, on the 14th of November, 1860, will be read as a clear exposition of the actual political differences that were magnified by demagogues into what were urged as monstrous wrongs, and abuses that war only could terminate.
After the election of Mr. Lincoln
, Mr. Buchanan
, in his last message to Congress, favored, as far as he could, the attempted separation of the States, by denying ‘the right of coercion’ to the general Government.
During the remainder of his administration the heads of the Departments generally so disposed the officers, war material, and the naval vessels in commission, as to best serve the Confederates
when hostilities became an actuality.
The unhappy days rolled on, and at length Mr. Lincoln
State after State passed acts of secession, and others that were actually prepared to follow, cried ‘no coercion’ or, ‘neutrality’ as the price of remaining in the Union
At Cummings Point
, the nearest land to Fort Sumter
at the entrance to Charleston harbor
, a battery had been erected during February and March, for the avowed purpose of reducing that work.
When the attack was made, or rather after Fort Sumter
had fallen, on the 13th of April, 1861, the President
called on the different States to furnish 75,000 men for a period of three months. This was met by scorn and derision in all the bordering slave States, and Virginia
at once passed her act of secession.
Then it was, that the mask that had not concealed, and yet had been respected by the general Government, was thrown off by the conspirators.
A prominent Navy officer then on duty at Washington
said to those under him, even before this event, ‘The Government is virtually dissolved; there is the semblance of one, nothing more.
Disorder reigns everywhere, ’