previous next
[25]

General Beauregard 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.

Governor Pickens 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,

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)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
South Carolina (South Carolina, United States) (2)
United States (United States) (1)
Montgomery (Alabama, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
F. W. Pickens (3)
Peter G. T. Beauregard (3)
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.
March 1st, 1861 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: