previous next
[68] blinding smoke, with no hope from friends, the gallant garrison could ask only the mercy of the foes, and it was given willingly—the soldier's privilege of saluting his colors and marching out with the honors of war.

And then the North awoke in earnest. In one day the streets of New York city, all seeming apathy the day before, blazed with a sudden burst of color. The Stars and Stripes were flung to the breeze from every staff and halyard; the hues of the Union flamed on every breast. The transformation was a marvel. There was but one topic on every tongue, but one thought in every heart: The flag had been downed in Charleston Harbor, the long-threatened secession had begun, the very Capitol at Washington was endangered, the President at last had spoken, in a demand for seventy-five thousand men.

It was the first call of many to follow—calls that eventually drew 2,300,000 men into the armies of the Union, but the first was the most thrilling of all, and nowhere was its effect so wonderful as in the city of New York.

Not until aroused by the echo of the guns at Sumter could or would the people believe the South in deadly earnest. The press and the prophets had not half prepared them. Southern sympathizers had been numerous and aggressive, and when the very heads of the Government at Washington were unresentful of repeated violation of Federal rights and authority, what could be expected of a people reared only in the paths of peace? The military spirit had long been dominant in the South and correspondingly dormant in the North. The South was full of men accustomed to the saddle and the use of arms; the North had but a handful. The South had many soldier schools; the North, outside of West Point, had but one worthy the name. Even as late as the winter of 1860 and 1861, young men in New York, taking counsel of far-seeing elders and assembling for drill, were rebuked by visiting pedagogues who bade them waste no time in ‘silly vanities.’

‘The days of barbaric battle are dead,’ said they. ‘The ’

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1861 AD (1)
1860 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: