policy of the British government relative to the recognition of the Southern confederacy.

This being Good Friday, the law courts will not hold their sessions.

0 comments

March 29, 2004; Tri-Weekly Alamo Express, San Antonio, TX

On Thursday morning two more companies of regulars passed through our city. One company under command of Maj. Shepherd, halted on the Main Plaza, where a crowd of people had spontaneously gathered, and played “auld lang syne” with fife and drum, receiving the enthusiastic cheers of people; from the Plaza they marched down Main street to that good old tune Americans delight in, “yankee doodle” which will do to whistle, play and sing, and just the thing for fighting. The people carrying an American flag accompanied the troops to the edge of town, presenting them with the flag. This is a pleasant surprise to the troops and an evidence that patriotism still swells among us in spite of tyranny and usurpation.—God speed the day that will bring back the army to us.

0 comments

March 28th.—I was honored to-day by visits from a great number of Members of Congress, journalists, and others. Judging from the expressions of most of the Washington people, they would gladly see a Southern Cabinet installed in their city. The cold shoulder is given to Mr. Lincoln, and all kinds of stories and jokes are circulated at his expense. People take particular pleasure in telling how he came towards the seat of his Government disguised in a Scotch cap and cloak, whatever that may mean.

In the evening I repaired to the White House. The servant who took my hat and coat was particularly inquisitive as to my name and condition in life; and when he heard I was not a minister, he seemed inclined to question my right to be there at all: “for,” said he, “there are none but members of the cabinet, and their wives and daughters, dining here to-day.” Eventually he relaxed—instructed me how to place my hat so that it would be exposed to no indignity, and informed me that I was about to participate in a prandial enjoyment of no ordinary character. There was no parade or display, no announcement—no gilded staircase, with its liveried heralds, transmitting and translating one’s name from landing to landing. From the unpretending ante-chamber, a walk across the lofty hall led us to the reception-room, which was the same as that in which the President held his interview yesterday.

Mrs. Lincoln was already seated to receive her guests. She is of the middle age and height, of a plumpness degenerating to the embonpoint natural to her years; her features are plain, her nose and mouth of an ordinary type, and her manners and appearance homely, stiffened, however, by the consciousness that her position requires her to be something more than plain Mrs. Lincoln, the wife of the Illinois lawyer; she is profuse in the introduction of the word “sir” in every sentence, which is now almost an Americanism confined to certain classes, although it was once as common in England. Her dress I shall not attempt to describe, though it was very gorgeous and highly colored. She handled a fan with much energy, displaying a round, well-proportioned arm, and was adorned with some simple jewelry. Mrs. Lincoln struck me as being desirous of making herself agreeable; and I own I was agreeably disappointed, as the Secessionist ladies at Washington had been amusing themselves by anecdotes which could scarcely have been founded on fact.

Several of the Ministers had already arrived; by and by all had come, and the party only waited for General Scott, who seemed to be the representative man in Washington of the monarchical idea, and to absorb some of the feeling which is lavished on the pictures and memory, if not on the monument, of Washington. Whilst we were waiting, Mr. Seward took me round, and introduced me to the Ministers, and to their wives and daughters, among the latter, Miss Chase, who is very attractive, agreeable, and sprightly. Her father, the Finance Minister, struck me as one of the y most intelligent and distinguished persons in the whole assemblage; tall, of a good presence, with a well-formed head, fine forehead, and a face indicating energy and power. There is a peculiar droop and motion of the lid of one eye, which seems to have suffered from some injury, that detracts from the agreeable effect of his face; but, on the whole, he is one who would not pass quite unnoticed in a European crowd of the same description.

In the whole assemblage there was not a scrap of lace or a piece of ribbon, except the gorgeous epaulettes of an old naval officer who had served against us in the last war, and who represented some branch of the naval department. Nor were the Ministers by any means remarkable for their personal appearance.

Mr. Cameron, the Secretary for War, a slight man, above the middle height, with grey hair, deep-set keen grey eyes, and a thin mouth, gave me the idea of a person of ability and adroitness. His colleague, the Secretary of the Navy, a small man, with a great long grey beard and spectacles, did not look like one of much originality or ability; but people who know Mr. Welles declare that he is possessed of administrative power, although they admit that he does not know the stem from the stern of a ship, and are in doubt whether he ever saw the sea in his life. Mr. Smith, the Minister of the Interior, is a bright-eyed, smart (I use the word in the English sense) gentleman, with the reputation of being one of the most conservative members of the cabinet. Mr. Blair, the Postmaster-General, is a person of much greater influence than his position would indicate. He has the reputation of being one of the most determined republicans in the Ministry; but he held peculiar notions with reference to the black and the white races, which, if carried out, would not by any means conduce to the comfort or happiness of free negroes in the United States. He is a tall, lean man, with a hard, Scotch, practical-looking head—an anvil for ideas to be hammered on. His eyes are small and deeply set, and have a rat-like expression; and he speaks with caution, as though he weighed every word before he uttered it. The last of the Ministers is Mr. Bates, a stout, thick-set, common-looking man, with a large beard, who fills the office of Attorney-General. Some of the gentlemen were in evening dress; others wore black frock coats, which it seems, as in Turkey, are considered to be en regle at a Republican Ministerial dinner.

