“But there is so much excitement that it is almost impossible to fix ones mind upon any one subject long at a time.”—Horatio Nelson Taft

Diary of US patent clerk Horatio Nelson Taft.


Rainy day, cold and chilly. In the Pat office the troops have been drilling in all the Halls. The RI Marine Battery, 6 [Janus?] rifled cannon, 150 men, 90 Horses, &c have arrived. They marched through PA Ave to the Prests with their guns and attracted much attention. There is not much doing in the office at present. I have plenty of time to read and write letters. But there is so much excitement that it is almost impossible to fix ones mind upon any one subject long at a time.


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.


Rebel War Clerk

A Rebel War Clerk’s Diary at the Confederate States Capital, By John Beauchamp Jones
A likeness of Jones when he was editor  and majority owner of the Daily Madisonian during President John Tyler's administration.

A likeness of Jones when he was editor and majority owner of the Daily Madisonian during President John Tyler’s administration.

MAY 3d. —No letters from my wife. Probably she has taken the children to the Eastern Shore. Her farm is there, and she has many friends in the county. On that narrow peninsula it is hardly to be supposed the Yankees will send any troops. With the broad Atlantic on one side and the Chesapeake Bay on the other, it is to be presumed there will be no military demonstration by the inhabitants, for they could neither escape nor receive reinforcements from the mainland. In the war of the first Revolution, and the subsequent one with Great Britain, this peninsula escaped the ravages of the enemy, although the people were as loyal to the government of the United States as any; but the Yankees are more enterprising than the British, and may have an eye to “truck farms” in that fruitful region.


Our first trunk of Hospital supplies.–Letters of a Family During the War.

Woolsey family letters during the War for the Union
Abby Howland Woolsey to Eliza Woolsey Howland


Dear Eliza: We got off our first trunk of Hospital supplies for Colonel Mansfield Davies’ Regiment yesterday and feel today as if we were quite at leisure. You have no idea of the number of last things there were to do, or the different directions we had to go in, to do them. Mr. Davies came in at breakfast yesterday, in his regimentals, quite opportunely, to tell us what to do with the trunk. It went down to his headquarters at 564 Broadway and thence by steamer to Fort Schuyler for the sick soldiers there. Charley and Ned drove out there yesterday afternoon from Astoria to see the drill, and saw the box safely landed within the walls. It was the old black ark which you and G. had in Beyrout, Syria, marked with a capital H, which now answers for Hospital. There were in it as follows—for you may be curious to know:—

42 shirts,

2 drawers,

6 calico gowns,

24 pairs woolen socks, .

24 pairs slippers,

24 pocket handkerchiefs,

18 pillow sacks,

36 pillow-cases,

18 damask napkins,

36 towels,

24 sponges,

4 boxes of lint,

beside old linen, oiled silk, tape, thread, pins, scissors, wax, books (Hedley Vicars and the like), ribbon, cloth, etc., and fifty bandages.

This morning Mother has been putting up a tin box of stores for Mr. Davies — sardines, potted meats, arrow root, chocolate, guava and the like, with a box of cologne, a jar of prunes and a morocco case with knife, fork and spoon, fine steel and double plated, “ just out “ for army use. Lots more. The box, a square cracker box, holds as much in its way as the trunk. I am glad you are in the library at last. You will grow accustomed to it and find it pleasanter even than the dining-room.


A Diary of American Events – May 3, 1861

The Rebellion Record—A Diary of American Events; by Frank Moore

—The American flag was elevated above the roof of the University at New York, by Captain Jones, late of Harper’s Ferry, amid the enthusiastic cheers of a large collection of people.

Dr. Bethune made some remarks, taking occasion to make a fitting allusion to Major Anderson and Fort Sumter, which were received with repeated and enthusiastic cheering. He had looked over ancient history for a parallel to this deed of valor, but found none. The bravery shown by the three hundred Spartans at the Pass of Thermopylae was well known; but there still was one coward among them. There was no coward among the men at Sumter. He had been present at a conversation with the gallant defender of the fort, when a gentleman remarked he regretted that the major had not blown up the fort, to which Major Anderson replied that it was better as it was. The ruined battlements and battle-scarred walls of Fort Sumter would be an everlasting shame and disgrace to the South Carolinians. At the conclusion of Dr. Bethune’s remarks the “Star-spangled Banner” was sung, all the audience rising to their feet and joining in the chorus. Col. Baker and Capt. Jones also made short addresses.—The World, May 4.

—Governor Letcher published a proclamation, saying that the sovereignty of the Commonwealth of Virginia having been denied, her territorial rights assailed, her soil threatened with invasion by the authorities of Washington, and every artifice employed which could inflame the people of the Northern States against her, it therefore becomes the solemn duty of every citizen of Virginia to prepare for the impending conflict.

To this end, and for these purposes, and with a determination to repel invasion, Governor Letcher authorizes the Commanding General of the military forces to call out, and cause to be mustered into service from time to time, as the public exigencies may require, such additional number of volunteers as he may deem necessary.—(Doc. 129.)

—The First Regiment, Colonel Johnson; the Second, Col Baker; the Third, Col. Napton; the Fourth, Col. Miller, of New Jersey Troops, with Brigadier-General Runyon and staff, left Bordentown for the seat of war, proceeding down the Delaware, via the Delaware and Chesapeake canal. The troops and stores are in a fleet of fourteen steam propellers, the W. Woodward, Henry Cadwalader, Octorora, Delaware, Raritan, Trenton, Patroon, F. W. Brune, Elizabeth, Franklin, Farmer, J. B. Molleson, Eureka, and Fanny Gardner.— World, May 4.

—Union Ward meetings were held to-night throughout Baltimore, Md., and resolutions were adopted to the following purport:—

That we cherish the Constitution and laws of the United States, and will devote our fortunes and lives to defend their integrity against all revolutionary or violent assaults; that we regret the violent attacks on the troops of the United States while peacefully marching through the city to protect the seat of Government, and indignantly repudiate making it a pretext to organize an armed mob, under the guise of a special police, to place the city in a hostile attitude to the General Government; declaring abhorrence at the attempt of the Legislature to inaugurate a military despotism by the bill for the creation of a Board of Public Safety; that the persons named for said Board have not the confidence of the people, and we protest against the whole measure as an invasion on the prerogatives of the Governor and a usurpation of the Executive power by the Legislature.—N. Y. Tribune, May 4.

—The following notice was issued at Pittsburg, Pa., to-day: Shippers of goods in New York are hereby notified that all packages found to contain guns, pistols, powder, and other articles contraband of war, destined for the Southern States, will not be permitted to pass the city of Pittsburg.
………..By order of the Committee,
………………..E. D. Gazzani, Chairman.
N. Y. Tribune, May 4.

