War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0322 THE SECESSION OF GEORGIA. Chapter II.

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WASHINGTON, D. C., February 15, 1861.

SIR: In compliance with your letter of this date, I have the honor to submit the following complete report of the surrender of the United States Arsenal at Augusta, Ga.:

On the morning of the 23rd of January, ultimo, I received front he governor of Georgia, then in Augusta, backed by a superior force of State troops, numbering some six or seven hundred, a verbal demand of the arsenal, which I refused. Shortly after came through his aide-de-camp a written demand in the following terms, hate substance of which was telegraphed by me to the War Department, to wit:

AUGUSTA, January 23, 1861.

SIR: I am instructed by his excellency Governor Brown to say to you that, Georgia having seceded from the United States of America and resumed exclusive sovereignty over her soil, it has become his duty ot require you to withdraw the troops under your command, at the earliest practicable moment, from the limits of the State.

He proposes to take possession of the arsenal, and to receipt for all public property under your charge, which will be accounted for on adjustment between the State of Georgia and the United States of America.

He begs to refer you to the fact that the retention of your troops upon the soil of Georgia after remonstrance is, under the laws of nations, an act of hostility, and he claims that the State is not only at peace but anxious to cultivate the most amicable relations with the Unite States Government.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Aide-de-Camp, &c.

About 1 o'clock on the night of the 23rd of January, ultimo, I received from the War Department the following reply to my telegram, to wit:

WASHINGTON, January [23, 1861.]


Second Artillery, Commanding Augusta Arsenal, Ga.:

The governor of Georgia has assumed against your post and the United States an attitude of war. His summons is harsh and peremptory. It is not expected that your defense shall be desperate. If forced to surrender by violence or starvation, you will stipulate for honorable terms and a free passage by water with your company to New York.


Secretary of War.

To have resisted such a force, then ready to attack me, with my knowledge of large re-enforcements at Savannah and Atlanta, ready to come up by rail at a moment's warning, would have been desperation in my weak position. I therefore directed my adjutant to address and convey the following note in reply to the governor's demand:


Colonel H. R. JACKSON, A. D. C.:

SIR: I have the honor to inform you that I am directed by Captain Elzey,commanding this post, to say, in really shot he demands of the governor of Georgia, made through you yesterday, requiring him to withdraw his command beyond the limits of the State, he begs do request an interview with his excellency the governor for the purpose of negotiating honorable terms of surrender at as early an hour this morning as practicable.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant, Second Artillery, Post Adjutant.

About 10 o'clock of the same morning (24th) the governor, accompanied by his staff and Brigadier-General Harris, commanding the