In the conversation which occurred before dinner, I was amused to observe the manner in which Mr. Lincoln used the anecdotes for which he is famous. Where men bred in courts, accustomed to the world, or versed in diplomacy, would use some subterfuge, or would make a polite speech, or give a shrug of the shoulders as the means of getting out of an embarrassing position, Mr. Lincoln raises a laugh by some bold west-country anecdote, and moves off in the cloud of merriment produced by his joke. Thus, when Mr. Bates was remonstrating apparently against the appointment of some indifferent lawyer to a place of judicial importance, the President interposed with, “Come now, Bates, he’s not half as bad as you think. Besides that, I must tell you, he did me a good turn long ago. When I took to the law, I was going to court one morning, with some ten or twelve miles of bad road before me, and I had no horse. The judge overtook me in his waggon. ‘Hollo, Lincoln! Are you not going to the courthouse? Come in and I’ll give you a seat.’ Well, I got in, and the judge went on reading his papers. Presently the waggon struck a stump on one side of the road; then it hopped off to the other. I looked out, and I saw the driver was jerking from side to side in his seat; so says I, ‘Judge, I think your coachman has been taking a little drop too much this morning.’ ‘Well I declare, Lincoln,’ said he, ‘I should not much wonder if you are right, for he has nearly upset me half-a-dozen of times since starting.’ So, putting his head out of the window, he shouted, ‘Why, you infernal scoundrel, you are drunk!’ Upon which, pulling up his horses, and turning round with great gravity, the coachman said, ‘By gorra! that’s the first rightful decision you have given for the last twelvemonth.'” Whilst the company were laughing, the President beat a quiet retreat from the neighborhood of the Attorney-General.

It was at last announced that General Scott was unable to he present, and that, although actually in the house, he had been compelled to retire from indisposition, and we moved in to the banqueting-hall. The first “state dinner,” as it is called, of the President was not remarkable for ostentation. No liveried servants, no Persic splendor of ancient plate, or chefs d’œuvre of art glittered round the board. Vases of flowers decorated the table, combined with dishes in what may be called the “Gallo-American” style, with wines which owed their parentage to France, and their rearing and education to the United States, which abound in cunning nurses for such productions. The conversation was suited to the state dinner of a cabinet at which women and strangers were present. I was seated next Mr. Bates and the very agreeable and lively Secretary of the President, Mr. Hay, and except when there was an attentive silence caused by one of the President’s stories, there was a Babel of small talk round the table, in which I was surprised to find a diversity of accent almost as great as if a number of foreigners had been speaking English. I omitted the name of Mr. Hamlin, the Vice-President, as well as those of less remarkable people who were present; but it would not be becoming to pass over a man distinguished for nothing so much as his persistent and unvarying adhesion to one political doctrine, which has made him, in combination with the belief in his honesty, the occupant of a post which leads to the Presidency, in event of any occurrence which may remove Mr. Lincoln.

After dinner the ladies and gentlemen retired to the drawing-room, and the circle was increased by the addition of several politicians. I had an opportunity of conversing with some of the Ministers, if not with all, from time to time, and I was struck by the uniform tendency of their remarks in reference to the policy of Great Britain. They seemed to think that England was bound by her anti-slavery antecedents to discourage to the utmost any attempts of the South to establish its independence on a basis of slavery, and to assume that they were the representatives of an active war of emancipation. As the veteran Commodore Stewart passed the chair of the young lady to whom I was speaking, she said, “I suppose, Mr. Russell, you do not admire that officer?” “On the contrary,” I said, “I think he is a very fine-looking old man.” “I don’t mean that,” she replied; “but you know he can’t be very much liked by you, because he fought so gallantly against you in the last war, as you must know.” I had not the courage to confess ignorance of the Captain’s antecedents. There is a delusion among more than the fair American who spoke to me, that we entertain in England the sort of feeling, morbid or wholesome as it may be, in reference to our reverses at New Orleans and elsewhere, that is attributed to Frenchmen respecting Waterloo.

On returning to Willard’s Hotel, I was accosted by a gentleman who came out from the crowd in front of the office. “Sir,” he said, “you have been dining with our President to-night.” I bowed. “Was it an agreeable party?” said he. “What do you think of Mr. Lincoln?” “May I ask to whom I have the pleasure of speaking?” “My name is Mr. ——, and I am the correspondent of the New York ——.” “Then, sir,” I replied, “it gives me satisfaction to tell you that I think a great deal of Mr. Lincoln, and that I am equally pleased with my dinner. I have the honor to bid you good evening.” The same gentleman informed me afterwards that he had created the office of Washington Correspondent to the New York papers. “At first,” said he, “I merely wrote news, and no one cared much; then I spiced it up, squibbed a little, and let off stories of my own. Congress men contradicted me —issued cards—said they were not facts. The public attention was attracted, and I was told to go on; and so the Washington correspondence became a feature in all the New York papers by degrees.” The hum and bustle in the hotel to-night were wonderful. All the office seekers were in the passages, hungering after senators and representatives, and the ladies in any way related to influential people, had an entourage of courtiers sedulously paying their respects. Miss Chase, indeed, laughingly told me that she was pestered by applicants for her father’s good offices, and by persons seeking introduction to her as a means of making demands on “Uncle Sam.”

As I was visiting a book-shop to-day, a pert, smiling young fellow, of slight figure and boyish appearance came up and introduced himself to me as an artist who had contributed to an illustrated London paper during the Prince of Wales’s tour, and who had become acquainted with some of my friends; and he requested permission to call on me, which I gave without difficulty or hesitation. He visited me this evening, poor lad! and told me a sad story of his struggles, and of the dependence of his family on his efforts, as a prelude to a request that I would allow him to go South when I was making the tour there, of which he had heard. He was under an engagement with the London paper, and had no doubt that if he was with me his sketches would all be received as illustrations of the places to which my letters were attracting public interest in England at the time. There was no reason why I should be averse to his travelling with me in the same train. He could certainly go if he pleased. At the same time I intimated that I was in no way to be connected with or responsible for him.