—A letter was received at New York giving information of a design to burn that city, the supply of water to be cut off at the time the city was fired. Philadelphia and Boston were also to be burned.—(Doc. 130.)

—Fourteen companies of Kentuckians from the border counties tendered their services to the Secretary of War through Colonel T. V. Guthrie. Ten were accepted with orders to encamp on the Ohio side of the river.—Boston Transcript, May 4.

—The Connecticut legislature unanimously passed a bill appropriating $2,000,000 for the organization and equipment of a volunteer militia, and to provide for the public defence.—N. Y. Tribune, May 4.

—Governor Jackson of Missouri, in a message to the legislature of that State, says the President of the United States in calling out the troops to subdue the seceded States, has threatened civil war, and his act is unconstitutional and illegal, and tending towards consolidated despotism. While he evidently justifies the action of the Confederate States in seceding, he does not recommend immediate secession, but holds the following language:

“Our interest and sympathies are identical with those of the slaveholding States, and necessarily unite our destiny with theirs. The similarity of our social and political institutions, our industrial interests, our sympathies, habits, and tastes, our common origin, territorial contiguity, all concur in pointing out our duty in regard to the separation now taking place between the States of the old federal Union.” He further adds that “Missouri has at this time no war to prosecute. It is not her policy to make an aggression; but, in the present state of the country, she would be faithless to her honor, recreant to her duty, were she to hesitate a moment in making the most ample preparation for the protection of her people against the aggression of all assailants. I therefore recommend an appropriation of a sufficient sum of money to place the State at the earliest practicable moment in a complete state of defence.”

In conclusion he says: “Permit me to appeal to you and through you to the whole people of the State, to whom we are all responsible, to do nothing imprudent or precipitate. We have a most solemn duty to perform. Let us then calmly reason one with another, avoid all passion and tendency to tumult and disorder, obey implicitly the constituted authorities, and endeavor ultimately to unite all our citizens in a cordial cooperation for the preservation of our honor, the security of our property, and the performance of all those high duties imposed upon us by our obligations to our families, our country, and our God.”—Louisville Journal, May 4

—President Lincoln issued a proclamation calling into the service of the United States 42,000 volunteers for three years’ service, and directing the increase of the regular army and navy of the United States.—(Doc. 131.)

—Four companies of volunteers left Buffalo, N. Y., for the rendezvous at Elmira. They were escorted to the depot by the Home Guard. Major Millard Fillmore, Ex-President, commanding in person. The Home Guard is composed of retired commissioned officers of the State Militia, and is being thoroughly drilled by Major Fillmore. About 150 members are already enrolled.—N. Y. Tribune, May 4.

—Two associations of ladies of New Orleans were formed for aiding and equipping volunteers, and for making lint and bandages, and nursing the sick and wounded. The meetings were very large and enthusiastic.—Baltimore Sun, May 7th.


Slavery considered in its results.—Cotton and Georgia.—William Howard Russell

My Diary North and South – William Howard Russell

May 2nd.—Breakfasted with Mr. Hodgson, where I met Mr. Locke, Mr. Ward, Mr. Green and Mrs. Hodgson and her sister. There were in attendance some good-looking little negro boys and men dressed in liveries, which smacked of our host’s Orientalism, and they must have heard our discussion, or rather allusion, to the question which would decide whether we thought they are human beings or black two-legged cattle, with some interest, unless indeed the boast of their masters, that slavery elevates the character and civilizes the mind of a negro, is another of the false pretences on which the institution is rested by its advocates. The native African, poor wretch, avoids being carried into slavery totis viribus, and it would argue ill for the effect on his mind of becoming a slave if he prefers a piece of gaudy calico even to his loin-cloth and feather headdress. This question of civilizing the African in slavery is answered in the assertion of the slave-owners themselves, that if the negroes were left to their own devices by emancipation, they would become the worst sort of barbarians—a veritable Quasheedom, the like of which was never thought of by Mr. Thomas Carlyle. I doubt if the aboriginal is not as civilized, in the true sense of the word, as any negro, after three degrees of descent in servitude, whom I have seen on any of the plantations—even though the latter have leather shoes and fustian or cloth raiment, and felt hat, and sings about the Jordan. He is exempted from any bloody raid indeed, but he is liable to be carried from his village and borne from one captivity to another, and his family are exposed to the same exile in America as in Africa. The extreme anger with which any unfavorable comment is met publicly, shows the sensitiveness of the slave-owners. Privately, they affect philosophy; and the blue books, and reports of Education Commissions and Mining Committees, furnish them with an inexhaustible source of argument if you once admit that the summum bonum lies in a certain rotundity of person, and a regular supply of coarse food. A long conversation on the old topics— old to me, but of only a few weeks’ birth. People are swimming with the tide. Here are many men who would willingly stand aside if they could, and see the battle between the Yankees, whom they hate, and the Secessionists. But there are no women in this party. Wo betide the Northern Pyrrhus whose head is within reach of a Southern tile and a Southern woman’s arm!

I re-visited some of the big houses afterwards, and found the merchants not cheerful, but fierce and resolute. There is a considerable population of Irish and Germans in Savannah, who to a man are in favor of the Confederacy, and will fight to support it. Indeed, it is expected they will do so, and there is a pressure brought to bear on them by their employers which they cannot well resist. The negroes will be forced into the place the whites hitherto occupied as laborers —only a few useful mechanics will be kept, and the white population will be obliged by a moral force drafting to go to the wars. The kingdom of cotton is most essentially of this world, and it will be fought for vigorously. On the quays of Savannah, and in the warehouses, there is not a man who doubts that he ought to strike his hardest for it, or apprehends failure. And then, what a career is before them! All the world asking for cotton, and England dependent on it. What a change since Whitney first set his cotton gin to work in this state close by us! Georgia, as a vast country only partially reclaimed, yet looks to a magnificent future. In her past history the Florida wars, and the treatment of the unfortunate Cherokee Indians, who were expelled from their lands as late as 1838, show the people who descended from old Oglethorpe’s band were fierce and tyrannical, and apt at aggression, nor will slavery improve them. I do not speak of the cultivated and hospitable citizens of the large towns, but of the bulk of the slaveless whites.


“I was at Willards tonight when the NY Zuaves Col Ellsworth Regt marched up the “Ave” to the War department…,”—Horatio Nelson Taft

Diary of US patent clerk Horatio Nelson Taft.


