Letter - SOUTH CAROLINA ON THE EVE OF SECESSION - Edgefield District, S.C. Nov. 22, 1860 - Written to Future CS General Martin W. Gary

This two-page letter written in ink on legal size paper shows the strong emotions of South Carolinians on the verge of Secession.  The writer Wyatt Homes was a resident of Edgefield District, South Carolina.  He is writing to one of his state legislators, Martin W. Gary.  Gary was a member of the South Carolina Legislature in 1860 and 1861.  According to the Civil War Database, “He advocated secession, and when the ordinance was enacted, at once went into the military service as Captain of the Watson Guards, which became Company B of the Hampton Legion.”  Gary would go on fight gallantry throughout the war, obtaining the rank of Brigadier General in 1864.  Interesting note:  At Appomattox Court House he did not surrender but cut his way through the Federal lines and eventually escorted President Jeff Davis and his cabinet to Cokesbury, S.C. where the cabinet held one of their last meetings… IN HIS MOTHERS HOUSE at that place!   

Here are some of the great lines:

  • “…The state is in great excitement… there has been a great pond of corruption accumulated at Washington under a Democrat president & now the question is how to empty it…”
  • “…I don’t believe that if we could secede peaceably that would not keep our Negroes from running away & we would be that much weaker by doing so.  I would treat them as bad neighbors.  Let the officers of the government, those that are elected & those that has the appointments resign their seats on the third of March or a few days before & hear Lincoln’s inaugural & then see how he can fill his vacant offices…”
  • “…It does seem to me to be folly to withdraw where Lincoln has no power of agency in filling the pond…”
  • “…we can unite the south & let every officer in the government resign & declare our independence & form a southern government…”
  • “…to secede without having our house put in order we will be a ruined people…”
  • “…the present plan of secession is dangerous & I think will not cure the evil we complain of by any means…”

Letter is in excellent condition.  A truly historic piece! 

#HC155SC - Price $395