Harper's Weekly 10/21/1865


STATE OF FEELING AT THE
SOUTH.


THAT the people of the United States may
decide wisely whether the exclusive control
of the late rebel States may be immediately and
safely surrendered to the late rebel population
of those States, it is essential to know the pre-
vailing sentiment of that population. This can
not be too constantly and widely spread before
the country. Let us look at it a little.


In Mississippi an unpardoned rebel, General
Humphreys, has just been elected Governor by
the “Union” voters, and Governor Sharkey
loses his popularity and his chance of election
to the Senate, because he favors giving the
colored population the right to testify, and lo-
cal candidates for the Legislature have been
defeated upon the same ground. Of the gen-
eral feeling in the State of Mississippi General
Slocum's order of August 24 very fully informs
us. On that date he thought it extremely dan-
gerous to the public peace to allow the arming
of the lately rebel citizens as militia. They are,
however, arming, and they refuse to organize
under the United States flag. Meanwhile the
state of things described by General Slocum
continues. The colored people are daily mur-
dered and Union men maltreated, and nobody
is punished or arrested.


In Louisiana the Democratic Convention re-
solves that the Government was made exclu-
sively for white men, that rebels ought to be
paid for their emancipated slaves, and that
there should be a general amnesty and repeal
of confiscation laws. It is not surprising, there-
fore, as we are told by a gentleman from Lou-
isiana, who is neither “a radical” nor “a
Jacobin,” that the continuance of the national
hold upon that State is absolutely essential to
the public peace and personal safety of Union
men. His statement is confirmed by the let-
ter of a prominent citizen of New Orleans to a
Western paper, that “no Union man, that is
to say, no man approving the war for the salva-
tion of the country is safe in this State.”


From Georgia our private information is of
the same kind. “Withdraw your troops,”
said in our office within a few days the editor
of a Union paper in that State, a man faithful
through the war, “and we white Union men
will swing within the next hour.” Another
Georgian informs us that he has been twice
shot at for his known Unionism.


In Alabama the reorganizing Convention re-
fuses to submit the new Constitution for the
approval of the people; and from a total popu-
lation of 964,000 excludes 437,000 from any
computation in the basis of representation.


In South Carolina the ordinance of secession
is simply repealed, leaving it lawful to renew
it when the State chooses, and out of a total
population of 730,000 there are 412,000 exclud-
ed from computation in the basis of representa-
tion.


From Alabama a correspondent in Mobile, a
native and life-long resident of the city, writes
us:


“I know well who the few loyal men were here during
the war, and how bitterly and relentlessly they were per-
secuted by the citizens and military—especially by the
Provost Marshals, Major W. H. Ketchum and H. G. Hum-
pureys
. The secessionists now cry, `Let us bury the
past!' They send on delegates to Washington, and are
received with favor; the leading men are coming back
daily with their pardons—get very indignant with the
military—request the President to order it from the coun-
try, and let the people govern themselves, and are prepar-
ing to commence their reign of terror once more. The re-
ports about loyalty here are all humbug; I have only
heard of two really loyal meetings in the State—one at
Decatur, Alabama, on the 3d June; and one at this city on
6th June ……. The various offices here, even under the
General Government, are full of bitter rebels, and they
openly boast of their Confederate proclivities. If you at-
tempt to sing any of the national airs you are shunned.
Very few of the steamboats will carry the flag; the ladies
will not walk under the head-quarters flag, but leave the
sidewalk and walk in the street. In the street cars loyal
men are openly denounced, which makes it very unpleas-
ant for their families. In fact, the criterion the Mobilians
use in judging any one is—What did he do in the Confed-
erate cause? and those who did most are the most thought of.
The newspapers boldly say that those who did not go `heart
and soul' into the war should not be trusted in office now.
This accounts for such men as C. C. Langdon being elect-
ed to the State Convention. Mr. L. made a celebrated
`Black Flag' speech in this city a few days before Spanish
Fort was taken. The papers here refuse to publish any
article showing up the disgraceful conduct of the rebel
leaders here during the past four years. When the Daily
News
started here it contained loyal articles, but the ed-
itor soon saw that such a course would never do for a
Mobile paper, and has lately been publishing such articles
that Major-General K. Garrard threatened to suppress
his paper. Unfortunately General Garrard was ordered
away from this post, and the authorities now seem to en-
courage
rather than rebuke such sentiments. You have
no idea of the tyranny that has existed here. Every male
from seventeen to fifty years old was permanently enrolled
in the army, and on the slightest emergency every body
who could carry arms
was forced into the trenches or to
do guard duty in the city.”


It is into such hands that General Slocum
and the Democratic party are anxious that the
Government of the United States should, within
thirty days, resign the authority it now holds in
the late rebel States. It seems to us that Gen-
eral Slocum and his new recruits have very lit-
tle respect for the common-sense of the Ameri-
can people.



Website design © 2000-2004 HarpWeek, LLC
All Content © 1998-2004 HarpWeek, LLC
Please submit questions to webmaster@harpweek.com