Cold today, fire comfortable. M. down to 40. A fine flag was raised on the Pat office today at noon. The RI Regt paraded with Gov Sprague at the head on 7th St. The 7 NY Regt went into camp up 14th St. near Collumbia College. Regiments are now drilling and parading in the streets every day. I was at Willards tonight when the NY Zuaves Col Ellsworth Regt marched up the “Ave” to the War department, eleven hundred strong, and every man with a Sharps Rifle on his shoulder. Signed a petition for Mr Wood of NY to be Comr of public Buildings. Conversed an hour with Prof Heidrick. Went “Maying” with wife & Julia after dinner.


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.


Operations in Florida

War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

Fort Pickens, May 2, 1861.

Lieut. Col. TOWNSEND. Assistant Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: I have heretofore addressed my official communications to Colonel Keyes, because he, as the agent of the President as well as military secretary of the General-in-Chief, superintended the fitting out of the expedition for the relief of the fort, which expedition was then a secret one. The reasons for secrecy no longer existing, I address my letter, according to regulations, to you. Since my last letter to Colonel Keyes nothing of special interest has occurred. We have been unceasingly employed with my whole force and part of the ship’s in preparing the fort for defense and in unloading the Illinois. Some idea of the condition of the fort for defense may be had when it is considered that every day (one Sunday excepted) since the 17th of April, the day of my arrival, I have had from 1,000 to 1,200 men constantly at work, and of these, 800 have been employed on the work; and although we have achieved quite as much as I expected, we want a fortnight more of work before we shall be fully prepared to resist the numerous batteries and heavy guns that are bearing all around on us. The enemy are equally busy, having large numbers at work on several batteries which are visible to us, and judging by the number of men we see around one or two other places, I think that they have at least two other batteries we cannot see. All the guns excepting those of the forts seem of large caliber, 8 or 10 inch columbiads.

We can see one battery (No. 1) at the navy-yard; one (No. 2) in the rear of Warrington church–a large work, looking like an instruction camp; No. 3, near the barracks–no guns can be seen in it; a little southwest of the fort, and near the old light-house, a battery (No. 4) of four guns, very much concealed; and south of the new light-house another (No. 5) of four guns, plainly to be seen. There is probably one more between this and Fort McRee. These batteries and the forts enfilade and take in reverse every face and curtain of this work but one.

Fort McRee takes in reverse one more important battery, which is exposed front, flank, and rear to heavy and numerous guns (Plan D).(not found) I have no apprehensions whatever of an attack by escalade, as I think can whip them in open field; and in a very few days, by the able assistance of Major Tower, I shall be so protected from bombardment as, I hope, to be able to hold the fort a long time.

A man presented himself a few nights since to one of my sentinels, pretending to be a Northern man and a reporter of a newspaper. He brought us valuable information, and thinking his safety might be jeopardized if he returned, I sent him on board the Powhatan. Captain Porter suspected him, and there is but little doubt of his being a Southerner and a spy, as the inclosed letter, marked A, will show. He tore the original up, and scattered the fragments in a spit-box. Captain Porter had them collected and pasted together. Two days afterwards a constable or sheriff came over, under a flag, with a warrant against him for theft. I dismissed him without any name.

My command continues comparatively healthy, although the men are worked hard. In the hurry and confusion of our sudden departure from New York, articles of the first importance, which had been prepared and ready to go on board ship, were left behind, and others of little importance shipped; among the former, some 8 or 10 inch shells, which, as reported to me, were in a lighter alongside the Atlantic, and yet not taken on board. A special request to have them put on board the Illinois was also neglected, and not one of the former came. I have by borrowing of the Navy obtained enough of the latter for immediate service, and one hundred of the former, so that I have now 150–not enough for one day’s continuous firing. There are a great many guns in the fort, most of them from want of shell useless. There are twelve 32 or 42 pounder rifled guns. With a full supply of elongated balls [they] would be of inestimable value, and I earnestly hope that some of this kind are, in compliance with my former requisition, now on the way here, as also four sea-coast 10-inch mortars, and the 8 and 10 inch shells which were left behind. The 10-inch siege mortars will barely reach the navy-yard, and will not be so efficient as they should be, though I hope with the maximum charges to render them effective. I have a battery of two mortars in the ditch, and am now building another about half mile from the first, where I also propose to erect a battery of heavy guns, if the enemy gives us time and I can get them.

I am no further enlightened than when I last wrote on the cause of delay in their opening fire on us. Every day makes me feel more secure of making an efficient defense, and in a very few days my defensive preparations will be complete. I learn from several sources that the Montgomery and Pensacola Railroad is not finished by eight miles, and that they have two bridges yet to build.

Having received unofficial information that the President has issued a proclamation blockading the ports of the seceding States, I requested a conference with Captain Adams, commanding the naval forces, and asked him if he would not feel himself authorized to anticipate its official reception. Having also heard that a vessel loaded with an Armstrong gun and ammunition is on her way here from Charleston, I asked the captain if he would examine vessels entering the port, and stop such as have articles contraband of war. He said that his orders were to act strictly on the defensive; that a sufficient time has elapsed since the date of the proclamation for him to have received official notice of it if it were published, and as he has received no such notice he did not feel at liberty in any manner to alter the existing status. The next day I renewed the subject in a letter, a copy of which I send you (B) with his answer (C), in which he accedes to my wishes that vessels having articles contraband of war on board shall be stopped, and Captain Porter, with the Powhatan and a small schooner I let him have, is now boarding all vessels entering the harbor.

Major Arnold reports all well at Fort Jefferson; that he is busily engaged in strengthening his post, and that he considers himself capable of repelling any force that can be brought by the rebels against him.

At Key West the secession feeling fomented by the Confederate Secretary of the Navy still prevails among some influential citizens. Major French’s policy has been, I fear, too tampering, and he has not taken sufficiently active measures in strengthening the Union party and fostering the Union feeling. I have therefore given him peremptory orders (letter D)on the subject. I do not consider Key West to be sufficiently garrisoned, and have therefore ordered Major French, in case of the arrival of troops there on their way north, to detain two full companies (letter E). Should no troops be expected to touch there, I respectfully recommend that two companies of regulars or four of volunteers be immediately sent to that place. A small steamer or steam-tug–one that is fast and of light draught of water–would render us very great service. I have chartered a small schooner, but have had to let the Navy have her for overhauling vessels attempting to enter the harbor, and besides a sail vessel is not suitable for our purposes.

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

Major, Second Artillery, Colonel Commanding.

[Inclosure A. ]

U. S. STEAM-SLOOP POWHATAN, April 28, 1861.

Col. HARVEY BROWN, Commanding Fort Pickens, Fla.:

DEAR SIR: The inclosed letter will give you a pretty good idea of our “spy.” He tore it up and threw the pieces into a spit-box. I had them collected and put together. All his movements are watched.

He wrote another yesterday, which I shall get hold of before long. Please save the inclosed for me. I shall probably be pulling about the channel and harbor to-night or to-morrow night. Will you direct your guard-boat to keep clear of me? I shall be in a black double-banked boat, and the enemy have none such. If the guard-boat gets close to us, the watchword is “Bragg.”

A little pilot-boat schooner chartered by the Army arrived here yesterday. She would be a great acquisition to us for certain purposes, while here doing nothing. I am to act as guard-ship hereafter, and prevent the inside people from receiving munitions of war. The schooner would be a great assistance in enabling me to cut off fast sailing vessels. If you have the authority, do you not think that it would be well to keep her here? I will mount a rifle gun on her. Captain Adams has appointed the Wyandotte to assist me, but she draws fifteen feet of water, and could not chase those fellows over the shoal spots, and her machinery is defective. I could do more with the schooner, particularly with a breeze.

I am, very truly and respectfully, yours,

Lieutenant, Commanding.

J. C. MORRIS Esq.:

DEAR SIR: I wrote you from Atlanta. Was my note received and attended to? Please telegraph my friends that I spend a couple of days at Pensacola previous to my departure for Texas. I want to see a besieged fortress once in a life-time. Everything goes on finely here. Hope to hear of surrender of Fort Sumter to-day; next Pickens, and then Washington.

Very truly,


[Inclosure B.]

Fort Pickens, April 26, 1861.

Capt. H. A. ADAMS, Commanding Naval Forces off Pensacola:

CAPTAIN: I received yesterday the lanterns and your order, for which I am much obliged. We are sadly deficient in 8-inch shell for one sea-coast howitzer, to act against the navy-yard. I am told that you have some. If you have and can spare a part of them it will greatly relieve me. I am also told that the Brooklyn has an abundance of 9-inch shell guns, and I would submit to your consideration the expediency of establishing a naval battery near the fort of, say, three of those guns, to be manned and fought exclusively by the Navy. Their co-operation in this manner would be of the most essential importance, and the Navy associated with the Army in the defense of this fort would cause a generous emulation between the two services promotive of the best feeling. I am told that a vessel is now on her way from Charleston to this place, loaded with an Armstrong gun, ammunition, and projectiles. It is of vital importance to us that such a gun should not be used against us, and I cannot but think that with the information we now have of hostilities having actually commenced, you will be warranted in detaining her, or any other vessel having articles contraband of war, and I would suggest whether your not doing so might not be unfavorably received at home. I do not, under present existing circumstances, propose capturing the vessel, but only that entrance to this harbor should be prohibited.

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

Colonel, Commanding.

[Inclosure C. ]

Off Pensacola, April 28, 1861.

Col. H. BROWN, Commanding Department of Florida, Fort Pickens :

SIR: I fully concur with you in the propriety of preventing munitions of war from being carried into Pensacola, and have given the necessary orders to that effect. The establishment of a naval battery on shore seems to me at this time almost impracticable. Our men are exhausted by hard work, which is still accumulating, and diminished by sickness and detachments. The remainder are necessary for the care and defense of the ships, and for landing parties to co-operate with you. Officers we have none. I am hourly looking for the arrival of Flag Officer Stringham, to whom I will refer your proposal immediately. He will have a fresh crew and officers to spare. In the mean time I would suggest that a place for the battery be selected and prepared for the guns by laying platforms, &c. They are very heavy, and will require solid foundations.

Will not the guns of the Brooklyn do quite as efficient service on board as they would on shore to prevent in the manner we discussed the other day the approach to the fort by Santa Rosa? In case of necessity she can get much nearer the beach than she now is.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Captain, Senior Officer Present.

[Inclosure D.]

Fort Pickens, Fla., May 2, 1861.

Maj. W. H. FRENCH, Commanding Fort Taylor:

MAJOR: Your communication of 24th ultimo, regarding affairs at Key West, is received.

The colonel commanding approves your reasons for not cutting the brush and undergrowth on the island, and you will, therefore, leave it uncut. The purchase of the schooner is also approved, but the colonel thinks it might have been better to submit the matter to the proper authority in Washington. Your proposed purchase of mules is approved, and you will send them here by the first opportunity. As soon as possible, endeavor to learn certainly whether Judge Marvin intends to resign, and if he does, direct him to report the fact to Washington immediately by the Illinois, if possible. The colonel further directs that you ascertain definitely whether the State courts acknowledge allegiance to the United States. If they do, you will protect them fully in the discharge of their legitimate duties; if not, you will forbid and prevent their sessions. You will give the new Federal appointments your full support and countenance.

In no case must any other flag than our national one be permitted to fly over any public building, or any body of men doing or organized to do, anything belonging to the duties of the Federal Government. Should the necessity arise, you will be directed in your course by the letter of instructions to the colonel, and be firm and decided in executing your orders. You will go to Mr. Patterson, and having shown the authority of the colonel, will request him to furnish steamers in government employ with coal in cases of necessity. The colonel will address him personally on the subject.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Inclosure E.]

Fort Pickens, Fla., May 1, 1861.

Bvt. Maj. W. H. FRENCH, Commanding Fort Taylor:

MAJOR: The colonel commanding directs that if a vessel shall arrive at Key West with troops bound for a northern post, if the commander does not rank the colonel commanding this department, you direct him to land two companies, filled to the maximum organization from others which may be on board, to form a part of the garrison of the fort or barracks, as you may deem most advisable, and, if necessary, to be transferred to this post for its defense. If the officer in command should be superior in rank, you will then show him a copy of the order of the President, giving the colonel commanding authority to call on all officers of the Army and Navy for assistance, and in his name call upon him for the two companies. You will show the authority named to the officer, whether he does or does not rank the colonel commanding.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Assistant Adjutant-General.


“The Yankees are not yet ready for retaliation.”—Rebel War Clerk.

A Rebel War Clerk’s Diary at the Confederate States Capital, By John Beauchamp Jones

MAY 2d. —There are vague rumors of lawless outrages committed on Southern men in Philadelphia and New York; but they are not well authenticated, and I do not believe them. The Yankees are not yet ready for retaliation. They know that game wouldn’t pay. No — they desire time to get their money out of the South; and they would be perfectly willing that trade should go on, even during the war, for they would be the greatest gainers by the information derived from spies and emissaries. I see, too, their papers have extravagant accounts of imprisonments and summary executions here. Not a man has yet been molested. It is true, we have taken Norfolk, without a battle; but the enemy did all the burning and sinking.


