This Day in Georgia Civil War History
November 22, 1860
Newspaper Reports on Secession Movement
The Richmond Times Dispatch, a newspaper from Richmond, Virginia, reported on the secession movement amongst the various southern states, including this report from Georgia:
Georgia. Gov. Brown; of Ga, has issued his proclamation setting a part Wednesday, the 28th of November, to be observed as a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer, and invoking the people of the State to meet at their respective places of worship, and unite in humble prayer to Almighty God for wisdom and strength to meet the crisis through which we are called to pass. On Saturday afternoon, at Savannah, an immense crowd of citizens assembled in Reynolds’ Square, and in the vicinity of the Armory of the Republican Blues, to witness the raising the Colonial flag by that gallant corps Upon the flag-staff, a flag with the national stripes, but with only fifteen stars, had been flying during the afternoon. Underneath this a horizontal staff, extending over the pavement, had been rigged to receive the new flag, which at a given signal was thrown to the breeze, amid the shouts and cheers of the spectators. A salute of fifteen guns was fired by a detachment of the Chatham Artillery. The banner, which measures 14 by 8 feet, bears on one side a single star, with the words “State Action.” On the other side is represented a live oak tree, with the rattlesnake and the motto “Don’t Tread on Me.” At the top the words “Republican Blues.” The flag is handsomely painted by Mr. Thos. W. Shea. of Savannah. The steamship Augusta, from Savannah, arrived at New York, Tuesday morning, and carried back to that port about twenty steerage passengers, who were refused a residence by the authorities. They are mechanics and laborers. Three cabin passengers, who were advised to leave, also returned by the Augusta.
The incident in Savannah referred to in this article was the secession demonstration from November 8.
The Georgia Weekly Telegraph, a Macon newspaper, carried the story of Georgia’s decision to call a secession convention on its front page. In another article on the same page it was reported that U.S. Attorney General Jeremiah Black had written a lengthy opinion denying the validity of secession - an opinion expected to be a major part of President-elect Lincoln’s inaugural address.
With all the secession fever in the state, the Southern Watchman of Athens advised everyone to “Keep Cool.”