Fort Sumter

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

elektratig

Sergeant
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
669
Location
New York City
There are several Sumter threads, so I'm not sure which one to use. I'm arbitrarily picking this one to try to take the discussion in another direction.

I'm no expert on the outbreak of the War, but it seems to me that the decision to fire on the fort was, in retrospect, a colossal blunder from the southern standpoint. Right or wrong, it initiated the War in such as way that many previously passive northerners became aroused and perceived the south to be the aggressor. It initiated the War in such a way that the south ultimately lost it.

What I'd like to discuss and understand is whether the seceding states wouldn't have been better off, in terms of their own goal of independence, if they had simply let the fort be? De facto, they had their own country. The north would deny it, but the north was unlikely to launch an invasion unless the south started armed hostilities first. Wouldn't the confederacy have been better served by the standoff, using the time to establish its own institutions and infrastructure, initiate diplomatic relations with England, etc., and meanwhile present the north with a fait accompli? And if war did break out anyway, let the north appear the aggressor. Perhaps northern blockaders would fire on southern ships engaged in peaceful trade. Whatever. But then the south could portray the north as the aggressor. Why wouldn't that have been the better course for the confederacy to take if independence was its goal?

On a related note, what were the countervailing considerations that led the south to initiate armed hostilities? I've assumed that it was to force Virginia to jump one way or another. Is that right? And if so, was that a gamble worth taking? Were there other considerations that led to the decision?

What I'm trying to avoid is whether the Confederacy had a "right" to the fort, whether the north's occupation of the fort was an outrage or illegal occupation of southern soil, "sovreignty," etc. Assume it did. There were still choices. Rather, I'm trying to understand why the Confederacy chose such a risky (and ultimately disasterous) option when there was another option available that had so many advantages.

Putting it somewhat differently, southern advocates here seem to complain in effect that Lincoln artfully maneuvred the south into firing first by baiting them. Ok, but even accepting that premise, why did the south accept the bait?

Hope I'm making myself clear.
 

cedarstripper

First Sergeant
Joined
Mar 16, 2005
Messages
1,276
Location
western New York
elektratig said:
On a related note, what were the countervailing considerations that led the south to initiate armed hostilities? I've assumed that it was to force Virginia to jump one way or another. Is that right? And if so, was that a gamble worth taking? Were there other considerations that led to the decision?
IMHO, the act of secession was driven by politicians and bravado, and sufficient support for the act was apt to evaporate by the same means. Bringing a little violence to the game tends to forge a southern patriotism that would keep latent unionist sentiment from rearing its head. Nothing like a little bloodshed to seal the deal.

Cedarstripper
 

johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
14,973
Location
South of the North 40
Battalion said:
Yes, I use statements, reports, facts and figures from the 1860s. NO sir, you just lay them out w/ no explanation expecting others to go... "My what a brilliant point!" Sorry, doesn't fly.
Far more relevant than what the Glorious Unioners of 2006 have to say.
Actually the term reasoned statements along with solid research I believe would catagorize either Trice or Unionblues posts. Instead of "laugh..." or other snide one word replies when you appaer unable or unwilling to repy w/ a thought out answer or rebuke.

If Charleston & Mr Davis really believed 18 guns & 200 men on four ships, only two of which can even remotely thought as warships... a provacative invasion force. Does that not speak volumes of their belief in their own ability to defend themselves? As well perhaps to the thought that a legitimate US Naval force entering Charleston Harbor might be viewed as a show of force that might well calm some of the hotheads... hardly what Davis wanted.

How many unionists/anti CSers were robbed, abused and even murdered prior to the firing on of FT Sumter? Do some checking; it might just open your eyes to the fact that the CS was being quite provocative, brutal and less than polite (to what might conceivebly be viewed) as its own people.

Repeatedly taking quotes completely out of context while the entire quote or document pointedly has another meaning than you intend... does nothing for your position but further weaken your credability as well as call into question all of your earlier cut and pastes.

Something might well be learned from looking at scholars like Larry, John Taylor, Steven Cone and others who I might view as true scholars of the CS. Honesty, integrity along with a penchant for solid research. Not just cutting, pasting and expecting all others to agree w/ you.

Incidently as to the cuts & pastes completely out of context... I believe Trice has done the job of showing what is being spoken of.

Good Luck
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

ole

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
34,394
Location
Near Kankakee
Gentlemen:

I can only assume that it seemed like a good idea at the time, quite possibly as cedar said: Bravado and the grossly mistaken conviction that the mudsills and merchants would take the slap and let it ride. I've never completely bought into the idea that the shooting was designed to bring in the wavering states and particularly Virginia. Although it worked, it seems that would have been a longer-odds gamble than betting on northern reaction.

