Life and Public Services of Edwin M. Stanton - Vol. 1

By George C. Gorham | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XV

The Southern Forts. -- Resignation of Cass, Secretary of State. -- Secession Pronunciamento at Washington. -- Secession of South Carolina. -- Demand for Surrender of Fort Sumter.

THE secessionists had been the backbone of the support of Buchanan's administration. He wanted them to be satisfied; but he greatly preferred that they should consent to remain in the 'Union if allowed to rule it, than to go out and dissolve it. It cannot be doubted that he had a strong desire to preserve the Union intact, and to transfer his official trust unimpaired to his constitutional successor. All that was in his nature to do to that end he did. He dreaded a collision during his term, and in seeking to avoid it, gave assurances to the South Carolina representatives which seriously compromised him, and which, if adhered to, would have resulted in the unresisted seizure of all the Southern forts, including Fort Sumter, and would have saved the insurgents from the fatal disadvantage of being compelled to fire the first shot of the civil war.

When it became apparent that the South Carolina convention, which was to assemble December 17, would adopt an ordinance of secession, it became equally apparent that this act would be an absurd nullity unless the federal government could either be at once persuaded to abdicate its authority within that State, or be

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Life and Public Services of Edwin M. Stanton - Vol. 1
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Preface iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Illustrations *
  • Life of Edwin M. Stanton 1
  • Part II - The Secession Winter. -- Stanton in Buch­ Anan's Cabinet 81
  • Chapter XII 81
  • Chapter XIII 94
  • Chapter XIV 106
  • Chapter XV 111
  • Chapter XVI 121
  • Chapter XVII 127
  • Chapter XVIII 131
  • Chapter XIX 142
  • Chapter XX 149
  • Chapter XXI 160
  • Chapter XXII 165
  • Chapter XXIII 176
  • Chapter XXIV 187
  • Part III - Stanton's Discontent. -- Opening of the Rebellion 191
  • Chapter XXV 191
  • Chapter XXVI 197
  • Chapter XXVII 208
  • Chapter XXVIII 212
  • Chapter XXIX 219
  • Chapter XXX 226
  • Part IV - Stanton as Secretary of War 238
  • Chapter XXXI 238
  • Chapter XXXII 246
  • Chapter XXXIII 250
  • Chapter XXXIV 255
  • Chapter XXXV 258
  • Chapter XXXVI 262
  • Chapter XXXVII 268
  • Chapter XXXVIII 277
  • Chapter Xxxix 283
  • Chapter XL 288
  • Chapter XLI - The Capture of Memphis. 297
  • Chapter XLII 300
  • Chapter XLIII 313
  • Chapter XLIV 321
  • Part V - Mcclellan's Peninsular Campaign and His Preliminary Movements 326
  • Chapter XLV 326
  • Chapter XLVI 336
  • Chapter XLVII 345
  • Chapter XLVIII 350
  • Chapter Xlix 360
  • Chapter L 366
  • Chapter LI 376
  • Chapter LII 381
  • Chapter LIII 391
  • Chapter Liv 398
  • Chapter LV 403
  • Chapter LVI 414
  • Chapter LVII 425
  • Chapter LIX 440
  • Chapter LX - The Seven Days' Battles. 447
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