Virginia Memory, Library of Virginia

Union or Secession
  • "Thrown off the shackles of Lincoln ism"
  • "Thrown off the shackles of Lincoln ism"
  • "Thrown off the shackles of Lincoln ism"
  • "Thrown off the shackles of Lincoln ism"
  • "Thrown off the shackles of Lincoln ism"
  • "Thrown off the shackles of Lincoln ism"
On May 2, 1861, Callie Anthony's cousin wrote to express his joy at hearing that Virginia had seceded and to tell her he had joined an artillery company.
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My Dear Callie

"Thrown off the shackles of Lincoln ism"

Unidentified cousin to Callie Anthony, May 2, 1861, [last pages missing], Anthony Family Papers, 1785–1952, Acc. 35647, 35648, Library of Virginia.

Callie Anthony says: My cousin in Senatobia, Mississippi, wrote to me after he heard that Virginia had seceded. He was so happy. All of the other states were waiting on edge to see what we would do. The convention in Richmond voted for secession on April 17, and soon the voters will decide whether to ratify the decision.

My cousin is a doctor, but he says he has joined an artillery company. I wish he wasn't so eager to fight. I know it is an honorable cause, but it seems to me all the young men in the family are going to be soldiers.

It's so funny that they tar and "cotton" Unionists down there! And the idea of posting them by train to Horace Greeley, that New York abolitionist, is hilarious. That kind of punishment is too good for anyone who would incite the negroes to rebel. I had not realized how large the proportion of negroes to white people is near my cousin's home. I'm sure he is right about the loyalty of most servants, though. They are happier in the care of white folks.

Unidentified cousin to Callie Anthony, May 2, 1861, [last pages missing], Anthony Family Papers, 1785–1952, Acc. 35647, 35648, Library of Virginia.