0 comments

THURSDAY 28

A nice spring day, bright & pleasant. We had a Comr in the office today, and a “green” Board of Appeal. The Pat office seems to be running into the ground under raw leaders. Took walk after dinner with wife and on our return found Chas & Miss Woodward who staid till 9 o’ck. Maj Davidson called and staid an hour or two. US. Senate Adjourned today. The Flying Artillery were practicing or rather exercising near us on Franklin Square. Julia & the boys went to see them. 1/2 past 10.

______

The three diary manuscript volumes, Washington during the Civil War: The Diary of Horatio Nelson Taft, 1861-1865, are available online at The Library of  Congress.

0 comments

March 28, 1861, The Charleston Mercury

In striving to arouse the South to the fatuity of the policy, which may be perpetrated under the Confederate States Constitution, by a two-thirds vote of future Congresses, we have already noticed the gross ignorance of the people of the North in regard to the true principles of republican government. Having no adequate conception of those wise and needful restrictions upon absolute power, whether vested in one man or many, by which alone the rights and liberty of all are protected, they substitute for free government a many headed tyranny, shifting, irresponsible and limitless, and hence are utterly unfit for political connection under a common government with those who would avoid mobocracy, agrarianism and anarchy.

In addition to their false and low views of republican government, we have spoken of the error of their idea of a general government for a confederation of republics. They mistake the creature for the creator—the agent for the supreme ultimate authority, and would make a consolidate nation, with unlimited power, out of a union of States, under a compact of powers, carefully delegated. They are, therefore, most dangerous confederates for those who would avoid a central despotism and escape the troubles and difficulties of another moral struggle with such anti-States rights tendencies.

Besides their mobocratic and consolidate political heresies, we have alluded to the radical hostility of the Northern people to the South and her institutions, in the great, vital question of slavery. Anti-slavery is a sentiment and a doctrine so thoroughly embedded in their moral, religious and political nature, that its eradication within many generations is a hopeless expectation. Hence they cannot but be domestic foes, aliens, and unsafe confederates for those in this section who would live in peace, beyond the reach of such inimical influences.

There is however, sill another potent reason for repudiating all future connection with Northern States, under a common government. The whole history of their past union with the South is stamped with rapacity, selfishness and bad faith. [click to continue…]

0 comments

March 28, 1861; The New York Herald

Col. Lamon, President Lincoln’s special envoy to Fort Sumter, returned to Washington yesterday afternoon. The particulars of the result of his mission have not been made public, but it is known that Fort Sumter will be evacuated as soon as the vessel detailed to convey away the garrison shall reach Charleston harbor, and arrangements for their removal have been completed.

Our correspondent at Charleston states that President Davis has made a requisition upon the Governors of South Carolina, Florida and Georgia for troops, but upon what service they are to be despatched had not transpired.

In the United States Senate yesterday a message was received from the President declining to communicate the despatches received from Major Anderson, the commander at Fort Sumter, as their publication would at this time be inexpedient. A long debate then ensued upon the question of taking up Senator Breckinridge’s resolution advising the withdrawal of the federal troops from the seceded States. Upon taking the question the vote stood 19 to 10. As there was not a quorum, the subject was dropped, and the Senate went into executive session, and in the course of a couple of hours confirmed a large number of appointments. A list of the names is given among our telegraphic despatches.

Among the confirmations by the Senate yesterday was that of Hiram Barney, as Collector of the Port of New York.

0 comments

March 28, 1861; The New York Herald

WASHINGTON, March 27, 1861.

Colonel Ward H. Lamon, bearer of despatches from President Lincoln to Fort Sumter, returned this afternoon, and reported himself to the President while the Cabinet was present. The Colonel brought with him a large palmetto tree which was presented to him at Charleston.

Colonel Lamon had no opportunity to state to the President the results of his mission to Fort Sumter this afternoon. An interview was had this evening, but the precise information Colonel Lamon brings, or the effect it has had upon the President’s mind, is not known outside of the Cabinet, except as since indicated in a conversation the President had with a gentleman, to whom he said that Major Anderson was ordered to report with his command at another place, and would embark with his troops as soon as the facilities for doing so reached him, which would be in a few days.

Colonel Lamon does not hesitate to state his experience at Charleston in regard to the modus operandi of reaching Fort Sumter. He reached Charleston on Sunday morning, and book himself as ‘Ward H. Lamon, of Virginia.’ He did this because he ascertained that he could not reach Fort Sumter without a permit from Governor Pickens, and could not see the Governor until Monday morning, and in order not to make himself a target for the curious for twenty four hours, as he would have done had he announced himself from any other State. He was not annoyed until Monday morning, when a delegation of Charlestonians called upon him, and inquired if his name was Lamon? He replied, ‘Yes, my name is Ward H. Lamon.’ They asked him if he was a friend of President Lincoln? He replied that he was. He was then asked if he had any objection to tell them the object of his mission? He said he had objection, and added that he had important business with [click to continue…]

0 comments

—Governor Pickens, of South Carolina, sent a message to the convention of that State, informing it that six hundred men would be required to garrison the forts in Charleston harbor; besides giving other important details respecting the financial condition of the State. (This message is printed complete in the New York Tribune of April 2, 1861.)