I'm in the same boat with ET here. Nothing about Sumter makes any sense. It was a symbol; nothing more. Leaving it be would have gained time for the Confederacy -- time that could have been put to good use in refining the new coalition. I'll agree that something else might have eventually touched off a shooting war, but it was in the Confederacy's best interest to get the Union to start it. Choosing when and where to be a fly on the wall at a moment in history would have to include being in JD's office when he ordered PGTB to open fire.

Ole
 

ole

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
34,394
Location
Near Kankakee
Every state had a militia of sorts -- some more prepared than others. As recent posts have shown, each drew on an allotment of materiel supplied by the federal government. Many areas had military-style organizations that would qualify as militia. The Washington Artillery comes to mind, as well as the firefighting companies in the larger cities.

That any state governor could offer 5,000 men equipped to fight is no indication that anyone was preparing for war before war broke out. It simply shows that the state took its militia more seriously than others.

Ole
 

Battalion

Banned
Joined
Dec 30, 2005
Messages
4,810
johan_steele said:
Actually the term reasoned statements along with solid research I believe would catagorize either Trice or Unionblues posts. Instead of "laugh.. or other snide one word replies when you appaer unable or unwilling to repy w/ a thought out answer or rebuke.
...
Incidently as to the cuts & pastes completely out of context... I believe Trice has done the job of showing what is being spoken of.

...etc...etc...

Good Luck
The quotes are not out of context. They treat the relevant part of what is being discussed. There is no need to post the text of an entire letter.

~

All you are is a clique of backslapping hacks that reject anything that doesn't fit your romanticized view of the Glorious Union.

You congratulate each other on your supposed in-depth research and analysis.....which is nothing more than a load of self-serving/self-glorifying bull----.

Have a nice day. :D
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Battalion

Banned
Joined
Dec 30, 2005
Messages
4,810
ole said:
Every state had a militia of sorts -- some more prepared than others. As recent posts have shown, each drew on an allotment of materiel supplied by the federal government. Many areas had military-style organizations that would qualify as militia. The Washington Artillery comes to mind, as well as the firefighting companies in the larger cities.

That any state governor could offer 5,000 men equipped to fight is no indication that anyone was preparing for war before war broke out. It simply shows that the state took its militia more seriously than others.

Ole
But on of your buddies (trice) claimed South Carolina having a force of "8,000" (an exaggerated number and many without arms) was preparation for war.

So how is 5,000 -ALL armed, equipped and ready to go- in Massachusetts not preparation for war?
 

trice

Lt. Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
Messages
11,918
Battalion said:
Baltimore, Md., and several incidents in St. Louis, Mo.
Battalion, you seem to like to distort events into unrecognizable one-sided accounts, and you do so frequently.

In Baltimore, troops moving peacefully through the city from one train station to another in horse-cars were attacked by a mob stirred up by secessionists. When they could not travel further that way, they got off the horse cars and tried to continue on foot. The mob swarmed around them, throwing stones and breaking store windows; many members of the mob were armed. After taking casualties, some soldiers fired back at the mob. Four soldiers and 12 civilians were killed; large numbers on both sides wounded. This isn't even a particulary surprising or unusual event, because the city of Baltimore was a place famed for gangs and riots, widely referred to as "Mobtown" in newspapers North and South during the 1850s because of the frequent and widespread violence there.

In St. Louis on May 10, Nathaniel Lyons had arrested General D. M. Frost and 669 pro-secession "Minute Men" at Camp Jackson, named after the pro-secessionist Governor of the state. Lyons had discovered these men were planning to attack and seize the St. Louis Arsenal that he had just occupied with the 2nd US Infantry. As he marched the prisoners back escorted by the predominantly German Home Guard through the city,a mob formed, hurling insults, rotten fruit, rocks and paving stones at the escort. Accounts vary about what happened then, and what exactly sparked the shooting; the most common involves a drunk who staggered into the escort.

Soldiers and civilians alike pulled weapons and started shooting. No one can say who shot first for sure. Three militiamen were killed, the soldiers fired into the crowd in response. A large number of men, women, and children were struck. Lyons then disbanded the Home Guard that had been escorting the prisoners and sent them home. The city burst into riots and arson. Lyon had to recall the Home Guard to restore order. At least 28 people died, with an estimate of another 100 injured.

If you wish to make some slighting comment about the mobs throwing rocks and paving stones, I suggest you try standing out in a field some time and letting people throw them at you. Paving stones were frequent weapons in street warfare, used in the revolutions in Europe from 1830-1850, and would fit anyone's idea of a deadly weapon. Getting hit by one would either kill you outright or put you in a hospital if you survived, often with a lifelong crippling injury. In Europe, the professional military practiced street warfare for dealing with mobs armed this way.