Through Some Eventful Years

Through Some Eventful Years by Susan Bradford Eppes

May 2nd, 1866.—All is ready and we leave as soon as breakfast is over. Goodbye little Diary. “Sleep tight and wake bright,” for I will need you when I return.


A Diary of American Events – May 2, 1861

The Rebellion Record—A Diary of American Events; by Frank Moore

—The Sixty-ninth New York Regiment, (altogether composed of Irishmen,) under the command of Col. Corcoran, arrived at Washington, from the Annapolis Junction, Md., where, with the exception of one company which preceded them on Tuesday, they have been on duty for several days past.—National Intelligencer, May 8.

—Governor Andrew, the Mayors of Lowell and Lawrence, and others, met at the State House, in Boston, Mass., for the purpose of identifying the bodies of the Massachusetts soldiers killed in Baltimore. Several articles which were the property of the deceased were exhibited, but failing to identify the bodies by these, the company proceeded to the vault beneath King’s Chapel, where the coffins were opened. The first corpse was at once recognized as Sumner H. Needham of Lawrence, by two of his brothers. The second was recognized as that of Addison O. Whitney of the Lowell City Guards, by three of his intimate friends. He was reported as among the missing when the regiment reached Washington. He died from a shot in the left breast. He was a spinner in the Middlesex Mills, and has a sister at Lowell. The third body proved to be that of Luther C. Ladd of Lowell, also of the Lowell City Guards. He had not been heard from since the fight, but a letter was received from his brother in the regiment at Washington stating that he was missing. The body was identified by a brother-in-law of Ladd. He was about eighteen years of age, a machinist, and was born at Alexandria, N. H. Ho was shot in the thigh, and probably bled to death at once. His face was somewhat swollen, and gave evidence of rough usage.—Boston Traveller, May 8.

—The mouth of James River, and Hampton roads are under strict blockade. The blockading vessels are the frigate Cumberland, steamships Monticello and Yankee, and three or four steam tugs.—The World, May 4.

—Ellsworth’s Regiment of Fire Zouaves arrived at Washington. Their march through the city was a complete ovation. They were greeted with great cheering and other demonstrations of enthusiasm. The splendid appearance of the regiment, both as to numbers and equipments, caused great surprise, and elicited universal praise.—N. Y. Tribune, May 8.

—The adjourned meeting of merchants to take into consideration the action necessary in regard to the state license, was held at Wheeling, Va. The Committee made a report setting forth the law in reference to the matter, submitted a resolve to the effect that we are good citizens of the State of Virginia, and at the same time hold ourselves loyal citizens of the United States, and will maintain allegiance to the same as heretofore; that we are willing to pay a license tax so long as Virginia is in the United States, but we are not willing to pay revenue to the present usurped government at Richmond, which, without the consent of the people of Virginia, has assumed to absolve us from allegiance to the United States, recommending the merchants of Wheeling and Ohio county to withhold the payment of taxes for the present. The resolutions were unanimously adopted. A German announced that the commissioner of the revenue resigned to forward the patriotic undertaking.—The World, May 3.

—Judge Campbell of the United States Supreme Court, who resides in Alabama, sent in his resignation. He is a Unionist, but feels bound to adhere to the fortunes of his State.— N. Y. Tribune, May 8.

The Marine Artillery of Rhode Island (flying artillery) arrived in Washington having a battery of six pieces, apparently perfect, like all we have thus far seen from that gallant little State, in every appointment of military art that can give efficiency to this most effective arm of modern warfare. The battery is served by about one hundred and sixty men, who are experienced cannoneers, and who, we learn, have left behind them an equal number, ready at a moment’s notice to tender their services to the Government. The Rhode Island regiment of infantry, twelve hundred strong, appeared also in the streets on parade, attracting universal admiration for the military precision of their movements and the fine soldiery bearing of both officers and men.

The Artillery made a visit to the President of the United States about five o’clock in the afternoon. He received them in front of the mansion, and was complimented in return by three hearty cheers as they passed in review. —National Intelligencer, May 8.

—The New Orleans Picayune, of to-day, says: “We heard but recently of a united North to defend and preserve the Union—now we hear of a united North to subjugate the South. The change is rapid. It shows the increasing strength of those whose permanent success would be destructive of liberty. These are the enemies the South has to combat. A Southern victory at Washington would not only strike terror into their ranks, but go far towards releasing the good and estimable people of the North from a thralldom which has become as terrible as it is degrading. We hope to have the pleasure, ere many days, of chronicling the glorious achievement.”

—The national flag was hoisted over the Interior Department at Washington. It was enthusiastically greeted by the dense mass of spectators and by the Rhode Island regiment, whose appearance and drill, together with their music, elicited general praise. They were accompanied by Governor Sprague and suite in full uniform.

The President and Secretaries Seward and Smith were near the staff when the flag was raised, and having saluted it, they were in turn cheered.

The regiment, having re-entered the building where they are quartered, sung “Our Flag still Waves.”—N. Y. Evening Post, May 8.

—The religious press presents a singular and varied view of the political affairs of the United States.—(Doc. 128.)


The Letters of Samuel Ryan Curtis

The Letters of Samuel Ryan Curtis

Washington May 1, 1861

My dear wife

I am very glad to receive my clothes by S. Rankin Esq who arrived safely last night. I had really become rather shabby in my feelings if not in appearance.

I will now be able to dress up when I go to call on friends. I think you acted very properly in not sending the trunk. There is no doing much with papers these times. When the crisis is over here I will go direct home so I can take up the papers about as I left them. The extra cession of Congress will not last long so it may be I can he at home a considerable portion of the summer. I remain attached to the Seventh New York Regiment of course doing as I please but apparently very populer in the regiment. I shall at the same time attend to our Iowa matters as carefully as possible. James’ papers were sent forward day before yesterday. Papers for John St―us [?] were ordered yesterday. I suppose Howels P.O. papers were sent some days ago but the matters of Bogata is not yet acted on. I will write Howell as to that very soon1

I was very much vexed to find that a man by the name of Taylor of Ohio has been appointed Register at Omaha. I have not yet seen the President but feel like giving him my mind on the subject.

The President has not as much Sagacity as I could wish. He is more of a joker than thinker.

I have just received and read yours of the 25th and Henrys of the 18th You were still ignorant of my way of coming. Since we pressed our way through Maryland a great change seems to be coming over the spirit of their dreams. I hope Maryland will persistently decline the honor of being made the slaughter ground for this eventful struggle. It will be a just tribute to the loyalty of Govr Hix2 and probably save this Capitol as the Capitol of the republic even after a final seperation of the republic shall be established.

The result in Maryland may be attributed mainly to the prudence energy and success of our landing at Annapolis and successful openning of the way through to Head quarters.

Goodril writes that he wants me to pay Henry Love Tell him I have no means of any consequence now in N York to draw on and cannot draw till Congress meets— nor then till appropriation can be made So I cannot pay that note. Besides I have got a judgement deferred on a promise to pay which will come upon me in the form of an execution from Ft Madison if I am not wide awake.

Indeed I am very much embarrassed in regard to several debts and must look out for losses

Sadie was complaining yesterday, but is generally quite well. I expect to meet her and Miss Mary at 5 at the Presidents grounds where the Seventh N York band is expected to perform

I am very well & evg-

Affectionately yours
Saml R. Curtis

1. James B. Howell, succeeded Richard McAllister as postmaster of Keokuk in May, 1861, served until 1866. Howell later served the unexpired term of James W. Grimes when the latter resigned from the Senate in 1870.
New Granada, later Columbia, had as its Minister George W. Jones of Dubuque, Iowa. Jones, a Democrat, was certain to be replaced. Howell apparently was in hopes that as an Iowan he was eligible for the appointment.

2. Thomas H. Hicks, governor of Maryland 1857-1861; U. S. Senator 1862-1865.


The river at Savannah.—Commodore Tatnall.—Fort Pulaski—Want of a fleet to the Southerners.—William Howard Russell

My Diary North and South – William Howard Russell

May Day.—Not unworthy of the best effort of English fine weather before the change in the calendar robbed the poets of twelve days, but still a little warm for choice. The young American artist Moses, who was to have called our party to meet the officers who were going to Fort Pulaski, for some reason known to himself remained on board the Camilla, and when at last we got down to the river-side I found Commodore Tatnall and Brigadier Lawton in full uniform waiting for me.

The river is about the width of the Thames below Gravesend, very muddy, with a strong current, and rather fetid. That effect might have been produced from the rice-swamps at the other side of it, where the land is quite low, and stretches away as far as the sea in one level green, smooth as a billiard-cloth. The bank at the city side is higher, so that the houses stand on a little eminence over the stream, affording convenient wharfage and slips for merchant vessels.

Of these there were few indeed visible—nearly all had cleared out for fear of the blockade; some coasting vessels were lying idle at the quay side, and in the middle of the stream near a floating dock the Camilla was moored, with her club ensign flying. These are the times for bold ventures, and if Uncle Sam is not very quick with his blockades, there will be plenty of privateers and the like under C. S. A. colors looking out for his fat merchantmen all over the world.

I have been trying to persuade my friends here they will find very few Englishmen willing to take letters of marque and reprisal.

The steamer which was waiting to receive us had the Confederate flag flying, and Commodore Tatnall, pointing to a young officer in a naval uniform, told me he had just “come over from the other side,” and that he had pressed hard to be allowed to hoist a Commodore or flag-officer’s ensign in honor of the visit, and of the occasion. I was much interested in the fine white-headed, blue-eyed, ruddy-cheeked old man—who suddenly found himself blown into the air by a great political explosion, and in doubt and wonderment was floating to shore, under a strange flag in unknown waters. He was full of anecdote too, as to strange flags in distant waters and well-known names. The gentry of Savannah had a sort of Celtic feeling towards him in regard of his old name, and seemed determined to support him.

He has served the Stars and Stripes for three fourths of a long life—his friends are in the North, his wife’s kindred are there, and so are all his best associations — but his State has gone out. How could he fight against the country that gave him birth! The United States is no country, in the sense we understand the words. It is a corporation or a body corporate for certain purposes, and a man might as well call himself a native of the common council of the city of London, or a native of the Swiss Diet, in the estimation of our Americans, as say he is a citizen of the United States; though it answers very well to say so when he is abroad, or for purposes of a legal character.

Of Fort Pulaski itself I wrote on my return a long account to the “Times.”

When I was venturing to point out to General Lawton the weakness of Fort Pulaski, placed as it is in low land, accessible to boats, and quite open enough for approaches from the city side, he said, “Oh, that is true enough. All our sea-coast works are liable to that remark, but the Commodore will take care of the Yankees at sea, and we shall manage them on land.” These people all make a mistake in referring to the events of the old war. “We beat off the British fleet at Charleston by the militia—ergo, we’ll sink the Yankees now.” They do not understand the nature of the new shell and heavy vertical fire, or the effect of projectiles from great distances falling into open works. The Commodore afterwards, smiling, remarked, “I have no fleet. Long before the Southern Confederacy has a fleet that can cope with the Stars and Stripes my bones will be white in the grave.”

We got back by eight o’clock P.M., after a pleasant day. What I saw did not satisfy me that Pulaski was strong, or Savannah very safe. At Bonaventure yesterday I saw a poor fort called “Thunderbolt,” on an inlet from which the city was quite accessible. It could be easily menaced from that point, while attempts at landing were made elsewhere as soon as Pulaski was reduced. At dinner met a very strong and very well informed Southerner—there are some who are neither — or either — whose name was spelled Gourdin and pronounced Go-dine—just as Huger is called Hugeë— and Tagliaferro, Telfer in these parts.


“There are arms enough for 25,000 men now..,”─Rebel War Clerk

A Rebel War Clerk’s Diary at the Confederate States Capital, By John Beauchamp Jones

MAY 1st.─Troops are coming in from all directions, cavalry and infantry; but I learn that none scarcely are accepted by the State. This is great political economy, with a vengeance! How is Gov. Letcher to be ready to fight in a few days? Oh, perhaps he thinks the army will spontaneously spring into existence, march without transportation, and fight without rations or pay! But the Convention has passed an act authorizing the enlistment of a regular army of 12,000 men. If I am not mistaken, Virginia will have to put in the field ten times that number, and the confederacy will have to maintain 500,000 in Virginia, or lose the border States. And if the border States be subjugated, Mr. Seward probably would grant a respite to the rest for a season.

But by the terms of the (Tyler and Stephens) treaty, the Confederate States will reimburse Virginia for all her expenses; and therefore I see no good reason why this State, of all others, being the most exposed, should not muster into service every well-armed company that presents itself. There are arms enough for 25,000 men now, and that number, if it be too late to take Washington, might at all events hold this side of the Potomac, and keep the Yankees off the soil of Virginia.


“The troops keep coming and will continue to come I suppose until we have forty or fifty thousand here.”—Horatio Nelson Taft

Diary of US patent clerk Horatio Nelson Taft.