—The actual vote of the State of Louisiana on secession is given by the New Orleans papers of to-day as follows: For secession, 20,448; against it, 17,296.— World, April 4.

0 comments

March 28, 1861; The Charleston Mercury

MONTGOMERY, March 25.

It is a matter of some pride her, at the capitol, to know that the new government loan of five million dollars has been taken, or at least the money has already been tendered, and is now waiting the time when the bonds can be issued from the Treasury Department. Although Congress authorized a loan of $15,000,000, if that sum was needed, early in the session, it was only last week that proposals were advertised for, to raise one third that amount, enough for present wants. The advertisement asked for $5,000,000; giving, as security, the bonds of the Confederates States, bearing interest at ten per cent. and payable in ten years; and, at the same time, briefly stated the means of obtaining the money for the ultimate payment of this debt. Notwithstanding the loan has been only a few days before the public, more than double the required sum has been tendered to the Secretary of the Treasury, and offers are continually coming in from all sections. Hardly a day passes but letters are received by editors and others, asking for information on the subject; the writer stating invariably that he has a few thousand dollars which he wishes to place at the disposal of the Confederate States. I have a case in memory now which illustrates the popular feeling in regard to this matter. When the announcement was first made that Congress had authorised a loan, and before proposals were solicited, a Mississippian placed $5000 in the hands of his bankers, made subject to the draft of the Treasurer of the Confederacy. This gentleman was not alone in his patriotic tender of money at the time it was supposed the Government was in need of it; for similar offers came from other States. I learn today that one man has offered $200,000 and another $80,000, to Mr. MEMMINGER, for which sum no interest is required. It is well known here that offers of money have been received from New York, Philadelphia, New Orleans, and other cities in the United States and in the Confederate States, to an amount that would cover the entire authorized loan. Mr. MEMMINGER has concluded—and very wisely too—that the citizens of the Confederates States are entitled to the preference in this investment, and the bonds will be scattered among the, as equally as possible. When it is remembered that the bonds of the old United States have been for some [click to continue…]

0 comments

March 27th.—This morning, after breakfast, Mr. Sanford called, according to promise, and took me to the State department. It is a very humble—in fact, dingy—mansion, two stories high, and situated at the end of the magnificent line of colonnade in white marble, called the Treasury, which is hereafter to do duty as the head-quarters of nearly all the public departments. People familiar with Downing Street, however, cannot object to the dinginess of the bureaux in which the foreign and state affairs of the American Republic are transacted. A flight of steps leads to the hall-door, on which an announcement in writing is affixed, to indicate the days of reception for the various classes of persons who have business with the Secretary of State; in the hall, on the right and left, are small rooms, with the names of the different officers on the doors—most of them persons of importance; halfway in the hall a flight of stairs conducts us to a similar corridor, rather dark, with doors on each side opening into the bureaux of the chief clerks. All the appointments were very quiet, and one would see much more bustle in the passages of a Poor Law Board or a parish vestry.

In a moderately sized, but very comfortable, apartment, surrounded with book-shelves, and ornamented with a few engravings, we found the Secretary of State seated at his table, and enjoying a cigar; he received me with great courtesy and kindness, and after a time said he would take occasion to present me to the President, who was to give audience that day to the minister of the new kingdom of Italy, who had hitherto only represented the kingdom of Sardinia.