By the date of these riots, the Confederacy was actively attempting to suborn both Maryland and Missouri into secession, and were inciting their citizens to use force against the US government. Virginia had dispatched arms to the secessionist movement in Maryland, many of which came from stocks captured from the Federal government (VA wanted them back when Maryland did not secede). Jefferson Davis had dispatched arms captured in Louisiana, including 2 12-pdr howitzers and 2 32-pdrs, to secessionists in Missouri. The cannon were disguised as crates of "Tamoroa Marble" to account for their weight. Davis authorized this on April 23, 1861 (17 days before Lyon surrounded Camp Jackson) and his letter makes it clear they were intended to be used in capturing the Arsenal at St. Louis. The South played a duplicious part in all this, and you seem to want to sweep all that under the rug.

In addition, the Confederacy was actively seeking to move troops to capture Washington, DC in mid-and-late April of 1861; they were also attempting to block access to that city via the Potomac River. The secessionists in Maryland were wrapped up in that plan as well.

Presenting these events, as you do, as a slaughter of innocent "Southern civilians" by evil Federal troops is a distortion. It simply shows your intent to spin this situation into propaganda for your own purposes, and your desire to hide from the parts of history you do not wish to see. IMHO, of course.

Tim
 

trice

Lt. Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
Messages
11,918
Battalion said:
But on of your buddies (trice) claimed South Carolina having a force of "8,000" (an exaggerated number and many without arms) was preparation for war.
Battalion,

You appear to be claiming that the entire South Carolina force was the 2,000 men General Whiting on Morris Island reported to General Beauregard in this letter:

HEADQUARTERS MORRIS ISLAND, S.C.,
April 11, 1861.
Brigadier-General BEAUREGARD, Commanding:
MY DEAR GENERAL: It is absolutely necessary that some assistance be sent here, in the Adjutant-General's Department--I mean of the kind that will be useful. I am expected to be engineer and everything else, The regimental organization (mixed up of infantry and riflemen, without bayonets)cannot be preserved. Cannot you take charge, or at least come here and see the state of affairs? We must have a clerk experienced. Must have an order book, stationery, &c. Transportation is wanted. Horses are required for officers, staff, and orderlies (at least, half a dozen}, especially if you come down.

Colonel Gregg has 1,100 men; Colonel Cunningham, 418; Colonel Kershaw, between 300 and 500--in all, 2,000, exclusive of artillery. Orders have been issued for all the batteries to be in readiness, but with the exception of Colonel Gregg's I find great confusion in the new re-enforcements.

Very truly, yours,
W. H. G. WHITING.

However, Whiting himself tells us he is not counting the artillery manning his batteries -- the guns that would soon help to reduce Ft. Sumter -- and Whiting does not control the entire SC Army. He is the commander out on Morris Island and reports to others.

Major General Bonham actually commanded the South Carolina Army. One month before the assault on Ft. Sumter, his Adjutant and Inspector General, States Rights Gist, sent him this report:

=====
HEADQUARTERS, STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA,
March 6, 1861.
M. L. BONHAM,
Major-General, Commanding Volunteer Forces of S. C.:

GENERAL: The number of companies organized and received under the act of general assembly of 17th December, 1860, is one hundred and four--in the aggregate amounting to 8,835, rank and file, constituting ten regiments of ten companies each. The force is divided into four brigades, constituting one division.

Respectfully,
S. R. GIST,
Adjutant and Inspector General of South Carolina.
=====

That is 8,835 officers and men actually under arms and serving the state. The Massachusetts figure of 5,000 represents what that state could call up, arm and equip on short notice -- but they had not yet been called.

Amazing, isn't it, that you want to claim less than one-quarter of that SC force as being in existence? That when I told you 8,000 I was actually 10% below the official figure for the South Carolina Army? This is yet another example of how you try to misrepresent history. I suggest strongly you stop doing this and concentrate on research to assure you have a complete and accurate picture of the real situation. If you do not, your approach will always damage, and eventually destroy, your credibility with anyone who reads what you say.

Battalion said:
So how is 5,000 -ALL armed, equipped and ready to go- in Massachusetts not preparation for war?
Again, that is not a standing army. It is the state militia, who were civilians living at home until called to service. When the call came, Ben Butler borrowed funds from a banker (secured by a note on his company stock) and loaned it to the state to transfer his regiment (6th MA) without delay. (Being Ben Butler, he made sure he got a Brigadier General commission out of it.) That is how the 6th MA got to Washington so quickly -- the state otherwise had no funds to move the men and would have had to wait on the legislature.

Butler himself was in court defending a client when the call to arms came after Ft. Sumter was attacked.

The SC Army, of course, was also the State Militia called to service. But they had been called up months earlier. They were the ones building the batteries and occupying the forts around Ft. Sumter from December of 1860 onward -- and they were largely the ones shooting at Ft. Sumter on April 12-13 as well. Isn't that right?

