The Ball Rolls On

Friday, November 16, 1860

The Charleston Mercury reported under its headline “The Ball Rolls On” that The Clinch Rifles, a volunteer militia from Augusta, Georgia telegraphed the Washington Light Infantry (militia from Charleston), “We are ready to go with you.” Also, the Minute Men of Norfolk, Virginia had requested the pattern of a Palmetto Flag so that they themselves could fly it and to inform that 300 men are ready to move in defense of “any state that the Federal government may attempt to coerce into submission.”

The governor of Alabama, Andrew B. Moore, had decided to issue his proclamation urging the people of his state to prepare for secession from the Union. This proclamation for a convention would formally be released on December 6th, with the delegates to the convention to be elected on the 24th, Christmas Eve. The convention itself would take place on January 7th.

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Several days prior, the editor of the Missouri Republican (a St. Louis paper), wrote to Abraham Lincoln, telling him that he should make a public statement that may favorably affect the mood throughout the South. Lincoln, who had said very little since winning the election, replied: “I could say nothing which I have not already said, and which is in print, and accessible to the public.”

After chastising newspapers like this for persistently garbling and misrepresenting his words, he closed, “I am not at liberty to shift my ground–that is out of the question. If I thought a repetition would do any good, I would make it. But in my judgment it would do positive harm. The secessionists per se, believing they had alarmed me, would clamor all the louder.”1



  1. Letter from Abraham Lincoln to Nathaniel P. Paschall, November 16, 1860. []

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