I have already described Mr. Seward’s personal appearance; his son, to whom he introduced me, is the Assistant-Secretary of State, and is editor or proprietor of a journal in the State of New York, which has a reputation for ability and fairness. Mr. Frederick Seward is a slight delicate-looking man, with a high forehead, thoughtful brow, dark eyes, and amiable expression; his manner is very placid and modest, and, if not reserved, he is by no means loquacious. As we were speaking, a carriage drove up to the door, and Mr. Seward exclaimed to his father, with something like dismay in his voice, “Here comes the Chevalier in full uniform!”—and in a few seconds in effect the Chevalier Bertinatti made his appearance, in cocked hat, white gloves, diplomatic suit of blue and silver lace, sword, sash, and riband of the cross of Savoy. I thought there was a quiet smile on Mr. Seward’s face as he saw his brilliant companion, who contrasted so strongly with the more than republican simplicity of his own attire. “Fred, do you take Mr. Russell round to the President’s, whilst I go with the Chevalier. We will meet at the White House.” We accordingly set out through a private door leading to the grounds, and within a few seconds entered the hall of the moderate mansion, White House, which has very much the air of a portion of a bank or public office, being provided with glass doors and plain heavy chairs and forms. The domestic who was in attendance was dressed like any ordinary citizen, and seemed perfectly indifferent to the high position of the great personage with whom he conversed, when Mr. Seward asked him, “Where is the President?” Passing through one of the doors on the left, we entered a handsome spacious room, richly and rather gorgeously furnished, and rejoicing in a kind of “demi-jour” which gave increased effect to the gilt chairs and ormolu ornaments. Mr. Seward and the Chevalier stood in the centre of the room, whilst his son and I remained a little on one side : ” For,” said Mr. Seward, “you are not to be supposed to be here.” Soon afterwards there entered, with a shambling, loose, irregular, almost unsteady gait, a tall, lank, lean man, considerably over six feet in height, with stooping shoulders, long pendulous arms, terminating in hands of extraordinary dimensions, which, however, were far exceeded in proportion by his feet. He was dressed in an ill-fitting, wrinkled suit of black, which put one in mind of an undertaker’s uniform at a funeral; round his neck a rope of black silk was knotted in a large bulb, with flying ends projecting beyond the collar of his coat; his turned-down shirt-collar disclosed a sinewy muscular yellow neck, and above that, nestling in a great black mass of hair, bristling and compact like a ruff of mourning pins, rose the strange quaint face and head, covered with its thatch of wild republican hair, of President Lincoln. The impression produced by the size of his extremities, and by his flapping and wide projecting ears, may be removed by the appearance of kindliness, sagacity, and the awkward bonhommie of his face; the mouth is absolutely prodigious; the lips, straggling and extending almost from one line of black beard to tbe other, are only kept in order by two deep furrows from the nostril to the chin; the nose itself—a prominent organ—stands out from the face, with an inquiring, anxious air, as though it were sniffing for some good thing in the wind; the eyes dark, full, and deeply set, are penetrating, but full of an expression which almost amounts to tenderness; and above them projects the shaggy brow, running into the small hard frontal space, the development of which can scarcely be estimated accurately, owing to the irregular flocks of thick hair carelessly brushed across it. One would say that, although the mouth was made to enjoy a joke, it could also utter the severest sentence which the head could dictate, but that Mr. Lincoln would be ever more willing to temper justice with mercy, and to enjoy what he considers the amenities of life, than to take a harsh view of men’s nature and of the world, and to estimate things in an ascetic or puritan spirit. A person who met Mr. Lincoln in the street would not take him to be what—according to the usages of European society — is called a “gentleman;” and, indeed, since I came to the United States, I have heard more disparaging allusions made by Americans to him on that account than I could have expected among simple republicans, where all should be equals; but, at the same time, it would not be possible for the most indifferent observer to pass him in the street without notice. As he advanced through the room, he evidently controlled a desire to shake hands all round with everybody, and smiled good-humouredly till he was suddenly brought up by the staid deportment of Mr. Seward, and by the profound diplomatic bows of the Chevalier Bertinatti. Then, indeed, he suddenly jerked himself back, and stood in front of the two ministers, with his body slightly drooped forward, and his hands behind his back, his knees touching, and his feet apart. Mr. Seward formally presented the minister, whereupon the President made a prodigiously violent demonstration of his body in a bow which had almost the effect of a smack in its rapidity and abruptness, and, recovering himself, proceeded to give his utmost attention, whilst the Chevalier, with another bow, read from a paper a long address in presenting the royal letter accrediting him as “minister resident;” and when he said that “the king desired to give, under your enlightened administration, all possible strength and extent to those sentiments of frank sympathy which do not cease to be exhibited every moment between the two peoples, and whose origin dates back as far as the exertions which have presided over their common destiny as self-governing and free nations,” the President gave another bow still more violent, as much as to accept the allusion.

The minister forthwith handed his letter to the President, who gave it into the custody of Mr. Seward, and then, dipping his hand into his coat-pocket, Mr. Lincoln drew out a sheet of paper, from which he read his reply, the most remarkable part of which was his doctrine “that the United States were bound by duty not to interfere with the differences of foreign governments and countries.” After some words of compliment, the President shook hands with the minister, who soon afterwards retired. Mr. Seward then took me by the hand and said—”Mr. President, allow me to present to you Mr. Russell, of the London ‘Times.'” On which Mr. Lincoln put out his hand in a very friendly manner, and said, “Mr. Russell, I am very glad to make your acquaintance, and to see you in this country. The London ‘Times’ is one of the greatest powers in the world,—in fact, I don’t know anything which has much more power,—except perhaps the Mississippi. I am glad to know you as its minister.” Conversation ensued for some minutes, which the President enlivened by two or three peculiar little sallies, and I left agreeably impressed with his shrewdness, humor, and natural sagacity.

In the evening I dined with Mr. Seward, in company with his son, Mr. Seward, junior, Mr. Sanford, and a quaint, natural specimen of an American rustic lawyer, who was going to Brussels as Secretary of Legation. His chief, Mr. Sanford, did not appear altogether happy when introduced to his secretary, for he found that he had a very limited knowledge (if any) of French, and of other things which it is generally considered desirable that secretaries should know.

Very naturally, conversation turned on politics. Although no man can foresee the nature of the crisis which is coming, nor the mode in which it is to be encountered, the faith of men like Mr. Sanford and Mr. Seward in the ultimate success of their principles, and in the integrity of the Republic, is very remarkable; and the boldness of their language in reference to foreign powers almost amounts to arrogance and menace, if not to temerity. Mr. Seward asserted that the Ministers of England or of France had no right to make any allusion to the civil war which appeared imminent; and that the Southern Commissioners who had been sent abroad could not be received by the Government of any foreign power, officially or otherwise, even to hand in a document or to make a representation, without incurring the risk of breaking off relations with the Government of the United States. As regards the great object of public curiosity, the relief of Fort Sumter, Mr. Seward maintains a profound silence, beyond the mere declaration, made with a pleasant twinkle of the eye, that “the whole policy of the Government, on that and other questions, is put forth in the President’s inaugural, from which there will be no deviation.” Turning to the inaugural message, however, there is no such very certain indication, as Mr. Seward pretends to discover, of the course to be pursued by Mr. Lincoln and the cabinet. To an outside observer, like myself, it seems as if they were waiting for events to develop themselves, and rested their policy rather upon acts that had occurred, than upon any definite principle designed to control or direct the future.