Tim
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

trice

Lt. Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
Messages
11,918
elektratig said:
...What I'd like to discuss and understand is whether the seceding states wouldn't have been better off, in terms of their own goal of independence, if they had simply let the fort be? De facto, they had their own country. The north would deny it, but the north was unlikely to launch an invasion unless the south started armed hostilities first. Wouldn't the confederacy have been better served by the standoff, using the time to establish its own institutions and infrastructure, initiate diplomatic relations with England, etc., and meanwhile present the north with a fait accompli? And if war did break out anyway, let the north appear the aggressor. Perhaps northern blockaders would fire on southern ships engaged in peaceful trade. Whatever. But then the south could portray the north as the aggressor. Why wouldn't that have been the better course for the confederacy to take if independence was its goal?
...
It is my personal opinion that the seceding states stood an excellent chance of achieving successful separation and independence by proceeding peacefully.

The Supreme Court seeems to have been split about 4-4 (the Virginia Justice dying at this point) on the issues around secession. They had traditionally supported the rights to slave property, and had recently ruled against the right of a Federal government to compel a state official to carry out a clear duty under Federal law. I suspect that if pressed into a decision they would have had what appears to be the largest single public opinion on a "right of secession": that there was no such right, but that the Federal government had no "right" to use force to make the state stay.

It also seems clear to me that a united Democratic Party in 1860 would have been a better foe to the Republicans -- and in any case the Republicans were still a minority in each house after the 1860 election. Yet the Fire Eaters of the South seem to have deliberately attempted to split the Democratic Party in order to electa Republican President. The only realistic way I can understand that is they wanted to use that to whip up "secession fever".

Even as a minority, a "Solid South" could have crippled and frozen all legislative action in 1861-62. There is no immediate threat of drastic Republican action getting through (particularly if the South would work with other states politically).

There are clear Constitutional avenues to try to separate from the country: the Court, Congress, the Amendment process. The South refused to even try them. I think any or all of them would have offered a better route than what they did.

Regards,
Tim
 

trice

Lt. Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
Messages
11,918
elektratig said:
...
On a related note, what were the countervailing considerations that led the south to initiate armed hostilities? I've assumed that it was to force Virginia to jump one way or another. Is that right? And if so, was that a gamble worth taking? Were there other considerations that led to the decision?
...
Putting it somewhat differently, southern advocates here seem to complain in effect that Lincoln artfully maneuvred the south into firing first by baiting them. Ok, but even accepting that premise, why did the south accept the bait?
Jefferson Davis, at least, believed the new Confederacy was not a viable nation unless the Upper South also seceded and joined it. He particularly believed the numbers and industry of Virginia were essential.

In that view, the attack on Ft. Sumter (or Ft. Pickens in Florida) was simply the throwing of a gauntlet designed to push Virginia and the Upper South off the fence. It is a calculated gamble, coldly made by a man trained as a professional soldier, a hero in war, and sometimes described as the most intelligent Secretary of War the nation ever had.

It is not the only reason for the actions. Southern pride and the brash arrogance that was considered essential to honor in many played a part. Other motives came into the decision -- probably including the need to appear strong and decisive.

Regards,
Tim
 

johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
14,973
Location
South of the North 40
Battalion said:
The quotes are not out of context. They treat the relevant part of what is being discussed. There is no need to post the text of an entire letter. THere certainly is when the rest of the text states something other than what you are implying.

~

All you are is a clique of backslapping hacks that reject anything that doesn't fit your romanticized view of the Glorious Union.

You congratulate each other on your supposed in-depth research and analysis.....which is nothing more than a load of self-serving/self-glorifying bull----. Actually sir... I often congratulate men and women on the other side of the aisle who, I believe do, a level of research far beyond my own. While I may not always agree w/ men like Larry, John Taylor or other rather well read and researched individuals I respect them greatly and appreciate what they bring to this board.
Have a nice day. I have actually.:D
The Union was not "romantic" nor very "glorious" but it was/is considerably better than many other nations in the world.

A clique of backslapping hacks? How very amusing; it goes so far towards advancing your views. Yet you still fail to answer questions with your own thoughts & words. Forgive me if I pity your bitterness.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Battalion

Banned
Joined
Dec 30, 2005
Messages
4,810
trice said:
Battalion,

You appear to be claiming that the entire South Carolina force was the 2,000 men [No, never claimed this...only that it wasn't 8,000] General Whiting on Morris Island reported to General Beauregard in this letter:

HEADQUARTERS MORRIS ISLAND, S.C.,
April 11, 1861.
Brigadier-General BEAUREGARD, Commanding:
MY DEAR GENERAL: It is absolutely necessary that some assistance be sent here, in the Adjutant-General's Department--I mean of the kind that will be useful. I am expected to be engineer and everything else, The regimental organization (mixed up of infantry and riflemen, without bayonets)cannot be preserved. Cannot you take charge, or at least come here and see the state of affairs? We must have a clerk experienced. Must have an order book, stationery, &c. Transportation is wanted. Horses are required for officers, staff, and orderlies (at least, half a dozen}, especially if you come down.

