"What means this hot haste?"
Report from the missing issue of the Norfolk Day Book for January 26, 1861, reprinted in the Charleston (S.C.) Mercury, January 30, 1861.
At the end of January 1861, a report in a lost issue of the Norfolk Day Book informed readers that the United States Army was placing cannons at Fort Monroe at the mouth of the James River. The fort had been constructed between 1819 and 1834 to defend the water approaches to the river and Hampton Roads, but the editor of the Day Book asked, "Did Virginia cede the ground on which this fort stands for the purpose of having its guns pointed inland, to menace a score or two of peaceful farmers, who till the soil under cover of its guns?" The editor apparently favored the secession of Virginia as a result of the army's threatening actions even before Abraham Lincoln took office as president of the United States on March 4, 1861.