arrived in Charleston
on the 1st of March, 1861, and immediately repaired to Governor Pickens
's headquarters, which were then established at the Charleston Hotel
. Governor Pickens
was found in earnest consultation with eminent citizens of the Palmetto State
A hearty welcome was extended to the Confederate
commander, whose arrival from Montgomery
had been announced in advance of time, and was anxiously awaited by all.
proposed to put General Beauregard
in command without delay, but his offer was declined; General Beauregard
preferring first to acquaint himself thoroughly with the forces collected in and around Charleston
, the sites of the various batteries then in course of erection, and the available resources in ordnance.
A retrospective glance over the causes which induced the course adopted by South Carolina
and the Southern States
, and a cursory sketch of the condition of the public mind at that juncture, cannot fail to be of interest to the reader.
The State of South Carolina
was the first to dissever the ties that bound her to the Union
She was actuated, in so doing, not by motives of profit, of ambition, or love of strife, but by principle, and a sense of right to control her own destiny, and escape the ruin she foresaw in falling under the rule of a hostile sectional party, regardless of the limitations of the Constitution
, which alone gave security to the minority in the South
Time and again had the South
, in a spirit of unwise conciliation, yielded to unconstitutional encroachments, knowing them to be such, but with no better result than to increase this aggression upon her rights.
The bond of union—namely, the Constitution
—was virtually broken.
The antagonistic relations of the two sections had culminated in the election of a President believed to be unfriendly to the States of the South
It was thought that, as a speedy sequel, the South
would be excluded from the common territory; that the guarantees of the Constitution
would no longer-exist; that the Southern States
would lose the power of self-government, and Federal authority predominate over all.
To have acquiesced passively in such a new order of things, whereby the Government
of the United States
was no longer the government of confederated republics, but of a consolidated Democracy,