Maine in the Civil War

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I write this particular post we are just three short weeks away from the 150th anniversary of the shots that began the War Between the States, or what we call the US Civil War. Conflict between the North and the South actually began in 1860, but we look back in time and find that Fort Sumter seems to have been the rallying act that history has pegged as the turning point. In reality, military actions had been ongoing for months, and we find that the point of no return was reached in December of 1860. In fact, Ft Moultrie was evacuated on 26 December, with the guns having been spiked and the carriages destroyed while the troops were transported to Ft. Sumter.

Maine was one of the first responders to Abraham Lincolns call to arms, and over the next few months I’m going to be chronicling the history of our involvement in that conflict. April 12th of 1861 was the day war erupted when the newly formed confederacy opened fire on the US forces in the fort. An act that forever, and irrevocably, changed the destiny of this nation.

Here are some of the highlights from the month of March, 1861;

March 1.—General Twiggs was expelled from the army of the United States. The following is the official order for his expulsion:

War Department, } Adjutant-general’s Office, Washington, March 1,1861. The following order is published for the information of the army:

“War Department, March 1, 1861.”By the direction of the President of the United States, it is ordered that Brigadier-General David E. Twiggs be and is hereby dismissed from the army of the United States for his treachery to the flag of his country, in having surrendered on the 18th of February, 1861, on the demand of the authorities of Texas, the military posts and other property of the United States in his department and under his charge. J. Holt, Secretary of War. “By order of the Secretary of War.

“S. Cooper, Adjutant-General.” —Evening Post, March 4.

—the Secretary of War at Washington received a dispatch from Major Anderson, in which he contradicts the statement that President Davis had been to Charleston. He says that the report that he had been sick is without a particle of foundation. He is in good health, as is also his little band of soldiers. Affairs in Charleston harbor are arriving at a point when further delay on their part will be impossible. Their extensive works of defense and attack are nearly if not quite completed.

The feeling between the authorities and Major Anderson continues to be friendly, and ho is allowed all the facilities that ho could expect. Fresh provisions and marketing are supplied in abundance. Ho experienced no difficulty in sending or receiving his mail matter. — Washington Star.

March 2—The revenue cotter Dodge was seized in Galveston Bay, by order of the authorities of Texas. The officer in command resigned, as Breshwood did at New Orleans, and tendered his services to the rebels.—Times, March 6.

March 4.—Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated at Washington, sixteenth President of the United States, he kissed the thirty-four States of the Union as represented by thirty-four young ladies.

The inauguration procession proceeded to the east portico of the capitol, in front of which a platform had been erected. Every available space in the vicinity was packed with a curious crowd of spectators. Everything being in readiness, Senator Baker, of Oregon, came forward and introduced Mr. Lincoln in these simple words: “Fellow-citizens: I introduce to you Abraham Lincoln, the President-elect of the United States of America.” Mr. Lincoln then advanced to a small table, which had been placed for his accommodation, and proceeded to deliver his inaugural address, every word of which was distinctly heard on the outskirts of the swaying crowd. The oath of office was then administered to Mr. Lincoln by Chief Justice Taney; the procession was again formed, Mr. Lincoln was escorted to the White House, and was duly installed in the office of President of the United States.—{Doc. 42.)

—A State Convention declared Texas out of the Union and Governor Houston issued his proclamation to that effect.

March 5.—General Peter G. T. Beauregard, lately a major in the United States Engineer Corps, was ordered by Jefferson Davis, President of the Southern Confederacy, to proceed to Charleston and take command of the forces there assembled, and to be assembled for the investment of Fort Sumter.—Herald, March 7.

—In the Texas State Convention, a letter was received from General Wall, enclosing a letter from the Secretary of War of the Confederate States, in relation to the military complications in Texas. President Davis instructs the Secretary of War to say that he is disposed to assume every responsibility compatible with the relations of the Federal Government to Texas. Davis considers it due to international courtesy that the Government of the Confederate States (Texas included, after her withdrawal from the United States) should accord to the troops belonging to the Federal Government a reasonable time within which to depart from her territory. Should the Federal Government refuse to withdraw them, President Davis does not hesitate to say, that all the powers of the Southern Confederacy shall be promptly employed to expel them. General Waul says that the possibility of settling difficulties by a reconstruction of the old Union is never alluded to in the Congress, and that the proposal would receive about the same encouragement as a proposition to re-annex Texas to the States of Mexico.—Evening Post, March 20.

—The President’s inaugural meets with a varied reception throughout the country. The South pronounces it warlike, while a greater portion of the North considers it conservative. — (Doc. 43.)

March 6.—Fort Brown, Texas, was finally surrendered by arrangement between Captain Hill and the Texas Commissioners.—Galveston Civilian, March 11.

March 9.—The Southern Confederacy Congress passed an act for the establishment and organization of the army of the Confederate States.—(Doc. 44.)—Times, March 15.

March 12.—The London News of to-day publishes a strong protest against recognition of the Southern Confederacy by the British Government.—(Doc. 45.)

March 14.—The act, passed by the Florida Legislature, defining treason, became a law by the approval and signature of the Governor. It declares that in the event of any actual collision between the troops of the late Federal Union and those in the employ of the State of Florida, it shall be the duty of the Governor of the State to make public proclamation of the fact; and thereafter the act of holding office under the Federal Government shall be declared treason, and the person convicted shall suffer death.Evening Post, March 26.

March 18.—Supplies were cut off from Fort

Pickens and the fleet in the Gulf of Mexico — (Doc. 46.)

March 20.—At about 7 o’clock this evening, Lieutenant Homer, in command of the Continentals, at drill was informed that there was a sloop lying at the wharf at the foot of Spanish alley in Mobile, which was laden with supplies for the United States fleet outside, between that place and Pensacola. A detachment of the company was on drill at the time, and Lieutenant Homer immediately ordered them down to the point mentioned, and then and there took charge of the little sloop Isabel. She was laden with beef, pork, barrels of eggs, etc. The person in charge acknowledged that these supplies were intended for the fleet outside.—Mobile Tribune, March 21.

—Correspondence between Mr. Secretary Seward and the Commissioners from the Confederate States is published.—(Doc. 47.)

March 21.—A. H. Stephens, Vice-President of the “Confederate States” of the South, delivered a speech at Savannah, Ga. It is intended to be a vindication of the new features in the constitution, which has been adopted for their government.—(Doc. 48.)

March 22.—Governor Pettus, of Mississippi, in accordance with the order of the President of the Confederate States, issued a proclamation calling upon the organized military of the State for fifteen hundred infantry.— Georgia Republic, March 25.

—Dr. Fox, of the United States navy, a special messenger from the Government to Major Anderson, reached Charleston and visited Fort Sumter by permission, in company with Captain Hartstein.

“Intercepted dispatches”—by which we are to understand “stolen letters”—subsequently disclosed to the authorities in Charleston, it is said, that Mr. Fox employed tins opportunity to devise and concert with Major Anderson a plan to supply the fort by force; and that this plan was adopted by the United States Government.— Times, March 23 and April 13.

—A Meeting was held at Frankfort, Ala., at which the following resolutions, among others of a similar character, were passed:

Resolved, That we approve the course pursued by our delegates, Messrs. Watkins and Steele, in convention at Montgomery, in not signing the so-called secession ordinance. That secession is inexpedient and unnecessary, and we are opposed to it in any form, and the more so since a majority of tho slavo States have refused to go out, either by what is called “southern cooperation,” or “precipitate secession;” and that the refusal to submit the so-called secession ordinance to the decision of the people is an outrage upon our right and liberty, and manifests a spirit of assumption, unfairness, and dictatorship.

Resolved, That our congressional nominee, if elected, is to represent us in the United States Congress, and not in the Congress of this so called “Southern Confederacy.”—Tuscumbia North Alabamian.

—The Montgomery Mail protests against the word stripes:

“”We protest against the word ‘stripes,’ as applied to tho broad bars of the flag of our confederacy. The word is quite appropriate as applied to the Yankee ensign or a barber’s polo; but it does not correctly describe tho red and white divisions of the flag of the Confederate States. The word is bars—wc have removed from under the stripes.”—“World, April 2.

March 25.—Colonel Lamon, a Government messenger, had an interview at Charleston with Governor Pickens and General Beauregard.— Times, Marsh 20.

—The rumors from Charleston are very conflicting concerning the evacuation of Fort Sumter. One report states that Major Anderson is strengthening his position; another that he has received orders to evacuate the fort and report himself for duty at Newport barracks, and that the officers are packing their goods in expectation of immediate departure. The truth of the matter will probably be known in a day or two.—Evening Post.

March 28.—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.*

—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, 17,29G. — World, April 4.

March 80.—The Mississippi State Convention, at Jackson, ratified the Constitution of the Confederate States, by a vote of 78 to 7. — Tribune, April 1

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Categories: civil war, Education, events, headlines, historic preservation, history, Maine, preservation, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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