I should here add that Mr. Seward spoke in high terms of the ability, dexterity, and personal qualities of Mr. Jefferson Davis, and declared his belief that but for him the Secession movement never could have succeeded as far as it has gone, and would, in all probability, indeed, have never taken place at all. After dinner cigars were introduced, and a quiet little rubber of whist followed. The Secretary is given to expatiate at large, and told us many anecdotes of foreign travel;—if I am not doing him injustice, I would say further, that he remembers his visit to England, and the attention he received there, with peculiar satisfaction. He cannot be found fault with because he has formed a most exalted notion of the superior intelligence, virtue, happiness, and prosperity of his own people. He said that it would not be proper for him to hold any communication with the Southern Commissioners then in Washington; which rather surprised me, after what I had heard from their friend, Mr. Banks. On returning to my hotel, I found a card from the President, inviting me to dinner the following day.

0 comments

WEDNESDAY 27

A rainy morning, but pleasant by noon. It rained nearly all last night. We have at last got a Comr of Patents. Mr Holloway of I.A. was confirmed by the Senate today. Went down to the Hotels this evening. Strange and anxious faces yet crowd them. Called at the “National” upon Judge Ira Harris NY Senator. Had a pleasant “call,” conversed upon various subjects. He thinks the Secession Movement will die out if it is let alone. Got the NY “Times” and came home 1/2 past 9 & read it. Got letter today from Prest Cowles of Elmira Female College. Clock has just struck 11.

______

The three diary manuscript volumes, Washington during the Civil War: The Diary of Horatio Nelson Taft, 1861-1865, are available online at The Library of  Congress.

0 comments

General JOS. G. TOTTEN,

             Chief Engineer, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C

Fort Sumter sketch sketch showing the arrangement of guns, &c., on the first and third tiers GENERAL: The only work being done this morning in the surrounding batteries is on Cummings Point, where small parties, apparently of soldiers, are at work on the parapets of battery No. 3 (looking towards Fort Moultrie) and the redoubt on the sand hill in rear of the Star Of the West battery. They appear to be repairing the damages caused by the wind and rain of yesterday and last night. More guns were landed on Cummings Point, but how many I cannot tell. Three of them, apparently 24-pounders on Siege carriages, are now on the beach at the place of landing.

Two messengers from the city, Lieut. S. W. Ferguson, formerly of the Army, and Colonel Chisolm, came yesterday as bearers of a letter to Major Anderson from General Beauregard.

My operations are confined to the collection and counting of materials, clearing of the parade, construction of splinter-proof traverse in front of ordnance room, and cutting of interior slope of parapet, so as to 4 allow the 10-inch columbiad at the west gorge angle to traverse so as to fire on all the batteries on Cummings Point.

It was with great pleasure that I received the expressions of the approval of the Department contained in your letter of the 23d.

I inclose herewith a sketch showing the arrangement of guns, &c., on the first and third tiers of this work. This arrangement will probably not be altered unless active operations be commenced against the work.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. G. FOSTER,

Captain, Engineers.

0 comments

FORT SUMTER, S.C., March 27, 1861.

(Received A. G. O., March 30.)

Col. L. THOMAS; Adjutant-General U. S. Army:
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that three heavy guns were landed yesterday at Cummings Point, and that this morning we can only see that they are working at the place at Fort Johnson mentioned in yesterday’s letter. I send herewith a correspondence which has taken place since my last date between Brigadier-General Beauregard and myself. They may have misunderstood a remark which I have made; viz, that if attacked, and I found that I could not hold possession of the fort, that I would blow it up, sacrificing our lives in preference to permitting ourselves to fall into their hands. I hope that the authorities here now understand distinctly that I shall give no pledges whatever. I shall do nothing which is not fully justified by the highest sense of honorable and straightforward dealing and will not permit from any source any insinuation  that I have acted in any other manner in the performance of my duty, &c., here.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ROBERT ANDERSON,

Major, First Artillery, Commanding.

[Inclosure No. 1.]

CHARLESTON, S. C., March 26, 1861.

Maj. ROBERT ANDERSON,
U. S. Army, Commanding at Fort Sumter, Charleston Harbor, S.C.:

MY DEAR MAJOR: Having been informed that Mr. Lamon, the authorized agent of the President of the United States, advised Governor Pickens, after his interview with you at Fort Sumter, that yourself and command would be transferred to another post in a few days, and understanding that you are under the impression I intended under all circumstances to require of you a formal surrender or capitulation, I hasten to disabuse you, and to inform you that our countries not being at war, and wishing as far as lies in my power to avoid the latter calamity, no such condition will be exacted of you, unless brought about as the natural result of hostilities.

Whenever you will be prepared to leave the fort, if you will inform Governor Pickens or myself of your intentions relative thereto, we will be happy to see that you are provided with proper means of transportation out of this harbor for yourself and command, including baggage, private and company property. All that will be required of you on account of the public rumors that have reached us will be your word of honor as an officer and a gentleman, that the fort, all public property therein, its armament, &c., shall remain in their present condition, without any arrangements or preparation for their destruction or injury after you shall have left the fort.

On our part no objection will be raised to your retiring with your side and company arms, and to your saluting your flag on lowering it. Hoping to have the pleasure of meeting you soon under more favorable circumstances,

I remain, dear major, yours, very truly,

G. T. BEAUREGARD.

[Inclosure No. 2.]

FORT SUMTER, S. C., March 26, 1861.

General G. T. BEAUREGARD, Charleston, S.C.:

MY DEAR GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of this date, and hasten to say that I needed no denial from you of the expression attributed to you. The moment I heard that you had said that I should not leave this fort without surrendering I remarked that it was not true, and that I knew you had not said so. I am much obliged to his excellency the governor and yourself for the assurances you give me, but you must pardon me for saying that I feel deeply hurt at the intimation in your letter about the conditions which will be exacted of me, and I must state most distinctly that if I can only be permitted to leave on the pledge you mention I shall never, so help me God, leave this fort alive.