Colonel Gregg has 1,100 men; Colonel Cunningham, 418; Colonel Kershaw, between 300 and 500--in all, 2,000, exclusive of artillery. Orders have been issued for all the batteries to be in readiness, but with the exception of Colonel Gregg's I find great confusion in the new re-enforcements.

Very truly, yours,
W. H. G. WHITING.

However, Whiting himself tells us he is not counting the artillery manning his batteries -- the guns that would soon help to reduce Ft. Sumter -- and Whiting does not control the entire SC Army. He is the commander out on Morris Island and reports to others.
Governor Pickens on April 9th reported to the Confederate Government that he had 3700 men in actual service and had made a call for 3000 more....but the 3000 never arrived in time for the action at Sumter.

If there were any other military forces (with arms) activated in the State I've found no evidence of it.

trice said:
Major General Bonham actually commanded the South Carolina Army. One month before the assault on Ft. Sumter, his Adjutant and Inspector General, States Rights Gist, sent him this report:

=====
HEADQUARTERS, STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA,
March 6, 1861.
M. L. BONHAM,
Major-General, Commanding Volunteer Forces of S. C.:

GENERAL: The number of companies organized and received under the act of general assembly of 17th December, 1860, is one hundred and four--in the aggregate amounting to 8,835, rank and file, constituting ten regiments of ten companies each. The force is divided into four brigades, constituting one division.

Respectfully,
S. R. GIST,
Adjutant and Inspector General of South Carolina.
=====

That is 8,835 officers and men actually under arms and serving the state.
Where in this report does it say how many are armed and in actual service?

Answer- It doesn't.

This is just a report of the force organized (on paper).


trice said:
The Massachusetts figure of 5,000 represents what that state could call up, arm and equip on short notice -- but they had not yet been called.

Again, that is not a standing army. It is the state militia, who were civilians living at home until called to service. When the call came, Ben Butler borrowed funds from a banker (secured by a note on his company stock) and loaned it to the state to transfer his regiment (6th MA) without delay. (Being Ben Butler, he made sure he got a Brigadier General commission out of it.) That is how the 6th MA got to Washington so quickly -- the state otherwise had no funds to move the men and would have had to wait on the legislature.

Butler himself was in court defending a client when the call to arms came after Ft. Sumter was attacked.
You are half-right/half-wrong on this matter.

You are correct in stating they were not armed until after Fort Sumter...

...but incorrect in claiming Massachusetts wasn't preparing for war prior to that event-

"In Massachusetts, Governor Andrew, an anti-slavery leader, enthusiastic, energetic, and of great executive ability, had been for many months preparing the militia for precisely this crisis [Civil War], weeding out the holiday soldiers and thoroughly equipping his regiments for service in the field."
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/12800/12800-8.txt

"Massachusetts 6th infantry had been organized in January of 1861. They assembled and moved from Lowell to Boston,
where they were outfitted; given their charge by Governor John Andrew and set off for Washington, DC on April 17th."
http://www.mass.gov/statehouse/minutemen.htm

The 6th Massachusetts was a Volunteer organization (just like the 8800 raised in South Carolina)...not a regular militia unit (conscripts).

"M.V.M."- Massachusetts Volunteer Militia
http://ehistory.osu.edu/osu/sources/recordView.cfm?Content=002/0007


trice said:
The SC Army, of course, was also the State Militia called to service. But they had been called up months earlier. They were the ones building the batteries and occupying the forts around Ft. Sumter from December of 1860 onward -- and they were largely the ones shooting at Ft. Sumter on April 12-13 as well. Isn't that right?

Tim
Yes, the State of South Carolina -unlike Massachusetts- had an actual military threat at their front door- A fort occupied by a hostile force and several warships on their way. Governor Pickens called out the militia...and any other governor faced with a similar situation would have done the same.
 

johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
14,973
Location
South of the North 40
Battalion said:
Governor Pickens on April 9th reported to the Confederate Government that he had 3700 men in actual service and had made a call for 3000 more....but the 3000 never arrived in time for the action at Sumter. 3700... how many guns? vs how many men on Ft Sumter? Yep big threat to Charleston & the state of SC.

If there were any other military forces (with arms) activated in the State I've found no evidence of it. Apparently you have failed to look very hard.


Where in this report does it say how many are armed and in actual service?

Answer- It doesn't. Do you know what aggregate means? Yes, SC had enough arms in their arsenals to arm 8000 men.
This is just a report of the force organized (on paper). That is pretty thin... pretty thin.



