Saturday, January 19, 1861
The Georgia Secession Convention had been meeting in Milledgeville for three days now. Every county in the state was well represented at the convention, which was called to order by George Crawford, former Governor and Secretary of War under Taylor.
On this day, the Convention voted to leave the Union with 208 votes for leaving with 89 in favor of staying. It was declared “that the Union now subsisting between the State of Georgia and other States, under the name of the ‘United States of America,’ is hereby dissolved, and that the State of Georgia is in the full possession and exercise of all those rights of sovereignty which belong and appertain to a free and independent State.”
The State of Georgia was now The Republic of Georgia.1
That night, the flag of independence waved from the Capitol building as cannons fired and the people of the city rejoiced.
The seceded states now numbered in five: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama and now Georgia, making a nice bloc of rebellious states ready to be unified.
Slemmer Gets Snarky
Back at Fort Pickens in Pensacola, Lt. A.J. Slemmer, was preparing to reply to Col. Chase’s request for the surrender of the fort to the State of Florida.
Chase had asked him this several times and each time he was denied. The last denial came just three days before. Persistent, on the 18th, Chase asked again and again Slemmer replied, though this time with a bit of snark.
“In reply to your communication of yesterday I have the honor to state that as yet I know of no reason why my answer to your communication of the 16th should be changed, and I therefore very respectfully refer you to that reply for the answer to this.”
This message got through to Chase and he did not inquire again.2
- Country Life in Georgia In the Days of My Youth by Rebecca Latimer Felton, 1919. – This seems like an odd choice for such a thing, but it was the first book that I came across and turns out to be quite interesting. [↩]
- Congressional Serial Set, Issue 3112 by United States Government Printing Office, 1893. [↩]