XXX. progress of Secession.
- Shameful surrender of the Norfolk Navy Yard -- Secession of Virginia -- Tennessee -- North Carolina -- Arkansas -- Missouri -- Blair and Lyon rally a Union force at St. Louis -- Kentucky.
the Convention of Virginia, whereof a great majority had been elected as Unionists, was, nevertheless, bullied, as we have seen, at the hight of the Southern frenzy which followed the reduction of Fort Sumter, into voting their State out of the Union.1 In order to achieve this end, it was found necessary to consent to a submission of the ordinance to a popular vote; and the 23d of May was appointed for the election. But, in utter mockery of this concession, the conspirators proceeded forthwith to act upon the assumption that the vote of the Convention was conclusive, and the State already definitively and absolutely out of the Union. Within twenty-four hours after the vote of the Convention to secede, and while that vote was still covered by an injunction of secrecy, they had set on foot expeditions for the capture of the Federal Arsenal, arms and munitions, at Harper's Ferry, as also for that of the Norfolk Navy Yard. So early as the night of the 16th, the channel of Elizabeth River, leading up from Hampton Roads to Norfolk, was partially obstructed in their interest by sinking two small vessels therein, with intent to preclude the passage, either way, of Federal ships of war. The number appears to have been increased during the following nights; while a hastily collected military force, under Gen. Taliaferro--a Virginia brigadier who reached Norfolk from Richmond on the 18th--was reported to be preparing to seize the Navy Yard and Federal vessels during the night of Saturday, the 20th. The Southern officers of the Yard, having done the cause of the Union all the harm they could do under the mask of loyalty, resigned and disappeared in the course of that day. The Navy Yard was in charge of Capt. McCauley, a loyal2 officer, but a good deal past the prime of life. A young Decatur or Paul Jones would have easily held it a week against all the Virginian Militia that could have been brought within range of its guns, and would never have dreamed of abandoning it while his cartridges held out. No man fit to command a sloop of war would have thought of skulking away from a possession so precious and important, until he had, at least, seen the whites of an enemy's eyes. For here were the powerful forty-gun steam frigate Merrimac, richly worth a million dollars even in time of peace, with the Cumberland, the Germantown, the Plymouth, the Raritan, the Columbia, and the Dolphin, beside the huge old three-decker Pennsylvania, the dismantled seventy-fours Delaware and Columbus, with nearly two thousand3 cannon, some thousand