The Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War will begin on April 12, 2011, the 150th anniversary of Confederate forces firing on Fort Sumter. The Civil War was the most traumatic event in American history. Not only did the country spilt apart, but over 600,000 lives were lost out of a total population of 32 million. If the same percentage of the U.S. population was killed in a war today, the total ead would exceed 5 million.

To commemorate this tremendous event in our history, The Madison Courier will periodically reprint articles from The Daily Courier.

We thank the members of the Jefferson County Civil War Roundtable for conducting the research for these articles...

The Madison Daily Courier

Dec. 22, 1860

The Convention of South Carolina having passed the Ordinance of Secession, has usurped the functions of the Legislature, and is now legislating for the new State.

A motion was made to discharge all the Federal postmasters and custom-house officers. That motion was amended so as to constitute all the Federal, State officers; the money received from customs to be deposited, after all legitimate expenses are paid, into the Bank of South Carolina.

The postmasters and mail contractors are to look as heretofore to Washington for their pay.

The difficulties of South Carolina have only commenced. Every Step, now, will add to her troubles. Certainly the President of the United States will not submit to any interference in the collection of the customs. But he has broken every pledge he has made, and the public are watching the developments in this case to see whether the O.P.F. (Old Public Functionary, a nickname for President Buchanan) will cheat the fire-eaters (do his plain duty in the premises) of the great Union majority of the people of the States.


The New York Tribune of the 17th says: "There is a rumor in town, apparently derived from reliable sources at Washington, to the effect that President Buchanan is insane! This is probably not true, though in view of his course through the last six eventful weeks, the confirmation of the report would afford no reason for astonishment. More lamentable imbecility or more deliberate treachery, was never seen.

The Madison Daily Courier

Dec. 27, 1860

There are some very stupid people in this city who charge that the Madison Courier is not a Union paper. There are some others who are not stupid, but morally and politically dishonest, that make the same charge for sinister purposes. The averments of both classes in this regard are untrue. The Madison Courier is a Union paper; its editor has always been, and is, a Union man. The platform of the conservatives in the canvass last summer is the prevailing sentiment in this establishment. "The Union and the Constitution, and the enforcement of the laws"; one and indivisible. Can the conservative men ask any more of us?