Hoping that you do not mean what your words express, and in that case cordially uniting with you in the wish that we may have the pleasure of meeting under more favorable circumstances,

I remain, dear general, yours truly,

ROBERT ANDERSON,

Major, U. S. Army, Commanding.

[Inclosure No. 3.]

CHARLESTON, S. C., March 26, 1861.

Maj. ROBERT ANDERSON,
U. S. Army, Commanding at Fort Sumter, Charleston Harbor, S.C.:

MY DEAR MAJOR: I have the honor to acknowledge your letter of this date, and hasten to disabuse you as to any intention on my part of wounding, in any manner whatsoever, the feelings of so gallant an officer by anything I may have written in my letter of this morning.

I only alluded to the pledge referred to by you on account of the high source from which the rumors spoken of appeared to come, and which, in the eyes of many officers of high standing, might be considered a sufficient reason for executing orders which otherwise they would not approve of; but I regret now having referred to the subject.

I remain, dear major, yours very truly,

G. T. BEAUREGARD.

[Inclosure No. 4.]

FORT SUMTER, S.C., March 27, 1861.

General G. T. BEAUREGARD, Charleston, S.C.:

MY DEAR GENERAL: I hasten, in reply to your kind and satisfactory note of yesterday afternoon, just received, to express my gratification at its tenor. I only regret that rumors from any source made you, for one moment, have the slightest doubt as to the straight path of honor and duty, in which I trust, by the blessing of God, ever to be found.

I am, dear general, yours sincerely,

ROBERT ANDERSON,

Major, U. S. Army, Commanding.

I must state most distinctly that if I can only be permitted to leave on the pledge you mention I shall never, so help me God, leave this fort alive.
0 comments

HEADQUARTERS FORT TAYLOR, FLA.,
March 27, 1861.

T. A. M. CRAVEN,

Lieutenant, Commanding U. S. Steamer Crusader, Harbor of Key West:

SIR: In reference to our conversation this morning and the letter shown by you to myself, and with the desire that we may act together should an occasion occur, I deem it advisable to state that this fort is fully garrisoned with veteran soldiers, and I believe it is entirely within my power to control this island and to prevent a lodgment thereon by any hostile force whatsoever; further, that I intend to treat any attempt to do so as an overt act of war, to be met at its initiation. I have no specific instructions from the War Department, but the course of my duty is clear, and I mean to follow it.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

WM. H. FRENCH,
Brevet Major, First Artillery, Commanding.

0 comments

March 27, 1861; The Charleston Mercury

The South is fully aware that the peoples of the Northern States are fundamentally unsound on the question of slavery. They universally regard it as immoral and sinful to hold property in man. They believe it unrighteous and unjustifiable in the Caucasians at the South to hold Africans in bondage. This doctrine has been taught them by their mothers and their school mistresses, their college professors and their preachers, their orators, poets and historians, their lawyers and their jurists. It has been impressed upon them in their primers and their text books, in their religious reading and their light reading, in their histories and their law books. It has come to them through the multifarious channels of the teeming daily press. Generation after generation the work has gone on. Anti-slavery has been taken in with their mothers’ milk, grown with their growth and strengthened with their strength, until so thoroughly assimilated into their constitutions as to become a part of their political principles, their ethics and their religious faith. With singular exceptions the universal sentiment at the North is one of condemnation of Southern civilization and Southern citizens. Whether rudely proclaimed or politely repressed, it pervades their homes, their hustings, their court houses and their sanctuaries, and everywhere its hostile and disparaging influence may be felt by the Southron as the perpetual frown of an alien people against him and against his, touching their domestic institutions and their civil, moral and religious status.

It is true that here and there at the North is found a man who, understanding the true condition and appropriate relations of the Caucasian and African in this country, justifies slavery. But these are few and far between, singular and without influence among their fellows. It is true that many are found who apologize for the South and her semi-barbarous institutions, and find reasons to palliate, and, in great measure excuse, the guilt of her people. Nor is it untrue that many more urge that, however criminal, it is the business of the South, and not the North, who is not our conscience keeper, and has no right to intermeddle. [click to continue…]

0 comments

March 27, 1861; The Charleston Mercury

The business men of Charleston are already beginning to reap the advantages of the independent position which the South has taken, in consequence of the refusal of the North to grant her constitutional rights. The results of the last few weeks have demonstrated conclusively that the commercial prosperity and political equality which THE MERCURY for years predicted, were not vain boasts. Business of all kinds has increased at an amazing pace; customers are thronging the city from all quarters of the South, and the indications are that Charleston is destined to become the commercial metropolis of the Confederate States.

In dry goods and fancy goods the operations have been very large, and the purchasers, we are informed, are principally composed of those who used to patronize New York. One house alone, the business of which heretofore was chiefly confined to Georgia, has sold heavy bills to merchants from Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Texas. In shoes alone, the sales of the last two seeks have amounted to upwards of $200,000.

In short, the prospects of Charleston never were more bright than at this season. It would be impossible to furnish at this writing details of the great increase of business which has taken place, and which is but a small part of what may be expected in the future. Suffice it to say that it is enough to stimulate the energies of our business men.

So serious has been the effect of this rush of trade to Charleston, that Northern merchants engaged in Southern trade have circulated the report that Charleston traders have increased their prices by adding on the duties under the recent tariff charged on all good from the Northern States—in other words, that the business men of Charleston have determined to take an undue advantage of their customers. This is manifestly so untrue that is hardly deserving of notice, and yet it is by such means that the attempt is made to obtain Southern patronage. Not a merchant that we have visited has made any such addition to his prices. All the goods received before the tariff went into operation, are disposed [click to continue…]

0 comments

Gustavus V. Fox3March 27, 1861, Albany Evening Journal

            Capt. Fox, who visited Fort Sumter on the requisition of the War Department, has returned here and reported the result of his mission. It is very well understood that he had a plan for introducing reenforcements, which had been submitted to the members of the Cabinet, and was regarded as measurably practicable but attended with the probability if not certainty of collision, which constituted the chief objection to its adoption. He is perfectly familiar with all the approaches to the harbor of Charleston, having been long connected with the coast survey, and had practical experience as the commander of one of Aspinwall’s steamers. His scheme did not contemplate any serious danger in running the gauntlet of the batteries on the islands which guard the channels, but only in landing the men and provisions at Sumter, after it had been reached. If a fire was opened on his transports from Fort Moultrie or the other batteries, it would be necessary for Sumter to silence them in order to discharge the reenforcements. Any attempt, therefore, looking to that object would almost inevitably lead to bloodshed, and before resorting to it, the Administration would be constrained to expect that alternative. Even if successful without great loss of life, nothing would be gained but the retention of a fortress which has only a local value in protecting Charleston, and is of no national moment whatever.

            Capt. Fox is fully impressed with the courage, integrity and sincerity of Major Anderson, with whom, however, his communication was necessarily limited, as Gov. Pickens sent Capt. Hartstein, late of our Navy, as an escort with him to the Fort, who kept within earshot during most of the interview, or, at least, near enough to prevent any free communication. He considers that the Fort can be reenforced either by a military operation, which, of course, would require a force not at the disposal of the President, or by the strategy already referred to, with its attendant hazards of a desperate conflict. The supply of provisions now in the garrison will probably enable Major Anderson to sustain his command reasonably well until the 15th of April. From all the facts disclosed by this investigation, it is manifest that Fort Sumter must be abandoned, or civil war inaugurated. Capt. Fox is cautious, intelligent and well-informed, and was brought to the notice of the Government by Mr. Aspinwall and some of the principal ship-owners of New-York and Boston.

0 comments

March 27, 1861; The Charleston Mercury

As another evidence of the direction given to the public mind by the independent action of the South, we would call attention to the advertisement of this Manufacturing Company in another column. It is a movement of great importance to the whole South. This is a corporation which will benefit alike all the Confederate States, for, in all of them, shoes enter largely into trade, and heretofore Northern manufacturers have furnished the supplies. In this manner, we would see Southern Capital and southern energy and enterprise employed. Too long has the North absorbed the wealth of those States which now form the Southern Confederacy. Let the future bear witness to a successful effort to regain our lost advantages. And this we predict, will be one of the most profitable investments of the day.

0 comments

March 27, 1861; The New York Herald

We are informed from a reliable source that numerous companies are now being organized within the precincts of the Confederate States with a view of developing their water power resources and the establishment of manufactories in the republic for the fabrication of those kinds of goods usually furnished by the New England States, especially the States of Connecticut and Massachusetts. It will be inferred, therefore, from this statement that the Southrons are determined to be independent in a manufacturing as well as political point of view of the North.

The newspapers of the South come to hand with their columns filled with displayed advertisements, calling upon their readers to patronize manufactures’ and, as far as we can learn, this little admonition is not being disregarded. In yesterday’s paper we presented for the perusal of our readers specimens of these advertising appeals.

We take this occasion to say that a very grave error prevails among the people of the North in respect to the manufacturing and handicraft resources of the South. It has been alleged time afore time, by the republican press, that Southern manufacturers cannot compete with those of New England, even were they to make the attempt; but the logical or philosophical reasons for such a conclusion have been as frequently obscured from the public. Many of those men who worked and voted for the election of Mr. Lincoln will learn, perhaps too soon, that the South can manufacture goods—such as agricultural implements, farm wagons, carriages, boots, shoes and brogans and like articles—as well as the men of the North, if the capitalists of the new confederacy shall zealously push their manufacturing’s project to a finality. To those who are uniformed as to the real cause why the South has not paid attention to manufacturing industry we will explain. Heretofore the people of the South have found it necessary to devote their whole time to the development and growing of the great staples for which they are world wide celebrated, and in charity to the North gave them the job to make the implements whereby these were husbanded. Consequently the Northern States have had their share, indirectly, of the profits of the Southern crops. There is nothing under heaven to prevent the South from manufacturing every article necessary for domestic use. She has water power facilities second to none in the world, and if the manufacture’s system shall be adopted, the New England mechanics would soon wend their way where they may find remunerative labor; and in a short time the Yankee master manufactures and capitalists would find, to their surprise, their factories idle and rotting over their heads.

0 comments

March 27, 1861 Tri-Weekly Alamo Express , San Antonio, TX

Our dull and gloomy city was enlivened by a pleasant and stiring event on Tuesday last; some four companies of the 3d, Infantry, Maj. Brooks in command, passed through our city with the flag of our country flying gaily on the breeze and the fife and drums playing ‘Yankee Doodle’; they were saluted with many a warm cheer, and many a curse fell upon the heads of those who have “precipitated” our state out of the Union. The troops were accompanied by a long train of waggons.

0 comments
1 2 200 201 202 203 204 263 264