Letter of January 21, 1861, from E. J. Blackshear to Mrs. Pittman (Page 4 of 4)

Series: N2005-0, Box 11, Folder 5.

Lincoln Letters

Lincoln Letters

Letter of January 21, 1861, from E. J. Blackshear to Mrs. Pittman

Page 4

enough to satisfy me of this. Major Anderson will be with us I have no doubt, tho he is now in one of the United States forts, and all the Southern officers on land and sea will join the Southern Standard. [3]

22nd. The papers came and I had to see the news. Georgia has seceded by 208 against 89 or by 119 majority. There is now only one point to be settled immediately to prevent hostilities, and I do not know how that will be disposed of. A peaceful separation is not so hopeful as it was last week. S. Carolina says Major Anderson must be withdrawn from Ft. Sumpter. Mr. Buchanan says he will not withdraw him, but orders Major A. to act only on the defensive, if attacked, to defend the fort with all the means at command. Carolina will not attack as long as she can honorably avoid it, and by this means, time may solve the difficulty in a peaceable way. It is thought that Major Anderson will only make a show of resistance, if attacked. The papers report him as saying that if Carolina fires upon Ft. Sumpter he hopes the first ball will penetrate hisheart (his love for the South wrestling with his duty as an officer of the Federal Government). Such cases as this are painful, but who can dally now where our enemies are menacing us with a long promised subjugation to abolition rule!!

I say again there will not be much war! I am pained to hear that any “whig” (as you call them) withholds his support to the great event of this century. The Bell and Everett men here are generally seceders and I can barely find patience to read the “Enterprise” which now after Florida has seceded, still goes on discussing all the darkest features of the consequences, thereby giving comfort to our enemies and dispiriting our friends. Who cares what France says? [The next two sentences are illegible.] Why can’t some men find out that they don’t know everything! Men who have battled for the Union in all honorable ways, will very soon yield to the voice of the majority and defend their country, and I would risk my hat that Mr. Myrick and Mr. Jas. Baker will soon be foremost in the cause of the South. They are constitutionally men for the times in resisting oppression and injustice from our fanatical foes. I thank you for paying my tax. It was higher than it would have been here. We are all well, my love to all. [4]

Affectionately Yours,

E. J. Blackshear

 

Footnotes

[3] Major Robert Anderson commanded the federal garrison at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. Anderson was a Kentuckian who favored slavery but remained loyal to the Union. His refusal to turn over control of Fort Sumter to South Carolina led to the Confederate attack on the fort that began the Civil War on April 12, 1861.

[4] The “Enterprise” may be the Thomasville Southern Enterprise, a newspaper from Thomasville, Georgia. Myrick and Baker are most likely John T. Myrick and James Lawrence George Baker of Marianna, Florida. Baker was a delegate from Jackson County to Florida’s secession convention who voted against secession, while Myrick was suspected of Unionist sympathies during the war.