Summary of Content: Battle of Tallahatchie, National Fast - President Sanctified another Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer, Yankee Iron-Clad Steam Ram ”Chillicothe” Disabled, Another Advance on Fort Pemberton, High Price Paid for Negro Slaves at Auction, The ”Alabama” and ”Florida” in Southern Waters.
Background: The primary founder of the Charleston Courier, 22-year-old Aaron Smith Willington of East Sudbury, Mass., was a Federalist who had worked for a Boston newspaper. His partner, Loring Andrews of Hingham, Mass., published the Herald of Freedom in Boston, the Western Star in Stockbridge, Mass., and the Centinel in Albany, New York, before joining forces with Willington to found the Charleston Courier. They were joined by co-proprietor Peter Timothy Marchant, great-grandson of Lewis Timothy, who had established the earliest permanent newspaper in South Carolina in 1734., , The Courier established a strong pro-Union, anti-nullification presence with Richard Yeadon, a lawyer-turned-reporter who made a name for himself with a series of articles opposing the nullification movement as South Carolina’s answer to the federal tariff laws. Yeadon became the second president of the South Carolina Press Association, which was created in 1852. Yeadon joined Willington as editor and co-proprietor in 1833 along with William S. King, also co-proprietor, who succeeded Yeadon as editor. The newspaper began receiving and transmitting news on the Electro Magnetic Telegraph in 1847, and the nameplate was changed in 1852 to Charleston Daily Courier., , Unlike the Mercury, the Evening News, the Camden Journal and the Newberry Rising Sun, the Courier took a middle-of-the road position, opposing both Northern aggression and South Carolina secession. The Courier, which frequently copied news from other newspapers in its early days, hired its first local reporter, called a ”phonographic reporter,” in 1857. Willington died in 1862 without seeing ”Confederate States of America” appear for the last time in the Courier’s dateline February 18, 1865. Sherman’s federal troops seized the newspaper February 21, 1865 and turned it over to two Union war correspondents, George Whittemore and George W. Johnson to publish as a ”loyal Union newspaper.” Johnson left after a month, but Whittemore returned the newspaper to its pre-war, four-page, six-column, 15” by 25 1/2” page format. The newspaper reverted to A. S. Willington & Co., November 20, 1865 to be published with military restrictions under the direction of Captain Thomas Y. Simons of Charleston, a signer of the Ordinance of Secession and a former Confederate officer.