Timeline of Events

January 10, 1861
The Charleston Mercury

When Major ANDERSON spiked the guns of Fort Moultrie, and transferred his command to Fort Sumter, he perpetrated hostile acts against this State. They clearly looked to a bitter instrumentality to coerce South Carolina by military power. The President of the United States understood this when he agree with the South Carolina members of Congress not to change his military status in the bay of Charleston, upon the condition that we would not attack the forts. He knew perfectly well that if South Carolina had a right to secede from the Union, she had a right to have the forts in our harbor delivered up to her. These forts were built on her soil, for her defence against foreign nations. The obligation on the part of the Government of the United States to defend the State of South Carolina by these forts, fell with the secession of the State. Having no duty to discharge with them, their continued possession by the Federal authorities could only be construed into an attitude of hostility. They were held for purposes of violence and war. To put the State entirely right, in the course she was obliged to pursue, consistent with her right and sovereignty, South Carolina sent Commissioners to treat for the peaceable surrender of these forts. A hostile change is made in the military relations of the Government of the United States towards South Carolina, in the bay of Charleston, by which the control of our waters is effected. Any military position, looking to violence, is war. Two friendly nations have a pass between them. They quarrel, and one of them seized the pass. This is an act of war. But if the pass is within the territory of the nation agressed on, no civilian could doubt that it is war commenced. South Carolina would have been justified, immediately on Fort Sumter being seized by Major ANDERSON, in opening a fire upon this fort from every point in the bay of Charleston. But the State authorities forbore - unwilling to commence the conflict with the Government of the United States. Not content, however, with holding the Fort, the Government of the United States determined to make efficient the military command of our waters, and sends additional troops to work its guns against the State. Whether coming by land or water, there was but one course left for the State to pursue, consistent with her sovereignty or the welfare of her people, and that was, to prevent those troops reaching the fort. Accordingly, orders were given to the officers in command of the other stations in the bay of Charleston to arrest or sink any vessel carrying United States troops to Fort Sumter. Yesterday morning a steamer, supposed to be the Star of the West, attempted to enter the harbor. A gun was fired across her bows from the battery on Morris' Island. She went on without regarding it, and then she was fired into with such effect that she turned back and went to sea.

All revolutions are blunders. They are never intended. The huge blunder now marring the counsels of the Government of the United States seems to be, that the Union can be maintained by violence and war, and that South Carolina can be cowed by demonstration of military coercion. That the Black Republicans should commit such blunders is not surprising; for they have their existence as a party to support, and a rancorous sectional hatred to gratify; but that the present Administration should further their policy, and begin the grand drama of war and blood, is not a little astonishing. Every step taken in this direction only widens the gulf between the Northern and Southern States, and drives the Southern States more speedily together into a Southern Confederacy. That military fools, like General SCOTT, who think the highest wisdom consists in the bloodiest fighting, should counsel the military possession of the bay of Charleston by the Government of the United States, is what might be expected. Thousands, and tens of thousands, longing for a Southern Confederacy, with an eternal separation from the people of the North, will hail him as their detested but most efficient deliverer. By all means, lest Charleston be blockaded. Let the war complicate the nations of Europe, as well as the United States. Of one thing there need be no further blunders. The people of South Carolina will fight, and will establish the Southern Confederacy.

January 10, 1861
The Charleston Mercury
The Ninth of January, 1861.

Great Events crowd rapidly one upon another. Three short weeks ago, and the greatest event of the century upon the Western Hemisphere was transacted in Charleston. The Union of the States of North America, was dissolved by the action of the State of South Carolina.

It appears to be a decree of history that upon all great revolutions or changes of the Government of a people, the red seal of blood must be set. Yesterday, the 9th of January, will be memorable to history. Powder has been burnt over the decree of our State, timber has been crushed, perhaps blood spilled. South Carolina will maintain her liberties and her independence whilst there is 'a single shot in her lockers.' Blind infatuation is driving our enemies forward, and stroke by stroke the liberties of the South are being welded and cemented together.

The expulsion of the steamer Star of the West from the Charleston harbor, yesterday morning was the opening of the hall of the Revolution. We are proud that our harbor has been so honored. We are more proud that the State of South Carolina, so long, so bitterly, so contemptuously revilled and scoffed at, above all others, should this proudly have thrown back the scoff of her enemies. Entrenched upon her soil, she has spoken from the mouth of her cannon, and not from the mouths of scurrilous demagogues, fanatics and scribblers. Condemned, the sanctity of her waters violated with the hostile purpose of reinforcing enemies in our harbor, she has not hesitated to strike the first blow, full in the face of her insulter. Let the United States Government bear, or return at their good will, the blow still tingling about her ears - the fruit of her own bandit temerity. We would not exchange or recall that blow for millions! It has wiped out a half century of scorn and outrage. Again South Carolina may be proud of her historic fame and ancestry, without a blush upon her cheek for her own present honor. The haughty echo of her cannon has ere this reverberated from Maine to Texas, through every hamlet of the North, and down along the great waters of the Southwest. The decree has gone forth. Upon every acre of the peaceful soil of the South armed men will spring up, as the sound breaks upon their ears; and it will be found that every word of our insolent foes has indeed been a dragon's tooth sown for their destruction. And though grisly and traitorous ruffians may cry on the dogs of war, and treacherous politicians may lend their aid in deceptions, South Carolina will stand under her own Palmetto tree, unterrified by the snarling growls or assaults of the one, undeceived or deterred by the wily machinations of the other. And if that red seal of blood be still lacking to the parchment of our liberties, and blood they want - blood they shall have - and blood enough to stamp it all in red. For, by the God of our Fathers, the soil of South Carolina SHALL BE FREE!

REF: The Chicago Mercury 10 JAN 1861.

The Civil War in South Carolina