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Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 1., Chapter 16: Secession of Virginia and North Carolina declared.--seizure of Harper's Ferry and Gosport Navy Yard.--the first troops in Washington for its defense. (search)
He well knew that his words would be received as expressions of the views of the usurpers at Richmond, and that thousands of citizens would thereby be kept from the polls, for in Virginia the votes were given openly, and not by secret ballot, as in other States. Mason's infamous suggestion was followed by coincident action. Troops had been for some time pouring into Virginia from the more Southern States, and the vote on the Ordinance of Secession was taken toward the close of May, May 23, 1861. in the midst of bayonets thirsting for the blood of Union men. Terror was then reigning all over Eastern Virginia. Unionists were hunted like wild beasts, and compelled to fly from their State to save their lives; and by these means the conspirators were enabled to report a vote of one hundred and twenty-five thousand nine hundred and fifty for secession, and only twenty thousand three hundred and seventy-three against it. This did not include the vote in Northwestern Virginia, where th
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 1., Chapter 18: the Capital secured.--Maryland secessionists Subdued.--contributions by the people. (search)
and there for months, Government bakeries at the Capitol. smoke poured forth in dense black columns like the issues of a smoldering volcano Before the summer had begun Washington City was an immense garrisoned town, and strong fortifications were rapidly growing upon the hills around it. And yet the conspirators still dreamed of possessing it. Two days after their Convention at Montgomery adjourned to meet in Richmond on the 20th of July, Alexander H. Stephens, in a speech at Atlanta, May 23, 1861. in Georgia, after referring to the occupation of the National edifices at Washington by the soldiery, said:--Their filthy spoliation of the public buildings and the works of art at the Capitol, and their preparations to destroy them, are strong evidences to my mind that they do not intend to hold or defend that place, but to abandon it, after having despoiled and laid it in ruins. Let them destroy it, savage-like, if they will. We will rebuild it. We will make the structures more glori
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 1., Chapter 20: commencement of civil War. (search)
ought to say a word, said the President when he observed the incident, but it has occurred to me that a few weeks ago the Stars and Stripes hung rather languidly about the staff, all over the nation. So too with this flag, when it was elevated to its place. At first it hung rather languidly, but the glorious breeze from the North came, and it now floats as it should. And we hope that the same breeze is swelling the glorious flag throughout the whole Union. Orders were at once issued May 23, 1861. for the occupation of the shores of the Potomac opposite, and also the city of Alexandria, nine miles below, by National troops. General Mansfield was in command of about thirteen thousand men at the Capital. Toward midnight, these forces in and around Washington were put in motion for the passage of the river, at three different points. One column was to cross at the Aqueduct Bridge, at Georgetown; another at the Long Bridge, at Washington; and a third was to proceed in vessels, and
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 1., Chapter 22: the War on the Potomac and in Western Virginia. (search)
auley River, and co-operate with Garnett; and every measure within the means of the Confederates was used for the purpose of checking the advance of McClellan's forces, and preventing their junction with those of Patterson in the Shenandoah Valley. General McClellan took command of his troops in person, at Grafton, on the 23d of June, and on that day he issued a proclamation to the inhabitants of Western Virginia, similar in tenor to the one sent forth from Cincinnati a month earlier. May 23, 1861. He severely condemned the guerrilla warfare in which the insurgents were engaged, and threatened the offenders with punishment, according to the severest rules of military law. He also told the disloyal people of that section that all who should be found acting in hostility to the Government, either by bearing arms or in giving aid and comfort to its enemies, should be arrested. To his soldiers he issued an address two days afterward, reminding them that they were in the country of fri