Timeline of Events

December 31, 1860
The Charleston Mercury
The Progress of Secession.

The last week has been full of stirring incidents in the progress of that great movement, which is now working out the deliverance and liberty of the South. Our Commissioners have appeared in Washington. The Custom House, the United States Arsenal, Fort Moultrie and Castle Pinckney are in our possession. On Morris' Island, and on Sullivan's Island, our engineers are busy throwing up earth works, with a view to the Harbor and Fort Sumter. The sudden abandonment of Fort Moultrie by the United States troops, and the occupation by them of Fort Sumter, has filled our people with military enthusiasm. The threatening aspect of the Black Republican party - the resignation of his office by the Secretary of War in Washington, and the confusion and excitement which bankruptcy of the Government and the conflict between the two sections of the Union occasion at the Federal Metropolis, augers well for our cause. The Government stands paralyzed. If it dares to send the Federal troops, now in Fortress Monroe, or the Norfolk Navy Yard, to Charleston, Virginia will rise up and seize the fortresses of the United States within her territory; and before this week is out, every military post on Southern ground will be in possession of the State authorities of the Southern States. They will all see that the issue of force is made by the Federal Government; and that the fate of our Southern State must be the fate of all. The coercive power of the Federal Government, so long vaunted as adequate to suppress the secession of a State, is rapidly proving itself to be, what it has long been supposed and said to be - a wretched humbug - a scarecrow - a dirty bundle of red rags and old clothes. We said it ten years ago, and again a few months since, that secession could not and would not be put down by the Federal Government. Even General JACKSON, in all the plenitude of his popularity, felt the inadequacy of military force to perpetuate the Union; and whilst putting forth his Proclamation and Force Bill with one hand, he was under great apprehension and most busy with the other hand in getting up a Tariff in the House of Representatives, which he afterwards said was far better for the South in its concessions, than the Compromise Tariff of 1833, made by Mr. CLAY. That still greater humbug, of the eighteen millions of freemen, north of the Ohio and MASON and DIXON'S line, who are to rush down upon the South in true Tartarie style, is also rapidly changing its frowns into grimace. Before long, we fear, we will be the tender object of their distorted smiles and grim affections; and by the aid of our frontier Southern States, they will put forth their meek endeavors to win us back to their paternal embraces.

The interest in the proceedings of South Carolina in the great drama of secession, will probably end with this week. Other actors are coming upon the stage. Other States will secede from the Union. Other ports are to be blockaded; other forts are to turn their guns upon the people, or be seized. The spirit of the South is rising to meet the great emergency her safety and honor requires; and as State after State withdraws from the Union, the fixed attention which our little State drew upon herself will be turned to the grand aggregation of free and independent Southern States seeking, in a common assemblage, those new means of preserving their liberties and institutions which their separate organization renders necessary. South Carolina will lose her attractions with the return of the garrison from Fort Sumter to Fort Moultrie, and the quiet triumph of her secession, in the control of her destinies, will be a thing of course.

REF: The Charleston Mercury 30 DEC 1860.

The Civil War in South Carolina