The Surrender of
Fort Sumter – Great Rejoicing among the People – Unparalleled Excitement.
– The interest of our citizens in the exciting events lately occurring in the
neighborhood of Charleston, South Carolina, always intense, as manifested by the
crowds that have thronged around the bulletin boards of the different newspapers
during the past week, culminated on Saturday evening on the reception of the
news of the surrender of Fort Sumter, in one of the wildest, most enthusiastic
and irrepressible expressions of heartfelt and exuberant joy on the part of the
people generally, that we have ever known to be the case before in Richmond.
Nothing else was talked of, or thought of, save the great triumph achieved by
the heroic troops of the glorious Southern Confederacy in obliterating one of
the Illinois ape’s standing menaces against the assertion of Southern rights
and equality. – So far as the opinion of the people is concerned, it would
have been more to the old rail-splitter’s credit had he ordered Anderson to
leave Fort Sumter, as an untenable and undesirable place, than to attempt, as he
and his coadjutors did, to make the undoubtably gallant Major did the scapegoat
of his insidious and damnable views. We repeat, that had wise counsels
prevailed, the old ape would have had all the credit between a graceful leave
taking and an ignominious expulsion at the cannon’s mouth.
As soon as the news was
ascertained to be undoubtedly true, crowds of citizens assembled on the
different street corners, and by sundown the advocates of Southern rights had
resolved to celebrate the momentous event by an appropriate salute of cannon.
The services of the Fayette Artillery were procured, and amid the shouts of
several thousand people, ladies and gentlemen included, one hundred rounds were
fired with a will, judging from the regularity of the discharges and their
loudness. Afterwards, the cannon were discharged in battery of the whole,
producing a grand climax to the noise of the single guns.
hundred persons were congregated on the Square, and patriotic and soul-stirring
addresses were delivered by Messrs. J. B. Sheffey, W. M. Ambler, C. Irving, Jno.
M. Patton, Jr., G. L. Gordon, and B. R. Wellford, Jr. The reception accorded to
the speakers was but the echo of that sentiment of loyalty to section, which is
the distinguishing characteristic of the true Southron everywhere, under all
circumstances, in evil as well as good report.
A resolution offered by
Capt. Patton, as follows:
Resolved: That we
rejoice with high, exultant, heartfelt joy at the triumph of the Southern
Confederacy over the armed Government at Washington, in the capture of Fort
Sumter, was responded to by one mighty aye.
An entrance was
effected into the Capitol, and several impulsive gentlemen making their way to
the top of the structure, soon had the glorious emblem of Southern independence
waving in the breeze. We understand, though he will not vouch for the truth of
the assertion, that it was afterwards taken down by Gov. Letcher’s order.
During Saturday evening
the raising of a Southern Confederacy flag at the Tredegar Iron Works was made
the occasion of a pleasant re-union of many friends of the Southern cause. The
flag was saluted with seven guns, and one big one was fired in honor of
Virginia, in hopes that her representatives will soon do their duty. Speeches,
sparkling with talent and wit, and all aglow with the instincts of true
patriotism, were delivered by John Randolph Tucker, Attorney General, and L. S.
Hall, Esq., the able delegate of Wetzel county in the State Convention. These
gentlemen urged immediate secession, and they had in their hearers an
Saturday night the
offices of the Dispatch, Enquirer and Examiner, the banking
house of Enders, Sutton & Co., the Edgmont House, and sundry other public
and private places, testified to the general joy by brilliant illuminations.
Hardly less than ten
thousand persons were on Main street, between 8th and 14th,
at one time. Speeches were delivered at the Spotswood House, at the Dispatch
corner, in front of the Enquirer office, at the Exchange Hotel, and other
places. Bonfires were lighted at nearly every corner of every principal street
in the city, and the light of beacon fires could be seen burning on Union and
Church Hills. The effect of the illumination was grand and imposing. The triumph
of truth and justice over wrong and attempted insult was never more heartily
appreciated by a spontaneous uprising of the people. Soon the Southern wind will
sweep away with the resistless force of a tornado, all vestige of sympathy or
desire of co-operation with a tyrant who, under false pretenses, in the name of
a once glorious, but now broken and destroyed Union, attempts to rivet on us the
chains of a despicable and ignoble vassalage. Virginia is moving.
To-night, in order to
give further expression to the general joy, there will be a grand torchlight
procession. Parties desiring to unite therein are requested to meet at the City
Hall, at 8½ o’clock, with their transparencies. The line of march will be
headed by Smith’s First Regiment Band and will move up Broad to 1st
street, cross to Franklin, down Franklin to 5th street, cross to Main
street, down Main to 17th street, and up Franklin to the Exchange
Hotel. Let all turn out, and a glorious time may be expected.
In connection with the
above we may remark that Hons. Wm. Ballard Preston, Alex. H. H. Stuart and Geo.
W. Randolph, who were appointed Commissioners by the State Convention to visit
Lincoln and ascertain his intentions towards the seceded States, returned on
Saturday from Washington. His reply leaves no doubt of his intention to attempt
the subjugation of all the States who may oppose his Government. The
Commissioners are said to be disgusted with the arrogance of the Babboon of
Just as the cannon were
being fired on the Southern plateau of the Square, the sound of martial music
was heard, and shortly thereafter a large body of men, headed by Smith’s Band,
made their appearance at the Western gate, and crossing the Square entered that
leading to the residence of Gov. Letcher. In front of the Gubernatorial mansion
the crowd halted, when the band proceeded to play the Marseilles Hymn and Dixie,
after which loud calls were made for the Governor, who, after a time, appeared
at the door, looking as if he did not know exactly whether to regard the call a
complimentary one, or something its exact reverse.
The Governor said, in
substance, that any citizen must appreciate the compliment bestowed upon him,
but he must acknowledge that he did not understand the character of the present
demonstration, as he had received no previous intimation of it. Having said
this, he thought he had gone about far enough, but he would add, that whenever
the rights or honor of Virginia were assailed he would be found ready to defend
them, cost what it might. He bowed and withdrew.