A cold windy day with some rain, as unpleasant a “May day” as could well be. Have been in the office all day as usual surrounded by a crowd of soldiers when out of my room. Have a new 2nd Assistant, have today been “breaking him in.” His name is C H Upton of V.A. The 12th NY Regt are now building barracks on Franklin Square near house where they are to be stationed. The troops keep coming and will continue to come I suppose until we have forty or fifty thousand here. There was a mail from the North this morning, the first in 12 days. Did not go from Home after dinner, to bed early.


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.


“…it will not seem so grand if we hear they are dead on the battlefield, far from home.”—Village Life in America.

Village Life in America, 1852 – 1872, by Caroline Cowles Richards

May, 1861.—Many of the young men are going from Canandaigua and all the neighboring towns. It seems very patriotic and grand when they are singing, “It is sweet, Oh, ’tis sweet, for one’s country to die,” and we hear the martial music and see the flags flying and see the recruiting tents on the square and meet men in uniform at every turn and see train loads of the boys in blue going to the front, but it will not seem so grand if we hear they are dead on the battlefield, far from home. A lot of us girls went down to the train and took flowers to the soldiers as they were passing through and they cut buttons from their coats and gave to us as souvenirs. We have flags on our paper and envelopes, and have all our stationery bordered with red, white and blue. We wear little flag pins for badges and tie our hair with red, white and blue ribbon and have pins and earrings made of the buttons the soldiers gave us. We are going to sew for them in our society and get the garments all cut from the older ladies society. They work every day in one of the rooms of the court house and cut out garments and make them and scrape lint and roll up bandages. They say they will provide us with all the garments we will make. We are going to write notes and enclose them in the garments to cheer up the soldier boys. It does not seem now as though I could give up any one who belonged to me. The girls in our society say that if any of the members do send a soldier to the war they shall have a flag bed quilt, made by the society, and have the girls’ names on the stars.


The Secession of North Carolina

War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

RALEIGH, May 1, 1861.


Convention bill passed; also a resolution authorizing me to send troops to Virginia at once without limit. Our mint at Charlotte will coin for the Confederate Government if desired. Ships of war are hovering on our coast near the Cape Fear. Design unknown. I am preparing to manufacture percussion caps. Will succeed. More troops are offering than we can provide for.



All Europe is watching with amazement this terrible tragedy.

Diary of George Mifflin Dallas, United States Minister to England 1856 to 1861

At the Court of St. James

1861. May 1.—The America brought me a note from Mr. Adams. He quits Boston to-day. I may, therefore, look for him at farthest on the 15th inst.

The President’s Proclamation against the seceding States as insurrectionary follows quickly upon the fall of Fort Sumter, and firmly accepts the challenge of war involved in that belligerent attack. It calls out seventy-five thousand militia, and will no doubt be enthusiastically responded to in men and money. Thus, then, has sectional hatred achieved its usual consummation,—civil war! Virginia hesitates, but she will join the Confederacy, as will also, finally, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Maryland. My poor country can henceforward know no security or peace until the passions of the two factions have covered her hills and valleys with blood and exhausted the strength of an entire generation of her sons. All Europe is watching with amazement this terrible tragedy.



“Georgy is excluded from the corps of nurses…”–Letters of a Family During the War

Woolsey family letters during the War for the Union
Eliza Woolsey Howland to Abby Howland Woolsey

“Tioronda,” Wednesday Evening.

Dear Abby: I was just going to write you a note this p. m. when the Kents came in for a long call and stayed on for an early tea. We sat in the library where the books are now all arranged and the cushion we ordered at Soloman and Hart’s in its place in the bay-window. To be sure there is no carpet down, and we have no tables or chairs, but it already has a very habitable look, and we feel quite at home in presence of our old book-friends. They make a very good show, though there are still a number of empty upper shelves which will fill up by degrees. James Kent had been in town for a couple of days and had a good deal to say about military matters. While Joe was in town I did a good deal of cutting out and have three dozen army pillow-cases and six double-gowns under way. Tomorrow I shall attack the drawers and night-shirts, for which I borrowed a good simple pattern of Mrs. Kent. I smile when I think of the sang-froid with which you and I discussed the cut of drawers and shirts with that pleasant young doctor the other day. I see that Georgy is excluded from the corps of nurses by being under thirty.


Through Some Eventful Years

Through Some Eventful Years by Susan Bradford Eppes

May 1st, 1866.—Now that Sister Mart is feeling better, she is beginning to talk of going back to Marion County. Captain Houstoun says he has been keeping “bachelor’s hall” quite long enough. She has invited Cousin Martha, Nina Houstoun and me to go back with her and will also invite other guests and have a merry “House Party.” Captain promises us “all the beaux in Marion and some besides.”

We are going and doubtless will enjoy it, but I hate to leave home when our domestic affairs are in such shape. We never know when, as uncle Arvah says, “servants will turn up missing.” I am gradually learning how to do the needful things and am really a help in the house but Father and Mother think it best for me to go. Sister Mart has had a long and serious illness and has but little strength.

I am going to leave you at home, my Diary. I will have to share a room with the other girls and it is best for you to be out of the way.


The Situation of Affairs.

Civil War

May 1, 1861; The New York Herald

A crisis is approaching in the military movements progressing at the seat of war. Troops have not been concentrating there for so many days without a definite object, and it is manifest now what the purpose of government is. Baltimore is to be completely filled with troops, and Maryland is to be compelled to act like a State still in the Union. All the information which reached us up to a late hour last night plainly indicated that this is the policy of the government of Washington. Let us state the points of the latest news in brief. The greatest activity prevails in Southern Pennsylvania, seventeen thousand troops being in the field there at the present time. At Camp Scott, York, Pa., there are 6,000 men; at Camp Siffler, near Chambersburg, 2,600; at Camp Curtin, near Harrisburg, 4,000; two regiments from Ohio are quartered near Lancaster, and 1,200 United States regulars at Carlisle. Scattered at different points between Philadelphia, Elkton and Perrysville there are 6,000 more. [click to continue…]


Confederate Loan

Civil War

May 1, 1861; Memphis Daily Appeal (Tennessee)

The Montgomery papers announce the fact that two negroes there had subscribed liberally to the Confederate loan—$200 each. The Gainesville niggers are not behind. Mr. T. D. Bell’s Henry (Henry says he was raised by Mr. Davenport, of Northumberland County, Va.) and Mr. R. G. McMahon’s “Jim Cotton” have gone into the support of the government, each taking a $50 bond, and paying the money down. They were greeted with hearty cheers by the assembled crowd.

