Georgia statesman had to respond." On the southern verge of Virginia, some of the State riflemen, designed as an escort to the president, joined the party. With every step the popularity of their "chief magistrate" seemed to be more and more manifest, for the people felt that "the mantle of Washington had fallen gracefully upon his shoulders." At Goldsboro, "the Hall," said the reporter, "was thronged with beautiful girls, and many were decking him with garlands of flowers, while others fanned him. It was a most interesting occasion. Never were a people more enraptured with their chief magistrate."
At Richmond, Davis was received with equal enthusiasm; and at the Fair-ground he addressed an immense multitude of people. With a consciousness of power, he spoke bitter words against the Government whose kindness he had ever experienced. He flattered the vanity of the Virginians by reminding them that they had been chosen to "smite the invaders;" and he assured them there was "not one true son of the South who was not ready to shoulder his musket, to bleed, to die, or to conquer in the cause of liberty here....We have now reached the point," he continued, "where, arguments being exhausted, it only remains for us to stand by our weapons. When the time and occasion serve, we shall smite the smiter with manly arms, as did our fathers before us, and as becomes their sons. To the enemy we leave the base acts of the assassin and incendiary. To them we leave it to insult helpless women; to us belongs vengeance upon man." The Virginians were too insane with passion to resent his virtual reiteration of the selfish words of Pickens: "You may plant your seed in peace, for Old Virginia will have to bear the brunt of the battle;" and they actually rejoiced with pride in the fact that, as he said, upon every hill around their State Capitol were "camps of soldiers from every State in the Confederacy." They purchased an elegant residence for the use of their president, and furnished it sumptuously. There he lived, and exercised the powers of his office for almost four years.
Beauregard's Proclamation - Insurgents at Harper's Ferry - Exploits of an Indiana Regiment - Events on the Virginia Peninsula - Battle at Big Bethel - National Troops on the Upper Potomac - The Capital in Danger - A Gunpowder Plot - Action of England and France "Punch's" Epigram - Conduct of Great Britain and the Western European Powers - Russia - Meeting of Congress - Department Reports - Appropriations - Increase of the Navy - Enthusiasm of the People - Women's Work - Miss Dix - Benevolent Work in Philadelphia.
The fulfillment of the prediction that "Poor Old Virginia will have to bear the brunt of the battle," had now begun. Beauregard was in command of a constantly increasing force at Manassas, at the beginning of June, and there was a general belief that under the instruction of President Davis, he would attempt the seizure of the capital. In characteristic words, he sent forth a proclamation calculated to "fire the Southern heart." "A reckless and unprincipled tyrant," he said, "has invaded your soil." He assured them that Lincoln had thrown "Abolition hosts" among them, and were murdering and