You are half-right/half-wrong on this matter.

You are correct in stating they were not armed until after Fort Sumter...

...but incorrect in claiming Massachusetts wasn't preparing for war prior to that event-

"In Massachusetts, Governor Andrew, an anti-slavery leader, enthusiastic, energetic, and of great executive ability, had been for many months preparing the militia for precisely this crisis [Civil War], weeding out the holiday soldiers and thoroughly equipping his regiments for service in the field."
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/12800/12800-8.txt

"Massachusetts 6th infantry had been organized in January of 1861. They assembled and moved from Lowell to Boston,
where they were outfitted; given their charge by Governor John Andrew and set off for Washington, DC on April 17th."
http://www.mass.gov/statehouse/minutemen.htm

The 6th Massachusetts was a Volunteer organization (just like the 8800 raised in South Carolina)...not a regular militia unit (conscripts). Conscripts? Please read what Conscript means; Mass had no Conscripts in 1861, nor did any CS state though they quickly resorted to Conscription when the enthusiasm of southerners for a rich mans war & poor mans fight waned in 62.

"M.V.M."- Massachusetts Volunteer Militia
http://ehistory.osu.edu/osu/sources/recordView.cfm?Content=002/0007




Yes, the State of South Carolina -unlike Massachusetts- had an actual military threat at their front door- A fort occupied by a hostile force and several warships on their way. Governor Pickens called out the militia...and any other governor faced with a similar situation would have done the same.
Really, what other State Governor has ever even thought of an action on par w/ Pickens at Ft Sumter... oops other than other Rebelling states. The Govenor of Virginia did not call out the militia when John Brown took over Harpers Ferry; left the dirty work for the Regulars. Us Regulars who were there well prior (requested by the state govt by the way) to the creation of the CS were a foreign invasion force... please explain. Would such a definition thus also include citizens who opposed the CS... and who thus had their property seized. Nah double standards don't apply to the CS in your world. Kind of like the lack of a Secession clause in the CS Constitution...


Now how hostile were those Regulars? What hostile actions had they innitiated? Had they attacked anyone in the street? No, but they had been attacked in the street.

4 ships of the US Navy, 18 guns... only two legit warships and 200 replacement for the Fort... sorry; but that is not a serious threat to 3700 armed men in the city.
 

ole

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
34,394
Location
Near Kankakee
My compliments, Battalion. You're making an argument, providing sources, and relating the sources to your statements. I appreciate it and will be looking into your sources soon. Thank you.
Ole
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

OpnDownfall

Cadet
Joined
Aug 28, 2006
Messages
2,871
Fort Sumpter

The Governor or Mass. was 'preparing' to meet the provocations of what Southerners were 'doing'. If the South were nor Arming itself and proclaiming that it would resist all attempts to enforce Federal Law with force, then Mass. would not have felt it necessary to respond similarly.
 

trice

Lt. Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
Messages
11,918
Battalion said:
Governor Pickens on April 9th reported to the Confederate Government that he had 3700 men in actual service and had made a call for 3000 more....but the 3000 never arrived in time for the action at Sumter.

If there were any other military forces (with arms) activated in the State I've found no evidence of it.


I believe this might be the letter you are referring to. Strangely enough, the Governor's letter doesn't seem to agree with you.
=====
STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA,
Headquarters, April 9, 1861.
To the PRESIDENT OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES:
MY DEAR SIR: I send by the bearer important dispatches to the Secretary of War, and beg to call your immediate attention to them. The bearer is Colonel Hayne an aide of mine, and will return immediately to me. If you have anything particular to General Beauregard or myself, you can trust it to him, and he will bring it back immediately. Since I inclosed the dispatch to the Secretary of War Major Anderson has written a polite note to General Beauregard, requesting that the letters taken from the mail might be returned, as he had been notified that his mails would be stopped entirely. The general returned for answer that the private letters had been sent to their destination, but the official letters were sent to the Confederate Government, because rumors, well established, indicated that Mr. Fox had violated his faith to me in visiting the fort, under the guarantee of Captain Hartstene, who went with him. The pledge was that he visited Major Anderson by authority, for pacific purposes entirely. You see that the present scheme for supplying the fort is Mr. Fox's. It is thought that the attempt will be made to-night, and we have doubled our steamboats on the harbor and bar.

Since I wrote to the War Department we have increased the forces on Morris Island to two thousand one hundred men, and ten companies of fine men arrive to-night, in the next train, of eight hundred men, and two more regiments arrive to-morrow. We hope to have about six thousand men there on the harbor batteries and posts. I trust we are ready, and if they come we will give them a cordial reception, such as will ring through this country, I think. I hope we are not mistaken; but, at any rate, we will try and do our duty.