Senatobia Miss May 2d 1861
Miss Callie J Anthony
Dear Cousin Callie
Your last favor is to hand and I was truly glad to hear from your portion of the moral world—
Although we get daily newspaper tidings from your country, still these lines are not the embodiment of home friends, those we love & to whom we are attached by all the ties of Social life—You say that long ere your's had reached me, the glad tidings of Va's Secession & Union with the S. C. would be old news to us—Yes we had long looked for this joyful tiding, but it was only "wakened" from the slumbering imbecility which a war for Nationality had produced, When the booming of Sumpters Guns betokens the Devices of an ignorant, imbecile, & diabolical faction was attempting to practise upon the free & independent nation known as the S. C. and those of the border states who were even then trusting to the perfidy of a class who would sanction a John Brown raid and the Representative men who headed their party and desecrating the name of President of the U. S. A—Cousin I could not believe until Lincoln was en route for Washington that such a mass of the American People could ever be reduced to the fanatical point of elevating such a man to this high post of honor—I was almost convinced that journalism in general had done him injustice—but it was only necessary for him to make his Springfield debut in order to satisfy any sensible man who had the least idea of Constitutional law the Power of state governments & the the relations which individual communities bore to the sovereign state, to see at once that he was not even versed in history much less the difficulties of Manning a ship of state in the capacity of a Chief Executive.
I once feared you had too many unthinking men who did not inform themselves upon the questions of the day sufficiently to march to the sound of duty in the hour of peril which over hung us as a nation and I was almost ashamed to say I was a Va'in and you may truly imagine the joy which pervaded my system when the Telegraph reported that she had thrown off the shackles of Lincoln ism and had reclaimed the privilege of state sovereignty—Yes I halooed to the top of my voice & you ought to have heard the booming of our Depot Cannon as they sounded the eight reports designating our state S. C. the last echoed & reechoed upon the wings of time & We thought its solemn sound was borne off as a warning to those other states who have been so luke warm in a cause which we had been first to proclaim and willing to protect & which equally interested every state south of Masons & Dixons line & the Ohio—I am proud to see so much unanimity of action in all our states at this time; the game is now becoming fast blocked & and soon the Pitifogging Administration North will learn that we are not the "Combinations" rebels or traitors who will "disband" in 20 days or even 20 years if our Independence depends upon it When I last wrote you, persuaded by the honeying words of the Northern press & presidency, I was of opinion that soon every thing like the sounding of arms & the cry of war would cease and our Independence would be acknowledged by the Old u.s.a as it soon will be by the outer world—but we are a too trusting people & have been led blindly almost into the gutter but it was not too late—we needed only the action of Ft Sumpter to fill our Army with such men as know nothing but bravery & Independence—
You are now in the midst of such excitement as we passed through more than 2 months ago—but that fire stil burns as brightly though you seldom see the out brake of joy which was manifest at the time of our first call for soldiers to fight the battles of our Country—our county furnished some 2 months a-go 400 men to go to Pickins We have now 3 or 4 regularly organized Companies ready for any field. our little Town with 45 males furnished 25 men for the Senatobia Invincibles the Company numbered 104 all it could by law & I think we could have had 250 if it had been necessary. We are now organizing an Artillery Company for the field which I think can be complete as soon as we can get the Equipments & then we start I joined a Cavalry Company last fall but the Gov would not receive us and we afterwards disbanded & a portion of the Company with the Captain has gone to Looxahoma & will soon take the promisory allegiance to our Govr as state soldiers—I now belong to the Flying Artillery Company—I would have joined one of the companies now in Pensacola but was so strongly solicited by the Members of the Invincibles to Stay and take care of their families during sickness that I gave over the battle field for a duty I know better than the storming of forts or the raising of Batteries— But I have determined not to stay longer inactive in this Cause although I know it as much to the Countrys interests to see to home cares as to add to the numbers in a file & rank in Camp
There is perfect unanimity here, no Lincoln man could survive the wreck of matter & crush of worlds which would come over him here—Even mild union sentiments are dotted with traitors & The Yankee backs need not to get the coat you prefer minus the Feathers & use cotton but they always get to the "Oak" first and when they leave it tar & cotton sticks well—Not a few have met this sad fate along the line of our Rail Road & very frequent you can see them shipped by Express to Greely & Co. Counted marked on the Back so as to obviate mistakes It is quite diverting to see thise scoundrels march to the bidding of an Express Agent but they learn that obedience is often the best law in nature
These scoundrels have nigh matured two Insurrections in our County one in our Midst the other at Cock rums X roads—The one at Senatobia was discovered only 2 days before it was to begin one of the negroes was shot & the mob would have hanged him but for the weather—It has been an advantage Vigilant Committees scour the country night & day & I assure you never was martial law more effective in arming a people to duty than this little bad step in a fiend who made good his escape before the affairs had been matured—You have no idea what displine with negroes amounts to—none is allowed to quit home except by special mandate written, time place & business—but this is not punishment in many instances, as there are so many farms on which from 30 to 200 live that they are happier at home than if suffered to stroll the country over We would be in a bad fix here now in case of a general insurrection—From Cold Water to Tallahatchie River nearly every mile Square would hold 20 negroes & hardly every 3 mile a white man—but they have no means of defense & many of them are willing "to go to the war" if Master does—We are preparing for the future in this country—Every man has a wheat patch & several spare acres of corn & pigs innumerable—I think with present prospects Desoto County will grow more wheat this year than has been raised in North Miss in 5 and it is now all headed out & past blossom our crop will be harvested by the 20th & if our Corn was then out we could su[b]sist until it would mature Oats & Rye look well—Corn looks very well for the season & should we have any thing like a season our county could spare 5 or 10 000 000 bushels Every man has planted for the army—if my crop turns out well I will make enough for 3 years easy & this will make our Section able to ship meat if necessary A great change has been wrought here during a few months, prodigality has ceased to fill the minds of any and the field of home industry has choked the "tis buts" of the North from our door—Could this thing but last a score of years & peace prevail with it, we would have the richest country in the world & so it will be Cincinatti Philadelphia, & like Yankee holes will not cherish the kinder feeling which has been our wont to bestow upon them & we will seek another home for our favours &tc—We have but little news here outside of Internicine war & farming—good health & flattering future prospects—Times are hard money scarce & very bad learning to do without every thing possible & to prepare for the worst my store Bill last year was about $350 & now it is not exceeding $20; so it is with every body—I think $100 will surpass my expense—individually—I have made $1000 this year & when times get good it will come in finally—I have not been from home since the 4th Jany—Havnt seen any of Papas family except Will—I promised to take Mollie to Va this month but cant spare the time & money—I did not collect over $600 out of over $7000 I had due me Xmas and had
[remaining pages of letter are missing]