“Submission Movement in Savannah”


January 6, 1865

Collection: The Civil War
Publication: The Charleston Mercury
Date: January 6, 1865
Title: SubmissionMovementinSavannah.
Our readers will find below the resolutions of what is
called a meeting of the citizens of Savannah. They are taken
from the ‘Loyal Georgian’of the 28th of December. We are
informed by a gentleman from Savannah since the meeting was
held that seventeen men all told constituted this meeting -
that there were otherinterested we doubt not; but there were
a few bold enough, at this early day, to make submissive,
slavish terms with LINCOLN, through their immediate master,
SHERMAN. The impudence of this thing is the only point in it.
A call upon the Governor of Georgia, forsooth from the midst of
the 20th Corps of the Federal army!
We publish the resolutions of these of Savannah,’
inspired as they undoubtedly were by the masters of the Federal
army in their midst, as a part of the history of the times, and
as putting on record the names of the men who composed the
Pursuant to the call of Mayor Arnold, a large meeting of
influential citizens was held at the Masonic Hall, at 12
otoday, for the purpose of taking into consideration
matters relating to the present and future welfare of the city.
On Motion Dr. Arnold was unanimously called to the Chair, and
addressed the meeting as follows:
Fellow Citizens of Savannah: At the request of the Aldermen
of the city of Savannah, and a large number of citizens, I have
convened you together this day, to give expression to your
views and sentiments in the trying state of affairs in which
you are placed. It is for us no longer a crisis – the crisis
is passed, and it is for you to decide upon the particular line
of action each and all of you may determine to pursue. Our
action is to be determined by our situation, as we have no
power or authority to speak for others outside of our limits.
But we are the judges of our own situation, and can speak for
ourselves and ought to do so, by all the considerations of
prudence, and I will say common sense and humanity, to
mitigate, if we can, the effects of the heavy blow which has
fallen upon us. Our city contains 20,000 inhabitants, without
food, without fuel, without any place of refuge, cut off from
all connection with the country.
The heart sickens at the picture thus presented, and it is
our duty to mitigate as we cannot avert the terrible sufferings
by all means which reason and common sense may dictate,
regardless of all abstract views. I have weighed the matter
anxiously, and have arrived at the positive conclusion, that
there is but one course to pursue, but it is not my province as
calling a meeting, to say more at present. When the city was
taken, through me, as Chief Magistrate, you asked for
protection, you all know what it was granted to you, and we all
feel deeply indebted to Brigadier General Geary for his conduct
as commandant of this city. Having convened you and expressed
on my part my views, it remains for you to appoint a chairman
for the meeting.
A.S. Hartiridge and Robert Erwin, were appointed
The following gentlemen were appointed a committee to
report resolutions expressive of the sense of the meeting, viz:
Col. Rockwell, Alderman Lippman, Dr. Willis, Alderman
Villalongea, Martin Dugan, J.G. Mills, W.D. Weed, Alderman
Lachilson, Alderman O’Byrne, and after a brief absence reported
the following resolutions, which were unanimously adopted:
Whereas, By the fortunes of war, and the surrender of the
city by the city authorities, Savannah has passed once more
under the authority of the United States, and whereas, we
believe that the interests of the city will be best subserved
and promoted by a full and free expression of our views in
relation to our present condition. We, therefore, the people
of Savannah, in full meeting assembled, do hereby
1. Resolved, That we accept the position, and in the
language of the President of the United States, to have
peace by laying down our arms and submitting to the national
authority under the Constitution, leaving all questions which
remain to be adjusted by the peaceable means of legislative
Conference and votes.’
2. Resolved, That laying aside all differences, and
burying bygones on the grave of the past, we will use our best
endeavors once more to bring back the prosperity and commerce
we once enjoyed.
3. Resolved, That we do not put ourselves in the position
of a conquered city, asking terms of the conqueror, but we
claim the immunities and privileges contained in the
Proclamation and Message of the President of the United States,
and in all the legislation of Congress in reference to a people
situated as we are, and while we owe a strict obedience on our
part to the laws of the United States, we ask the protection
over our persons, lives and property recognized by these laws.
4. Resolved, That we respectfully request His Excellency,
the Governor, to call a Convention of the people of Georgia by
any constitutional means in his power, to give them an
opportunity of voting upon the question whether they wish the
war between the two sections of country to continue.
5. Resolved, That Major General Sherman having placed as
military commander of this post Brigadier General Geary, who
has, by his urbanity as a gentleman, and his uniform kindness
to our citizens, done all in his power to protect them from
insult and injury, it is the unanimous desire of all present
that he be allowed to remain in his present position, and that
for the reasons above stated, the thanks of the citizens are
hereby tendered to him and the officers under his command.
6. Resolved, That an appeal copy of these resolutions be
sent to the President of the United states, the Governor of
Georgia General Sherman, and the Mayor of Augusta, Columbus,
Macon and Atlanta.

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