With great esteem, yours, very truly,
F. W. PICKENS.
=====

Now the Governor is saying he expects to have some 6000 men in Charleston on or about the 10th, the following day, for an expected attempt to relieve Ft. Sumter. You say he didn't. Please explain why you believe the Governor was wrong and present information to back up your claim.

BTW, are you saying that every member of the South Carolina Army was in Charleston at the time? Or do you think there might have been a few elsewhere?

Tim
 

ole

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
34,394
Location
Near Kankakee
But on of your buddies (trice) claimed South Carolina having a force of "8,000" (an exaggerated number and many without arms) was preparation for war. So how is 5,000 -ALL armed, equipped and ready to go- in Massachusetts not preparation for war?
I'd advance that Massachusetts had a very good governor -- one who anticipated the Union's call and made ready for it. How long did it take the other states to deliver prepared troops?

I don't know the number of SC troops, but the theft at the US Arsenal would have gone a long way toward arming any number -- 22,000 muskets, 3,400 rifles, 1,000 pistols and 5, 24-pound howitzers. With ammunition. If the SC troops were not armed, Governor Pickens led an incompetent administration.

A story about Pickens amused me. He had been a diplomat (Russia, I think), and had a claim for expenses or wages or both against the government -- about $3000, IIRC. So the DC administrator sent him a check to be cashed at the recently seized, and now defunct, Federal facility in Charleston.

If we're comparing preparations for war, we have Massachusetts who began preparations in early January. Do we need to list the seizures of arsenals, armories, and posts in the south? Or the duplicitous Floyd? Or Davis' call for 100,000 troops? Compared to southern preparations, Massachusetts becomes the gnat or the mote.

Ole
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

trice

Lt. Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
Messages
11,918
ole said:
I'd advance that Massachusetts had a very good governor -- one who anticipated the Union's call and made ready for it. How long did it take the other states to deliver prepared troops?

I don't know the number of SC troops, but the theft at the US Arsenal would have gone a long way toward arming any number -- 22,000 muskets, 3,400 rifles, 1,000 pistols and 5, 24-pound howitzers. With ammunition. If the SC troops were not armed, Governor Pickens led an incompetent administration.

A story about Pickens amused me. He had been a diplomat (Russia, I think), and had a claim for expenses or wages or both against the government -- about $3000, IIRC. So the DC administrator sent him a check to be cashed at the recently seized, and now defunct, Federal facility in Charleston.

If we're comparing preparations for war, we have Massachusetts who began preparations in early January. Do we need to list the seizures of arsenals, armories, and posts in the south? Or the duplicitous Floyd? Or Davis' call for 100,000 troops? Compared to southern preparations, Massachusetts becomes the gnat or the mote.

Ole
Or we could note the sudden flood of requests from state governors in the South to the War Department in November of 1860: requests to get arms quotas advanced, or to buy arms, etc. Or the sudden requests by the Tredegar Works in Richmond to purchase 50,000 percussion rifles from the Arsenal at Watervliet, and to close an open $20,000 Federal contract for casting guns before March 4, 1861. (Sec of War allowed them to buy 10,000 of the rifles; the alteration to the contract was declined.)

Virginia was also in the process of setting up the Virginia Armory in 1860. In November, S. Adams, the Virginia Master Armorer, appealed directly to Floyd for assistance because Col. Craig of Ordnance was opposed.

Right after that, just about the time South Carolina secedes, we have this little message:
=============
COMMITTEE ON MILITARY AFFAIRS AND MILITIA,
Washington, December 13, 1860.
Hon. JOHN B. FLOYD,
Secretary of War:

SIR: By a resolution of the Senate, adopted on the 11th instant, this committee is instructed to inquire whether the expenses in the military department of the Government cannot be reduced without detriment to the public service, and to report to what extent and what particular branch or branches of that service can be dispensed with or reduced. The committee desire to discharge this duty promptly and satisfactorily, and therefore request that you aid them with the views and opinions of your Department on the subjects thus referred to them.

With great respect, &c.,
JEFFERSON DAVIS,
Chairman.
==============
Pretty hard to see where the Federal government was preparing for war there. I presume many of those Senators voting for this resolution were Southerners. A skeptic might say they would not have minded hamstringing the US military as they left town to strengthen their own state's positions in the coming days.

Regards,
Tim
 

trice

Lt. Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
Messages
11,918
Battalion said:
"In Massachusetts, Governor Andrew, an anti-slavery leader, enthusiastic, energetic, and of great executive ability, had been for many months preparing the militia for precisely this crisis [Civil War], weeding out the holiday soldiers and thoroughly equipping his regiments for service in the field."
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/12800/12800-8.txt

Yes, Governor Andrew entered office on January 5, 1861. SC had already seceded at this point. Fort Sumter was already under siege in Charleston. Secretary of War Floyd had already tried to ship 124 heavy guns to places where they could be seized by Southern secessionists (this was the subject of a big scandal the week Andrew was inaugurated, Floyd having resigned and soon to be indicted by a grand jury).

