Diary of Orrin Brown, Savannah, Georgia
The weather came off clear and a little warmer this morning, our regt. was relieved from Picket at about 9.30 AM marched back to camp and received orders to prepair for General Inspection and muster for pay at 2 PM tomorrow. I wrote 2 letters one to A. S. Hamilton and one to Mother Kennedy. The weather is a little cooler this evening. Read 7 Chapt. in Testament today.
As 1864 drew to a close, the United States was drawing to the end of a four-year national tragedy. The beginning may be marked earlier—John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry in 1859, or the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, or the Missouri Compromise of 1820, or even the drafting of the Constitution of the United States itself.
The 6 November 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States is often accounted as the beginning of the Civil War. Others cite South Carolina’s 10 November call of election of delegates to a convention of secession, or more commonly the actual convention declaration on 20 December, both during the end of President James Buchanan‘s single term in office. Perhaps we could point to 26-27 December, when South Carolina troops occupied the Federal Ft. Moultrie in Charleston harbor. Buchanan himself considered South Carolina’s firing on Charleston’s Ft. Sumter after his term ended in 1861 as the commencement of the war, but it’s roots go back much further.