At Warsaw, two negroes, one belonging to Mr. Little and the other to Mr. Gill, gave each $2.50 to the volunteer fund. Mr. Little’s man was “in luck.” Three or four gentlemen standing by were so pleased with his act that they made up for him $10 to take the place of his $2.50.


A Diary of American Events – May 1, 1861

The Rebellion Record—A Diary of American Events; by Frank Moore

—The story of an armistice having been requested by Secretary Cameron was denied as follows:

Wilmington, Wednesday, May 1.
Simeon Draper, Esq., Chairman Union Defence Committee:

There is not a word of truth in any of the newspaper reports of the armistice made or proposed. That sort of business ended on the 4th of March.

………F. W. Seward.

N: Y. Times, May 2.

—A large and enthusiastic meeting of the citizens of Wiscasset, Maine, was held, Wilmot Wood, Esq., presiding. Some spirited resolutions were unanimously passed; and it was recommended to the town to raise $5,000 for the support of families of volunteers who, under the command of Edwin M. Smith, Esq., were enrolled in a company for the defence of the Union.—Boston Transcript, May 7.

—The Baptist State Convention of Georgia, submitted a communication to the Congress of the seceded States at Montgomery, endorsing, approving, and avowing support to, the Confederate Government, and requesting the said Government to proclaim a day of fasting and prayer, “that God will deliver us from the power of our enemies, and restore peace to the country.”—(Doc. 124.)

—The governor of Connecticut sent a message to the legislature of that State, containing the following:— “Col Samuel Colt, of Hartford, on the 25th of April last, offered to the executive his services in promoting the enlistment of a regiment of able-bodied men from the State for the war, and to furnish a sufficient number of his revolving breech rifles for their equipment. To this noble proposition I have replied, expressing my high appreciation of the patriotic offer, and assuring him that the tender of ten companies would at once be accepted, the troops organized into a regiment, the field officers appointed in harmony with the wishes of the regiment and the dignity of the State, and their services placed at the disposal of the General Government. These arms, which are the very latest improvements, with the saber bayonets, would sell in market to-day for over $50,000 in cash. Col. Colt is now actively engaged in enlisting a full regiment for the war, and also furnishing officers to drill and perfect the men in the use of the weapons at his own expense.”—The World, May 3.

—General Harney, in a letter to Col. Fallon of St. Louis, gives an account of his arrest and subsequent release by the authorities of Virginia; declares that he will serve under no other banner than the one he has followed for forty years; denies the right of secession, and implores his fellow-citizens of Missouri not to be seduced by designing men to become the instruments of their mad ambition, and plunge the State into revolution.—(Doc. 125.)

—The Albany (N. Y.) Burgesses Corps arrived at New York, and proceed to Washington to-morrow to join the Twenty-fifth regiment, N. Y. S. M.—(Doc. 126.)

—An attempt was made to blow up the State Powder House, on Brarnhall Hill, at Portland, Me., containing 1,000 kegs of powder, by building a fire at an air-hole outside. It was discovered, and extinguished.—N. Y. Tribune, May 2.

—Gov. Black of Nebraska, issued a proclamation, recommending a thorough volunteer organization throughout the Territory. He has supplied companies with arms and equipments, and seems determined to place Nebraska in the best possible condition of defence.—Idem.

—The remains of the three Massachusetts soldiers who were killed in Baltimore, arrived at Boston in charge of private D. S. Wright, of the Sixth regiment, who was detailed by Col. Jones for the duty. The bodies were taken from the receiving tomb in Baltimore, under the supervision of Mayor Brown, and left Tuesday morning last. The fact was not generally known, but a large crowd gathered at the depot.

Gov. Andrew and staff, the executive council, with the divisionary corps of cadets as an escort, were present to receive the bodies. The coffins were covered with national flags, as were the hearses which bore them to Stone Chapel, under which they were deposited to await final and more public obsequies. On the route to the chapel the band played dirges, and the rapidly-gathered crowds uncovered as the procession moved past.—Boston Transcript, May 2.

—The Montgomery (Ala.) Weekly Post of this day, says:— “There is no longer any doubt as to the position of General Scott. His general order of April 19 will satisfy the most skeptical. He will prove false to the mother which gave him birth.”—(See Doc. 68, p. 78.)

—Collier, of the United States marines, attached to the Minnesota, raised the American flag to-day on the steeple of the Old South Church at Boston, Mass.

At noon the star-spangled banner was raised with great demonstration of enthusiasm from the post-office and customhouse at Baltimore, Mel, by order of the newly-appointed officials. A large crowd assembled in front of the custom-house to witness the flag-raising. A new flag-staff was erected over the portico, and at precisely quarter to twelve, Captain Frazier, a veteran sea-captain of Fells Point, who was assigned the honor, drew up the flag, which, as it spread to the breeze, was greeted with tremendous applause, waving of hats, cheers for the Union and the old flag. The crowd then joined in singing the “Star-spangled Banner.”—N. Y. Commercial Advertiser, May 1.

—William Gray, of Boston, Mass., gave ten thousand dollars for the benefit of the volunteers’ families.—N. Y. Times, May 2.

—The South Carolina College Cadets and the Washington Artillery returned to Charleston, S. C., from duty at the forts in the harbor of that place.—(Doc. 127.)


The Fort Reinforced. (Leavenworth, KS)

Civil War

April 30, 1861; Daily Times (Leavenworth, KS)

Companies E and F, Capts. Steele and Sully, arrived at the Fort, yesterday, from Kearney. There are about 170 men in the two companies, and Col. Miles is the commanding officer.
The volunteers from this city, stationed at the Fort, will now probably be relieved from duty there.


Events of the Day

A Chronological History of the Civil War in America

A Chronological History of the Civil War in America
by Richard Swainson Fisher, New York, Johnson and Ward, 1863

April 30, 1861

  • Legislature of New Jersey convened in extra session; the Governor recommended the appropriation of $2,000,000 for war purposes.
  • Virginia State Convention passed an ordinance establishing the navy of Virginia and authorizing the banks to issue one and two dollar notes.

Facts in Regard to Fortress Monroe

Civil War

April 30, 1861; Richmond Enquirer

We are indebted to the Norfolk Day Book for many of the following facts in regard to Fortress Monroe:
Fortress Monroe is a strongly fortified garrison situated on that point of land formed by the extreme western bank of the Chesapeake, that the extreme eastern bank of Hampton Roads, and at the junction of the two waters. It was discovered during the war of 1813-14, that Chesapeake Bay was the key to all the waters of Virginia and Maryland, and all who are at all familiar with the history of the country, will remember that British vessels came into Hampton Roads and not only took the town of Hampton, but [click to continue…]