The Fighting Parson's Regiment
CHAPTER I.Causes of the War.
The conclusion was a logical one, but the territory gained by the blood and treasure of all the people belonged equally to all; and separate existence on the part of the two sections was impossible; and the echoes of the first gun in Charleston harbor, aimed against the Federal flag at Sumter, reverberated among the hills and through the valleys of the North, till every household was awakened, and every arm nerved for the coming conflict. The South had calculated upon divisions and dissensions. It had long
been maturing its plans and organizing its forces. The head of the Federal
government, and many of the councillors and advisers of the administration, were
men who either quietly ignored or actively participated in these preparations.
The arsenals within its limits, and the fortified points along its coast, with
the vast quantities of government property which they contained, were with few
exceptions taken possession of without a struggle. Everything at those places in
the North where materials of war were manufactured or stored had been ordered to
the South. Our navy had been detailed to foreign service, so that at the
outbreak of the rebellion there were but two small vessels available for
immediate use. Consequently, at the outset, the South possessed many important
advantages. But it was mistaken in its conclusions. The unanimity of feeling at
the North was hardly less than at the South; and when a new executive sent out
his appeals to the loyal States, the answer was immediate. From every city and
town, from every village and hamlet, and almost from every household, the word
came back: "We are ready for any sacrifice" ; "All we
have is at the service of the government." The young men put on their armor and
gathered themselves together, and the old men lifted their hands towards heaven
and blessed them. Wife and mother, though with tears of anguish, said
God-speed. The way was dark; but there was no hesitation, no doubt.