Inauguration of the first President of the Southern Republic.
A correspondent of the Charleston News, writing from Montgomery
, sends that paper an interesting account of the inauguration of the first President
of the Southern Confederacy:
The whole town was in holiday attire, the stores all closed, beautiful ladies gaily attired, scores of the rougher sex — some in the shiny broadcloth of the ‘"cit"’-- others in rough, but neat country garb, with ebony faces and kinky heads without number, thronged the streets, crowded the windows and balconies of the adjacent buildings, and jostled each other in the fast-gathering crowd, vehicles of all sorts and descriptions, equestrians on high-spirited, mettlesome steeds, dashing here and there, exhibiting their grace or awkwardness as the case might be, made up a moving panorama of beauty and interest, and afforded infinite amusement to the pleased looker-on.
At 1 o'clock the line of procession was formed, first, the President
, with the Vice President
and the Chaplain
of the occasion, the Rev. Dr. Manly
, in a handsome carriage, open at the top, beautifully lined with saffron and white, richly mounted with silver, with bright crimson hangings, drawn by six spirited steeds of a light iron-grey color, lent for the occasion by the patriotic Col. Shorter
, of this place, and next the various dignitaries, military companies, and citizens, all under command of the Marshall of the day, Col. H. P. Watson
, assisted by one gentleman from each State, mounted on mettlesome chargers as assistant Marshals, with scarfs of rich white silk thrown over their shoulders, and a large colored bow binding it in the centre.
likewise bore in his hand a baton bound with red
As the procession marched to the Capitol
, the view from the second balcony was truly beautiful; the building is situated on a fine eminence and commands a view of the whole city, a fact of which I availed myself to witness one of the most brilliant scenes I ever had the good fortune to behold.
Arrived at the Capitol
, cheer after cheer rent the air, the enthusiasm was universal and unbounded, real genuine joy, not the feeble hurrah uttered by the lips, not springing from the heart, but shouts of pleasure, long and loud, hearty, soul-felt huzzas, oft repeated, with a will.
-- Men exerted their lungs and stretched their mouths to their utmost capacity, ladies waved their handkerchiefs in greeting, and illumined their lovely faces in the brightest smiles.-- Dismounting from the carriage, the President
, accompanied by the Committee of Reception, passed through the dense but respectful throng to the Hall
of the Congress
, on the arms of Messrs. Rhett
, and was introduced as follows by Mr. Rhett
: ‘"Gentlemen of the Congress
, allow me to present to you the Hon. Jefferson Davis
, who, in obedience to your choice, has come to assume the important trust you have confided to his care."’ The Hall
was then cleared of all but the members, but ?n a few moments the President
again appeared with Mr. Rhett
of the Congressional Committee, and Mr. Chilton
, of the State Committee
, on each side, next the Vice President
, with Dr. Manly
and Mr. Anderson
, of Florida
, and the rest of the Congress
by twos, with the reportorial staff in the rear.
A platform erected in front of the Capitol
was occupied by the Congress
, with several distinguished ladies, who graced the stage with their presence, while a raised rostrum, from which the President
delivered his address, allowed the eager multitude both to see and hear him. On the table by his side was a large, beautiful bound Bible, almost concealed among the flowery offerings presented by his fair admirers.
A magnificent wreath of tri-colored flowers (red
, and blue
) reflected great credit upon both the skill and taste of the gentle donor, whose name I failed to hear.
After the tumultuous shouts of greeting had been stilled, Mr. Cobb
came forward and spoke as follows:
"We have assembled to inaugurate the President
of the Confederate States of America
The inauguration will commence with prayer by the Rev. Dr. Manly
At the conclusion of the prayer of the Doctor
, the President
was introduced by Mr. Cobb
in these words: ‘"Gentlemen of Congress, allow me to announce the presence of the President
, Jefferson Davis
, who comes to respond to your call to the Presidency of the Confederate States of America
then came forward amid the cheers of the audience, and delivered his inaugural.
The short time allowed for preparation, and consequent inability to memorize it, caused Mr. Davis
to read the address, a fact much to be regretted, as he is one of the most accomplished finished orators in the country.
The loud, clear tones of his rich deep voice, however, were distinctly heard at the extreme limits of the immense throng, whose frequent and hearty applause evidenced that the words of the speaker found a responsive echo in their hearts.
administered the oath of office prescribed by Congress, which Mr. Davis
responded to in the words, ‘"So help me God,"’
uttered in a most solemn and impressive tone, with his right hand exalted; then kissing the sacred volume, the ceremony was concluded.
Loud and prolonged cries for Stephens
were given, to the evident anger and annoyance of that gentleman, but the commanding call of Mr. Cobb
, "Music!" "Music!" caused the crowd to realize the impropriety of their conduct.
By request of the President
, Mr. Cobb
stated that to-night, at 8 o'clock, he would hold a levee at Estell Hall, the first of the Presidential receptions.
The Congress then returned to their Chamber, the crowd dispersed, the bands struck up their liveliest airs, the soldiers marched to camp, and with smiles wreathing every face, joy thrilling every heart, patriotism firing every breast, the inauguration of the first President
of the Confederate States
had nothing of mishap to mar it, everything of rejoicing to gladden it.