Amidst all the war talk, the Southern threats and the aggressions against the United States, the Governor did write to the governors of other New England states to discuss the status of the state forces. Tha MA legislature did make an appropriation to buy knapsacks and uniforms. The state did start weeding out the unfit from the militia, and many new organizations did form in the state. The "many months" involved here are almost exactly three months -- during which time the seceding states were using armed force to take what they wished. Isn't that an accurate picture?

I also wondered about the parts that you skipped. This is the entire paragraph from which you took the sentence. As usual, I have put the parts you omitted in Blue italics.
=====
The first men to arrive came from Philadelphia, 460 troops, as they were
called, though they came "almost entirely without arms."
In
Massachusetts, Governor Andrew, an anti-slavery leader, enthusiastic,
energetic, and of great executive ability, had been for many months
preparing the militia for precisely this crisis, weeding out the holiday
soldiers and thoroughly equipping his regiments for service in the
field. For this he had been merrily ridiculed by the aristocracy of
Boston during the winter; but inexorable facts now declared for him and
against the local aristocrats. On April 15 he received the call from
Washington, and immediately sent forth his own summons through the
State. All day on the 16th, amid a fierce northeasterly storm, the
troops poured into Boston, and by six o'clock on that day three full
regiments were ready to start. Three days before this the governor
had asked Secretary Cameron for 2000 rifled muskets from the national
armory at Springfield, in the State. The secretary refused, and the
governor managed to supply his regiment with the most improved arms
without aid from the national government. On the forenoon of the 17th,
the Sixth Regiment started for Washington. Steamers were ready to take
it to Annapolis; but the secretary of war, with astonishing ignorance of
facts easily to be known, ordered it to come through Baltimore.
Accordingly the regiment reached Baltimore on the 19th, the anniversary
of the battle of Lexington. Seven companies were transported in
horse-cars from the northern to the southern station without serious
hindrance; but then the tracks of the street railway were torn up, and
the remaining four companies had to leave the cars and march. A furious
mob of "Plug Uglies" and Secessionists assailed them with paving-stones,
brickbats, and pistol-shots. The mayor and the marshal of the police
force performed fairly their official duty, but were far from quelling
the riot. The troops, therefore, thrown on their own resources,
justifiably fired upon their assailants. The result of the conflict was
that 4 soldiers were killed and 36 were wounded, and of the rioters 12
were killed, and the number of wounded could not be ascertained. The
troops reached Washington at five o'clock in the afternoon, the first
armed rescuers of the capital; their presence brought a comforting
sense of relief, and they were quartered in the senate chamber itself.
=====

Battalion said:
"Massachusetts 6th infantry had been organized in January of 1861. They assembled and moved from Lowell to Boston,
where they were outfitted; given their charge by Governor John Andrew and set off for Washington, DC on April 17th."
http://www.mass.gov/statehouse/minutemen.htm


Are you under the impression they moved to Boston in January? On January 21, the people around Lowell and Lawrence offered their services to the state as a regiment of "Volunteer Militia". They had the usual weekly meetings of militia units, but were not issued their uniforms and weapons until March. Ft. Sumter was attacked on April 12th. Lincoln issued his proclamation calling for Militia on the 15th of April; Governor Andrew called for an assembly in Boston on the following day.


Battalion said:
The 6th Massachusetts was a Volunteer organization (just like the 8800 raised in South Carolina)...not a regular militia unit (conscripts).

"M.V.M."- Massachusetts Volunteer Militia
http://ehistory.osu.edu/osu/sources/recordView.cfm?Content=002/0007
I'm not sure what you are referring to here and the link doesn't provide anything useful I can see. There was a "Massachusetts Volunteer Militia" at least as far back as 1805 and probably further; it is simply the full name used in that state. The organization changed its' name in 2006 and is now known as the Massachusetts State Guard.


The 6th Massachusetts Volunteer Militia at Baltimore was called up as 3 month Militia under Abraham Lincoln's call of April 15, 1861. They were relieved from duty on July 29 and mustered out on : August 2, 1861.

South Carolina, OTOH, officially refers to three different types of units in the days before Ft. Sumter: the Militia, the Volunteers, and Regulars. The state legislature passed specific legislation to raise the Volunteers as a separate body (on December 17, 1860, 12 month term of service) and the Regulars (January 28, 1861).


Battalion said:
Yes, the State of South Carolina -unlike Massachusetts- had an actual military threat at their front door- A fort occupied by a hostile force and several warships on their way. Governor Pickens called out the militia...and any other governor faced with a similar situation would have done the same.
See above and the separate thread I posted for you. You are simply wrong on this.

Tim
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top